Family fun at the 2024 Heritage Karalee – Ipswich100 Charity Bike Ride

By | Fitness, Fundraising, Health, Initiatives, Projects, Recent

Cyclists from all around SEQ gathered at the University of Southern Queensland’s Ipswich campus early Sunday morning for the Heritage Karalee – Ipswich100 charity bike ride, an iconic charity bike ride that raises funds for several important local causes.

The much-loved ride celebrated its 25th anniversary event on Sunday 24 March 2024.

The overcast and drizzly weather couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the participants, with 542 riders donning their ride bibs and putting the pedal to the metal for the early morning ride through the picturesque Scenic Rim.

The ride is an initiative of the Lions Club of Brisbane West, in association with the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, with cyclists coming from far and wide to take part in this historic event.

This year, the Heritage Karalee – Ipswich100 was very much a family affair, with multi-generations of riders taking part, including grandfather-and-grandson team, Connor and Evan.

Sixteen-year-old Connor, who joined grandad Evan, experienced a heart-stopping moment just before the ride started when he needed to make a quick pit stop at 99Bikes with just a couple of minutes to spare.

Fortunately, he was able to get back on the road, joining Grandad Evan before the pair sped off to take the lead.

Also in the mix was a three-generation race trio with Grandfather Bruce, Uncle Steve and 12-year-old Aidan.  Bruce and Aidan took on the Fun Filled 50km, while Steve took on the Imperial 100-mile challenge.

Cyclists had a choice of three routes, from the 100-mile (160km) to 100km and 50km rides.

Riders started and finished at Ipswich’s picturesque University of Southern Queensland campus and passed through farming land and bushland of the Scenic Rim with spectacular views to the Great Divide and Cunningham’s Gap.

The Heritage Karalee – Ipswich100 is famed as south-east Queensland’s friendliest, most scenic, and best-catered ride. The Lions Club of Brisbane West place emphasis on rider safety and support with directional signage, course marshals and rest stops staffed by volunteers with complimentary refreshments and sunscreen.

Feedback from a first-time participant described the event as well organised, well signed and extremely well supported, citing the wonderful group of volunteers who took part and played crucial roles both off and on the course.

The ride received strong support from volunteers in Ipswich and the Scenic Rim including the regions supporting Lions Clubs (each receives a share of the funds raised for their own local projects).

Beneficiaries include Ipswich Hospital Foundation, SES State Emergency Services, Moggill Men’s Shed, Rover Scouts Indooroopilly Rovers, Lions Club Brisbane West and other local Lions Clubs projects and charities.

Photo: Heritage Karalee – Ipswich100 participants Connor and Evan. Image credit: Ipswich Hospital Foundation

Impact Funding: IHF helping change how care is delivered.

By | Fundraising, Health, Initiatives, Projects, Recent

Community donors have backed innovative clinicians at West Moreton Health to launch tech advances and services to give more people access to quality care.

Ten projects, including a game-changing new technology used in breast cancer surgery and the introduction of cutting-edge cardiac equipment used during the placements of stents, will change the way care is delivered in West Moreton.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) Chief Executive Officer Scott Young said the projects had been funded through its new Impact Funding grants program, which aimed to improve health outcomes and patient experiences through community involvement.

“It’s thanks to the incredible support and generosity of this community that Ipswich Hospital Foundation can support West Moreton Health teams to pursue some incredible new projects dedicated to improving health outcomes, right across the region,” Mr Young said.

Mr Young said the Impact Funding grants program had been funded by supporters and generous donors from its annual tax and Christmas appeals and funds raised at events such as Go Pink, Park2Park, and the IHF 25th gala anniversary dinner.

“We’re extremely grateful to the community and excited to continue our work to bring better healthcare closer to home.”

Cardiac Cath Lab doctors with Ipswich Hospital Foundation CEO Scott Young.
Dr Yohan Chacko and Dr Johanne Neill from the Cardiac Cath Lab with Ipswich Hospital Foundation Chief Executive Officer Scott Young. 

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch said the funding would provide the local community with access to latest technologies and new equipment, research into conditions that affect patients with severe mental illnesses, and programs to inform and support the local community.

“Tech advances and equipment delivered through the IHF Impact Funding will give more people in the community access to the best possible healthcare they need, and sooner,” Ms Bloch said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Ipswich Hospital Foundation and would like to thank the many donors from across the region for the important role they play helping the West Moreton Health population achieve the best possible health.

“IHF is also supporting our staff to improve their clinical capabilities by accessing latest technologies and pursing innovation.”

What is Impact Funding?

Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s Impact Funding is a quarterly funding program, allowing West Moreton Health employees and departments an opportunity to apply for funding for innovative medical equipment, enhancing patient and support persons’ care, health promotion and research and innovation.

Funding aligns with West Moreton population key health priorities including:

  • Care closer to home
  • First Nation’s health equity
  • Chronic disease
  • Mental health
  • Patient and support persons’ experience

Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s Impact Funding will deliver the following programs:

  • Ipswich Hospital will be the first public hospital in Queensland to offer the SCOUT wire-free breast localisation technology, an innovative piece of equipment that will eliminate the need for existing hookwire procedures, and significantly reduce stress and discomfort for breast cancer patients.
  • cutting-edge technology that enables doctors to see detailed images of the inside of blood vessels, allowing them to visualise the exact location and size of blockages and precisely guide the placement of stents to restore blood flow to the heart.
  • new equipment to improve the lives of patients with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) as the result of a chronic condition.
  • new adaptive aids for patients with upper limb impairment to improve their independence.
  • a new screening device to enhance diagnosis and wound treatment by the Wound Care Nurse Team
  • an education and awareness program on kidney health for Samoan Australians
  • creating a more welcoming waiting area for rehabilitation patients.
  • additional training innovations for X-ray operators
  • funding to support Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Day in 2024

In addition to these 10 key projects, IHF and WMH are delighted to announce Speech Pathology and Audiology Director Dr Katrina Dunn is the recipient of IHF’s grant for mental health research.

The $30,000 grant is made possible by funds raised at IHF’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner held in 2023.

The grant will allow Dr Dunn and her team to study dysphagia presentation and management in adult patients who experience significant mental health impacts.

The next round of Impact Funding is now open. Visit the Impact Funding Portal  

Applications close 19 April 2024.


Ipswich Hospital Foundation partners with UQ to boost mental health research in West Moreton

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

Queensland mental health research has received a boost with Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) and The University of Queensland (UQ) announcing PhD scholarships to create new knowledge about mental disorders.

The scholarships are intended to support PhD students conducting research with mental health experts at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, a statewide Queensland Health research organisation based in West Moreton Health.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation CEO, Mr Scott Young, said he was excited to announce the new scholarship endowment fund, which had grown out of a long and established partnership with the Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI).

“In the early 2000s, the Sunshine Coast chapter of ARAFMI entrusted IHF with their hard-earned fundraising dollars to form a scholarship fund, a portion of which was awarded every few years to a PhD student supervised by researchers employed at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and enrolled at UQ,” Mr Young said.
“Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research has partnered with UQ for nearly thirty years in the conduct of its mental health research programs, so we are excited that the University has matched funding contributed by ARAFMI and IHF dollar-for-dollar to create an endowment scholarship.

“This arrangement will see core funding invested and proceeds used to support scholarships for PhD students supervised at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research for generations to come.”

Executive Dean of UQ’s Faculty of Medicine, Professor Geoff McColl, said the University was proud to help fund PhD scholarships dedicated to mental health.
“PhD scholarships have kickstarted the careers of some of Queensland’s brightest mental health researchers, who have dedicated their research to helping people with severe mental health conditions such as schizophrenia,” Professor McColl said.

“Since 2006, the ARAFMI scholarships have funded 3 PhD students whose projects have made critical discoveries to help understand the origins of mental health conditions, and develop targets for their prevention and treatment.

“We’re pleased to be backing important research at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and hope these scholarships will underpin vital new treatments, better services, and improved outcomes for people with mental disorders in the future.”

There is more information on the UQ Scholarships webpage.


Image: The University of Queensland PhD candidate Zilong Du
Image credit: The University of Queensland

Ipswich Hospital Foundation fund three research projects shaping the future of cancer care

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

West Moreton Health staff are shaping the future of cancer care in the region through Ipswich Hospital Foundation’s (IHF) Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship funding.

Three projects have been funded which will explore care options for residents with blood disorders, develop strategies to improve cervical cancer screening, and access to chemotherapy for rural consumers.

Each year, almost 1,500 local residents are diagnosed with cancer and a further 500 die from the disease.

Funding through the Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care has been provided in partnership with local supporter Vicki Doig, West Moreton Health, and Ipswich Hospital Foundation.

Ipswich Hospital Foundation Chief Executive Officer Scott Young thanked all of the researchers who applied for the scholarship, as well as the selection panel for their time and expertise in reviewing the applications.

“Crucially, we would like to thank Vicki Doig for her research support,” Mr Young said.

The scholarship was named in honour of Vicki’s sister Regina, who tragically died of lymphoma in 1987 aged 39.

Vicki set up the fund in her sister’s memory to advocate for evidence-based advancements in cancer care in West Moreton.

Ms Doig said research had rapidly improved cancer treatment in the decades since Regina died, and she looked forward to seeing the outcomes of the research ahead.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Officer Hannah Bloch said the scholarship was an example of the work being done at a local level to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.

“We have a strong research and innovation agenda at West Moreton Health and this research will highlight how we can improve our cancer services,” she said.

“The three successful applicants will work with our Research and Innovation team to develop their projects and provide the evidence needed to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of cancer care in our region.”

Research projects

  • Oncology Nurse Unit Manager Cherry Spross is investigating the needs of rural patients who use the Ipswich Hospital oncology service to consider providing chemotherapy or supportive care services closer to home at Boonah, Esk, Laidley, and Gatton hospitals.
  • Acting Cancer Care Co-ordinator Mark Rothery is investigating whether some lower risk haematology services could be provided at Ipswich Hospital. This would reduce the need for travel outside the region for patients who currently travel to tertiary hospitals, including Princess Alexandra Hospital, for care.
  • A team of Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainees led by Senior Staff Specialist Dr Lilantha Wedisinghe will conduct a cervical cancer screening survey in the West Moreton region to develop strategies that will improve participation in cervical screening.

Find out more about the Regina and Vicki Doig Research Scholarship for Cancer Care, or to donate to Ipswich Hospital Foundation visit:

Claire IHF

Ipswich Hospital Foundation appoints Director of Fundraising & Marketing

By | Fundraising, Health, Recent

The Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Claire Hughes to the newly created position of Director of Fundraising and Marketing. 

Ms Hughes has more than 11 years’ extensive experience and skill development within fundraising and marketing across the for-purpose sector. An industry leader, Claire has worked at various levels within fast paced, complex, national charities in both the UK and Australia.  

In her most recent roles at MS Queensland, Claire has led both the fundraising events and community and the individual giving and philanthropy programs. Prior to this, Claire established a successful community and events fundraising program and team at Legacy Brisbane.  

IHF CEO Scott Young acknowledged that’s Claire’s appointment was a result of the recent change in strategic direction to increase fundraising to support West Moreton Health (WMH) in improving health care and medical research and innovation in the region.  

“IHF has a clear focus to raise vital funds and create more of an impact to WMH, and the community that require their services. Funds raised will support medical equipment, facilities, and other clinical services.  

“In addition to this, there are many opportunities to support and direct funds to the newly created WMH research and innovation department through research scholarships,” said Scott. 

“Claire brings a high level of skills and experience, having worked at organisations including Mater Foundation, Oxfam Australia, and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.  

“She is a committed and passionate fundraiser and contributes to the sector through several volunteer roles, including Deputy Chair of Fundraising Institute Australia’s (FIA) Queensland Committee, as well as playing a pivotal role serving on the FIA Conference Committee,” he added. 

Awarded FIA Queensland’s Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2019, Claire is an advocate for the fundraising profession, fostering emerging leaders in the sector as a FIA tutor and mentor. In addition, Claire was a Board Member for Inala Youth Service, supporting young people and the community there to thrive. 

“I am excited to be joining IHF at an pivotal time of growth and opportunity. I look forward to further establishing the fundraising program, raising awareness for the cause, and creating vital new relationships in the community. Together with the team and community, we can make a real difference to the lives of people in the area requiring hospital services,” Claire said.

Claire IHF

Claire Hughes. Director of Fundraising and Marketing.

Hospital Foundation helps secure items for rural hospitals

By | Fundraising, Health, Projects, Recent

The Ipswich Hospital Foundation (IHF) has secured $30,000 worth of equipment for West Moreton Health hospitals at Gatton, Laidley and Esk.

IHF Chief Executive Officer Scott Young said visitor chairs, sofas and televisions were among the items requested by the rural directors of nursing when grant applications were compiled, along with a pressure care chair for Laidley Hospital.

“We are over the moon to be supplying the rural hospitals and their communities with this equipment,” Mr Young said.

“These items will go a long way towards improving the experience of patients and their loved ones when they visit our facilities.”

Mr Young said the IHF was also co-ordinating the revitalisation of three gardens at Gatton Hospital next week by 30 Year 10 students who are studying at the Australian Industry Trade College. Bunnings Plainland has kindly donated the mulch, plants and equipment.

Work on a reflection garden at Laidley Hospital is due to commence in July.

Director of Nursing at Gatton Hospital, Deb Woods, said she was very grateful for the work of the IHF, the generosity of Bunnings and the kindness of students and staff at the Australian Industry Trade College.

“We look forward to offering patients and their loved ones a more comfortable stay with us as well as some beautiful new gardens that all the community can enjoy,” Ms Woods said.

Mr Young said the IHF had submitted a further $332,000 worth of grant applications, which, if successful, would benefit all five West Moreton Health hospitals as well as its research and innovation program.

“Despite our charity’s legacy name, we represent all of the hospitals in the West Moreton region in our funding applications, our fundraising activities and through the work of our generous community volunteers,” Mr Young said.

The IHF has aligned its strategic direction with that of West Moreton Health to concentrate on enabling targeted, evidence-based initiatives that would benefit the health service and community.

For more information on the IHF’s fundraising efforts, visit their website.