Coming together for good

As a proud supporter of the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), First National Newcastle City is using its major ‘Spring Fling’ auction event on November 6 to help raise life-changing funds for medical research.

Around 15 properties worth over $20 million in total will be going under the hammer, and First National Newcastle City principal George Rafty is making a donation from every sale.

“Our relationship with HMRI is only beginning as our office is in its first year. We join other noteworthy Hunter business leaders in supporting this organisation to deliver a healthier future for the region” Mr Rafty says.

In partnership with the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health, HMRI has grown rapidly to become one of NSW’s largest independent research institutions. It delivers health solutions closely tailored to community needs.

Rebecca Palser, General Manager for HMRI Development & Marketing, says there are now 1500 researchers and support staff working across seven key program areas and collaborating internationally.

“This multidisciplinary approach recognises that families in the Hunter and beyond are burdened by a wide range of medical conditions, including asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and more,” she says.

“It takes teamwork to find new and better treatments and we rely greatly on the support we receive from local businesses like First National Newcastle City and our other incredible donors.”

Mr Rafty has personal reasons for supporting HMRI, with parents on both side of his family having succumbed to cancer and stroke in recent times.

“It is devastating to watch loved ones fight against a disease that researchers may one day be able to cure. We know there are many in the community who have suffered like we have” he adds.

“As real estate agents we help people make the right decisions, but as a community member I’m motivated to contribute to something bigger than what we are. I can’t think of a better cause than to support medical progress for the people we live amongst.”

Ms Palser, formerly of the University of Sydney, appreciates the importance of business identities like Mr Rafty uniting in support of fund-raising and potentially life-saving initiatives.

“Being relatively new to this region, I am humbled by the strength of the local community,” she says. “The Hunter is renowned for its lifestyle and I’m genuinely excited about its progressive leadership from its business community. We are seeing the start of what will be a very exciting decade for the Hunter, for HMRI and for medical research.”

The Spring Fling auction event starts at 10am on November 6 at First National Newcastle City, 36 Kemp Street, The Junction. More details at 

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