A gift for future generations

Posted: 09th September 2021

Like many Australians, SVI supporter Christine Tarascio AM feels indebted to scientists at the forefront of medical research – whether in decades past or the current era of COVID-19.

“When I was growing up, I remember the impact of the Triple Antigen vaccine (preventing diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough). We are now seeing these same research benefits in the pandemic,” says Christine, who was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2021 Australia Day Honours.

Christine’s admiration for scientific endeavour – and the ground-breaking possibilities of medical research – has motivated her to generously leave a gift in her will to St Vincent’s Institute. “It’s a gift to the next generation – our children and grandchildren,” she says. “I want to leave a legacy where it will make a real difference.”

One of Christine’s sons, David, has also made a bequest to SVI, and she says other family members are likely to follow.

“The fact is, we live and we die. I am lucky to be in a position to be able to give to the next generation’s health and longevity. It’s an honour to do it.”

Christine’s journey with SVI began 15 years ago, when she was invited to join the Foundation Board.

“One of my sons, Sam, has psoriatic arthritis. When I went on an initial tour of the institute, the SVI team told me about research they were doing in this field. I would do anything for my children, so I was hooked.”

Christine has an abiding respect for SVI’s scientists, in their tireless work to understand common diseases and improve health outcomes.

“Now that I have been involved for so many years, I’ve watched young scientists grow from their first public talks to leading their own lab teams,” she says.

Christine is especially buoyed by the strong performance of the SVI Discovery Fund she established. In March 2020, just before the COVID-19 national lockdown, this endowment fund well exceeded its initial aim of raising $5 million in capital.

“There has been a lot of work, and a lot of loyalty from fabulous SVI Foundation Board members and Discovery Fund members – many of whom are very close friends of mine – to achieve that initial aim of $5 million,” she says.

“We have just made our first distribution from the Fund, supporting ovarian cancer research. From here, we intend to grow the Fund; the potential is infinite.”

But the greatest gift for Christine is watching her son, Sam, harness modern medical breakthroughs to expertly manage his psoriatic arthritis while pursuing an impressive corporate career.

“It may not have been possible for him to achieve what he has today without previous scientific advances,” Christine comments. “There are so many people who have similar stories – people living full and healthy and wonderful lives, because of medical research.”

A bequest is an immensely powerful way to make a difference, whether you’ve been personally affected by the diseases we study at SVI, or simply want to invest in the future health of our community.

For more information or a confidential discussion about making a gift to SVI in your Will, contact the
SVI Foundation: [email protected] or (03) 9231 2480.