Children’s Cancer Institute Spring Lab Tour

Children’s Cancer Institute Spring Lab Tour

Cure Cancer Australia were delighted to host Sydney Airport staff at the Spring Lab Tour of the Children’s Cancer Institute late last month, coinciding with Children’s Cancer Awareness Month.

From L to R: Nikki Kinloch, Margaret McCullough, Julia Phillips, Katie Golden, Brianna Boyd-Smith, Kate Christian, Sajah Saleh, Dr Angelica Merlot.

From L to R: Nikki Kinloch, Margaret McCullough, Julia Phillips, Katie Golden, Brianna Boyd-Smith, Kate Christian, Sajah Saleh, Dr Angelica Merlot.

Following on from a record-breaking result last year, Cure Cancer Australia have once again been selected as the official charity partner for the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal.

Last year’s appeal raised $408,000 to fund a two-year research grant for childhood cancer researcher Dr Orazio Vittorio, based at the Children’s Cancer Institute. So what better way to introduce the staff of Sydney Airport to the research we support than with a lab tour of the Institute?

Attended by an incredibly engaged group of Sydney Airport staff, as well as Cure Cancer Australia CEO Nikki Kinloch, the Children’s Cancer Institute Lab Tour provided a rare opportunity to take a look ‘behind the laboratory doors’ of the centre, and experience firsthand what a day in the life of a childhood cancer researcher truly looks like.

Guests were welcomed to the venue by Cure Cancer Australia Research Program Manager Kate Christian, followed by a short video from Orazio (who was unfortunately away in Melbourne on the day, working on an important conjoint experiment).

Next up came a series of short but insightful presentations. Nikki Kinloch spoke about Cure Cancer Australia and her excitement over the upcoming Community Christmas Giving Appeal, whilst Anne Johnston, Head of Fundraising & Marketing at the Children’s Cancer Institute introduced the group to CCI’s Zero Childhood Cancer campaign

Cure Cancer Australia current grant recipient Dr Angelica Merlot rounded off the presentations, discussing her work in pancreatic cancer research and how the funding from Cure Cancer Australia is helping her to carry out her crucial project.

The afternoon continued with a tour the of the facility led by Angelica and Dr Amanda Philp (Researchers Development and Strategy Manager, CCI), which included a fascinating introduction to cryo-storage. Working in a similar way to freezers, cryo- storage allows researchers across the lab to store tumour samples for decades at a time so they can be studied and kept long term.

The session concluded with refreshments, providing an opportunity for guests to talk to the researchers in person. An enjoyable and educational day was had by all, and we were overwhelmed by the positive feedback from our attendees:

“We were very much impressed and inspired by the great work of Cure Cancer Australia, partners and researchers from our tour at CCI. The tour and presentation was the highlight of our week! Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about the great work and collaborations from all the partners involved. I always truly appreciate a behind the scenes view of a charity’s work and it was so good to have this direct from one of our major partners.”

Margie McCullough, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sydney Airport

It was so incredibly inspiring seeing first hand where everything happens, learning from one of the researchers and all the wonderful work your charity does left a lasting impression! We were both truly honoured to be included in such a special occasion.”

Brianna Boyd-Smith, Executive Assistant & Project Coordinator, Sydney Airport

A huge thank you to all those who took the time to participate. If you'd like to receive details about upcoming lab tours in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth please contact

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