Business, politics and the arts unite to discover life-saving treatments in the numbers

A who’s who of Sydney society comes together tonight to support the hunt for life-saving new treatments in the vast databases collected by the Centenary Institute’s medical researchers.

PwC’s Managing Partner, Joseph Carrozzi, is hosting the Centenary Institute’s exclusive dinner, art sale and auction in PwC’s dining room  tonight.

He’s brought together a unique cross-section of Sydney society to for the dinner, in his role as Chairman of the Centenary Foundation.

The dinner is expected to raise $150,000.

Hosting tables this year are: Neil and Caroline Lawrence (with STW Communications Chairman, Rob Mactier); Centenary’s Chairman, Michael Egan (hosting News Limited CEO, Kim Williams, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, and the Hon David Bradbury MP); Simon and Julie Ford (hosting Qantas hero, Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny); Justice Margaret Beazely; Teresa Anderson CEO of Inner Sydney Health; and Professor Mathew Vadas, Centenary’s Director.

The after-dinner speaker is Dr William Ritchie, an engineer who is transforming research at Centenary.

He’s at the forefront of a research revolution: one of a new generation of physical scientists who are invading research laboratories. They’re hunting through the gigabytes of information produced in the lab and finding patterns: gene sequences connected with certain cancers for example; or DNA sequences that don’t seem to be doing anything. They’re even running virtual experiments – doing in seconds what would take months of laboratory work.

Today practically every laboratory at Centenary is generating gigabytes of data. And Dr Ritchie’s job is to find the useful information in the data – such as blood cells related to leukaemia and RNA connected with sudden cardiac arrest.

The funds raised by the dinner will support the development of Dr Ritchie’s laboratory and contribute to halving the time needed for many projects in the Institute’s priority areas in cardiac disease, liver, cancer, immunology and TB.

An eclectic collection of sculptures is for sale on the night, curated by Annette Larkin Fine Art and Dominik Mersch with support by Julie Ford and Caroline Lawrence. It includes works by Christopher Hodges, Malaluba Gumana, Paul Bacon, Rob McHaffie, Al Phemister, Michael Purdy and 11 other artists, including NSW government architect, Peter Poulet (also a guest at the dinner).

Paul Sumner, Managing Director, Mossgreen Auctions will auction a stunning collection of donated gifts including a vertical dozen of Rockford shiraz from 1998 to 2009; a performance by the Jonathan Zwartz Trio; a Randwick race day tour; a unique memento of Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny’s achievement in saving a Qantas A380 and its 466 passengers; box seats at the Bledisloe Cup and two Qantas return business class tickets to London.

Rare wines from Mount Mary, Peter Lehmann; Hardy’s and Seppeltsfield will accompany dinner.

For interviews and pictures contact Suzie Graham, 0418 683 166,