I’d like to personally invite you to join the

Robert Connor Dawes Foundation Brain Trust


For five years we’ve been working towards sending brain cancer, the #1 cancer killer of young people, the way of the dinosaurs.

Currently, brain cancer kills more children than any other disease. Only five per cent survive high grade tumours and survival rates have barely changed in the last 30 years.


Brain cancer survival rate

5 year survival rate (%) from 1984 – 2013

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Inspired by a big heart and brain, the RCD Foundation was created in June 2013 in the memory of our son, Robert Connor Dawes.

Connor’s brilliant mind, strong body and gentle soul faced off against an ependymoma tumour. And like many others, his brains and brawn gave it all to fight against the poor odds but on April 20, 2013, Connor’s 16 month battle ended.

MANY BRAINS are better than one

In the last five years, we’ve made leaps and bounds.

We’ve raised much needed awareness, engaged our community and invested

$3 million in brain cancer research, care and development programs.

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Research: Contributing funds to research that will improve brain tumour treatments, including earlier detection, surgery and post-surgery treatments.

Care: Supporting families by organising and funding emotionally invaluable rehabilitation therapies and home assistance including music and yoga therapy.

Development: Inspiring the next generation of brain cancer practitioners and researchers through funding PhD Scholarships, Fellowships and youth engagement activities.


In just five years we’ve built the biggest event for paediatric brain cancer in Australia, Connor’s Run and raised $3 million for brain matters.

Community Engagement

Through fun and engaging community events we’ve built an army of passionate supporters, especially among young people. Each year Connor’s Run attracts 4,000 participants and 600 volunteers, Connor’s Beanie Round engages more than 10,000 children in the SMJFL and initiatives like Go Grey in May and Connor’s Erg engage thousands more school children, university students and workplaces.


We’re proud to be a leading voice of the brain cancer movement in Australia. Through our initiatives, advocacy and lobbying we’ve raised the profile of brain matters in Australia. Both in local communities and with the Federal Government’s Department of Health.


We know a cure won’t come from one lab or one country, which is why we’ve established a charity arm in the U.S (Connor’s birthplace) and partnered with world-leading research institutes and medical professionals from across the globe.

Your support will form the missing piece to the puzzle.

Improving survival rates requires the best minds, commitment and passion to get the job done.

That’s why we need proven leaders like you to join us in this movement. This is your invitation to be a game changer in paediatric brain cancer.


Join the 

Five projects. Five years.

Five million.

The Brain Trust will fund five crucial

projects over the next five years:

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Phase 2 of the AIM BRAIN Project

$1 million

AIM BRAIN is a four-year project, which brings world-leading diagnostic testing to every child diagnosed in Australia and New Zealand. In its first year, the project has already resulted in improved diagnosis and treatment plans for every child facing brain cancer.

Double Australian kids access to clinical trials

$1 million

In partnership with ANZCHOG we’re funding the infrastructure to support the administration of trials at Australia’s seven children’s cancer centres. Including software that allows for record keeping and the research that leads to the trial itself.

Immunotherapy research


Immunotherapy is a ground-breaking new treatment that has already led to significant improvements in treating other cancers. Now, we’re funding the Robert Connor Dawes Research Program at WEHI to investigate whether immunotherapy could have the same impact in childhood brain cancer.

US Research Fellowship

$1 million

Leveraging our charity’s US arm to fund key projects across the US will present collaboration opportunities for Australian researchers. The Fellowship will support Australia’s up and coming researchers by funding 12-18 months’ work experience at a leading US brain cancer research centre. This Fellowship would bring global knowledge back to Australia, opening the door for ongoing collaborations.

Connect Australia to global research

$1.25 million

Global collaborations require a research commitment to ‘carry one’s weight’, which with your support, we can fund to ensure Australian kids receive access to world-leading research. We currently have strong relationships with DFKZ in Germany, Sick Kids in Toronto, St. Jude’s in Memphis, Cambridge Oncology in the UK and Stanford University.


To get these projects off the ground, we’re asking you for a $100,000 pledge over the next five years to help invest in these critical projects.

Your generous donation will make you an integral part of brain cancer research. And ultimately, part of the cure.

Thank you for your interest in joining the Brain Trust.

I know together we can make a real difference to young people with Brain Cancer.

Aeternum Fortis,

Liz Dawes



Connor’s Mum, CEO and Founder

Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

PS. I’ll be in touch soon to answer any questions you may have.

Ready to join us?

Learn more about us

We are a registered charity with DGR 1 status in Australia and 501c3 status in the United States meaning all donations are tax deductible.

100% of donations go towards our brain matters projects. Our expenses are covered by our RCDF events which, after expenses are covered, also fund these fantastic brain projects.