We are powered by many big hearts & brains that volunteer time, money & services.
As a result, we’re able to put 100% of tax-deductible donations towards our brain matters projects. Our expenses are covered by our RCDF events which, after expenses are covered, also fund these fantastic brain projects. Here is the impact you’ve made.

RCD Fund Icons

As of June 2020

$7 million

Impact dollars raised


$10.5 million

Sourced for the cause

Alfie’s Project

Hudson Institute of Medical Research

$113,000 per year over 2 years

In memory of Alfie Chivers, we will be funding a CRISPR project at Hudson Institute of Medical Research led by Dr. Gabrielle Bradshaw.

Discovered by scientists in the US and Europe in 2012, CRISPR technology is a tool for editing the genome (an organism’s complete set of DNA, like an instruction manual for all of our genes). It enables scientists to easily alter DNA sequences to uncover the role of specific genes in diseases – such as identifying mutations driving resistance to cancer treatment in patients.


Ependymoma science meeting – 8-9 October 2020, Cambridge UK


This October, we are funding an Ependymoma science meeting in Cambridge, UK.

This global conference is co-chaired by world renowned paediatric brain cancer researchers Richard Gilbertson, Director of CRUK Cambridge Centre and Michael Taylor, Neurosurgeon and Research Institute Principal Investigator at Sick Kids, Toronto Canada. 15 researchers from around the world, including Brandon Wainwright and Nick Gottardo from Australia will attend in an attempt to unravel some of the complexities of ependymoma at a basic science level.

Clinical Trials

Australian & New Zealand Children’s Haemotology / Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) & Australian Brain Cancer Mission (ABCM)

$10 million over 5 years

We have joined forces with the Financial Markets Foundation for Children (FMFFC), the Australian Federal Government, and Carries’ Beanies 4 Brain Cancer (CB4BC) to pledge a total of $10 million over five years for paediatric brain cancer clinical trials.

We have committed to $1.25 million over five years. with funds going towards the Australian Brain Cancer Mission (ABCM) and The Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) to help accelerate and participate in global trials to help build Australian infrastructure across the nine Australian children’s hospitals, allowing kids around the country equal access to paediatric brain cancer trials.

AIM Brain Project

Australian & New Zealand Children’s Haemotology / Oncology Group (ANZCHOG)

$2 million over 4 years

We are pleased to announce that our AIM Brain Project is now fully funded!
We are bringing molecular diagnostic testing to every child in Aus & NZ,  this will be a first and a critical step in bringing the latest testing and treatment options to children.

More about the project

Robert Connor Dawes Research Program

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

$500 000 over 5 years

Headed up by Dr. Misty Jenkins the program will investigate how immunotherapy – treatments that harness the body’s own immune system to fight their cancer – can be tailored to treat paediatric brain cancer.

More about the program

Molecular Subtyping

Monash Children’s Cancer Centre

$75 000 over 12 months

Directed towards a personalised medicine brain program.

Robert Connor Dawes CERN Fellowship

Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network (CERN)

$120 000 over 2 years

In partnership with our US charity, $30,000/year from each and CERN,  the best and brightest will be selected for this coveted Fellowship investigating Ependymoma.

More about the project.

Robert Connor Dawes
PhD Research Scholarship

Monash Institute – Brain Cancer Discovery Collaborative (BCDC)

$100 000 over 4 years

Increasing the number of young research talent taking an interest and entering the field of brain cancer means that more brains are on the job of finding new treatments.

Zero Childhood Cancer Program

Children’s Cancer Institute Australia

$100 000 over 3 years

Personalised medicine is literally the cutting edge of cancer treatment. Through new discoveries about how DNA and cancer are linked, individually targeted therapies can be investigated for each child.

All big things have small beginnings

COGNO: Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia /  RCD Foundation  /  $100 000

Provide researchers with access to the quantity and quality of tissue and data they need to accelerate brain cancer research.

Royal Children’s Hospital-CIKA / $75 000

Assisting RCH’s brain cancer tissue bank. This donation is in memory of Pippa Rea with generous support from her family and friends.

Radiology Videographer /  Patient Care Equipment / Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre /  $40 000

As part of care support, we’re increasing the radiology resources at Peter Mac to expand the patient video program. Including funding virtual reality technology to help prepare young patients for treatment. Learn more

Music Matters Grants /  RCD Foundation  /  $120 000 (to date)

Providing patients throughout Australia (referred via various children’s hospital referral program) with accredited music therapy at home to help the heart sing and the mind heal.

Travel Grants /  RCD Foundation  /  $75 000

Giving young researchers an opportunity to attend and present at important national and international industry conferences.

Yoga Matters Grants /  RCD Foundation   /  $5 000

Providing patients (referred via various rehabilitation centres) with yoga therapy at home to help the heart sing and the mind heal.

Industry Collaboration & Awareness Activities /   $80 000

Sponsoring conferences and seminars that gather the industry’s best minds and put the spotlight on brain tumour projects. This enables collaboration and begins forming a platform for the industry to form a plan for paediatric brain cancer.

Telethon Kids Cancer Centre Research Project (co-funding) $50 000

The Ion Channel Drugs for the Treatment of Aggressive Childhood Brain Tumours project, led by Professor Terry Johns, grew out of the Institute’s innovative Blue Sky program – a project aimed at encouraging high-risk high-reward research.

CERN International Study /  RCD Foundation  /  $40 000

Researchers in the risk factors associated with developing ependymoma
Read more about the Risk Project

Ependymoma Classification Project (co-funding) / Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne /  $10 000

The project involves further research into classifying different types of ependymomas and looking at empirical treatment data.  The science of genetic sequencing of the tumours  is improving and this can allow for better matching of treatment programs based on an individual’s tumour classification. This is a collaboration with Sick Kids Foundation Toronto.

ABI Outpatient Music Therapy + Music Equipment /  Monash Institute /  $10 000 + $2 500

A new pilot program offering support for outpatients being treated for an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Additional funds have been provided to upgrade the equipment used in music therapy.

Synchrotron Brain Tumour Study /  Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre /  $25 000

An exploration into whether brain tumours could be  better treated and have less long-term side effects by using synchrotron radiotherapy.

University of Wisconsin  / Connor’s Erg Challenge / $18 000

Neurological Surgery Brain Tumour Research and Education Fund, including work on Brain Painting and Immunotherapy

Stanford University  / Connor’s Erg Challenge / $25 000

Michelle Monje’s DIPG Research

Robyn Leonard, Founder of Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia (BCBA) and AMP Tomorrow Fund grant recipient.

Working Together

We’ve always said it’s better with more brains on the job. That’s why we’re collaborating with the two largest children’s cancer charities in Australia, the Children’s Cancer Foundation and the Kids’ Cancer Project Sydney, on key paediatric brain cancer projects.

Become a Keeper

Think of the things we could achieve in a long-term relationship! For as little as $10 per month you can become a regular donor to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and make a real difference for kids facing brain cancer. Find out more about becoming a Keeper.