On Thursday 11 April, the Arab Bank Australia and George Khouzame Group’s annual charity event was held in support of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation, raising money for an unparalleled Australian initiative, Zero Childhood Cancer.

Over 270 caring individuals braced for an experience promising breathtaking views, high fashion and exquisite food and the 2019 Charity Brunch delivered nothing less.

Renowned for taking a ‘game-changing’ approach, Zero Childhood Cancer is the most ambitious childhood cancer initiative ever undertaken in Australia. This program is led by Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, bringing together all major Australian clinical and research groups working in childhood cancer to offer Australia's first ever personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer.

The personalised approach is what sets Zero Childhood Cancer apart and makes it so exciting. The challenge in curing every child is that every child’s cancer is unique. A treatment that works for one child may not work for another. By analysing each child’s unique cancer cells and finding therapies that specifically target these cells (‘targeted therapy’), this program gives each child the best chance of survival while at the same time minimising their risk of debilitating side effects.

This crucial program and the people behind it are now $76,850 closer to making valuable progress.

With the support and unwavering generosity of corporate sponsors, individual patrons and donors including the likes of Bowerhaus, Virgin Airlines, the Art Gallery Society of NSW, Australian Settlements Limited, Joh Bailey, House of K’Dor, Hotel Intercontinental Double Bay, Gregory Jewellers, Bulgari, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and Cosmopolitan Shoes, Ethan Group, Dimension Data/Oakton, TBH, Madison Marcus, Holdmark, Construction Consultants and First National Dee Why – to name a few - Arab Bank Australia and the George Khouzame Group were able to raise this incredible amount to assist with the Foundation’s research initiatives into childhood cancer.

Special guests on the day included Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir, The Honourable John Ajaka MLC, Lebanese Consul General Charbel Macaron and Mrs Joelle Macaron, Mrs Jenny Morrison, wife of Australian Prime Minister The Honourable Scott Morrison, Mrs Sandra Sidotti wife of the Honourable John Sidioti and Professor Leslie White.

“It is, without a doubt, one of the most heartfelt and close to home causes I’ve ever partaken in.” says Joseph Rizk OAM, Managing Director and CEO of Arab Bank Australia.

Hostesses of the event, Mrs Maureen Rizk of Arab Bank Australia and Ms Pricilla Khouzame (on behalf of Mrs Julie Khouzame) of the George Khouzame Group, both shared their devastating encounters with cancer, with Mrs Rizk expressing her gratitude to the Foundation after her son’s journey through Randwick hospital when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 10, “We credit the surgeons, doctors and nurses at the Sydney Children’s Hospital for providing our son and our family the strength to pull through such a traumatic event. The staff were absolutely wonderful and supportive, especially for the parents who themselves need support.”

Ms Khouzame ended her speech by sharing a quote, “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: the potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

The Zero Childhood Cancer approach holds the promise of one day curing every child of cancer and giving them the best possible quality of life. Arab Bank Australia and the George Khouzame hold fast to supporting initiatives like these, which promote the foundation of both their organisations – being there for the people and supporting the communities they serve.