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NVW2022: With a little help from our Friends

22 June 2022

From running charity fundraisers in their local communities to advocating for the Malaghan Institute across their own professional and personal networks, our Friends are a vital part of the Malaghan team. As we celebrate Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu National Volunteer Week, Wellington Friend Jane Paterson shares what drives her passion for the Malaghan and for volunteering.

The first Friends of the Malaghan Institute was established in Wellington in 1987 when Sylvia Bennett recognised the need to promote awareness of the Institute and to assist in its fundraising ventures. Today, Friends of the Malaghan Institute are active in Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Taupō and Bay of Plenty, all sharing Syliva’s desire to support the Institute’s research through fundraising and advocacy.

Jane Paterson is Chair of the Wellington Friends and has a connection with the Institute that goes back many years.

“My mother introduced me to the Malaghan Institute and when she died in 1988 she asked for donations to go to the Institute instead of flowers. So I have known about their work for a long time. When my late husband, Ian Paterson, became a member of the Trust Board, I wanted to have more involvement myself so joined the Friends in about 2017," says Jane.

While COVID-19 has impacted their ability to get out in the local community, over the years the Wellington Friends have raised funds for the Institute through events such as fashion parades, cocktails parties and charity golf days.

“Each member contributes different skills but together we have the shared desire to ensure the scientists at the Institute are able to continue their fabulous research without distraction."

Jane says she is in awe of the work of the scientists at the Malaghan who together with the talented support team, do amazing work to fight disease throughout the world. “The fact that it is a completely independent research organisation is also important.”

Alongside volunteering for the Malaghan Institute, Jane has a long history of community service. 

"I am a member of the Port Nicholson Rotary Club and the Rotary motto of Service above Self resonates strongly with me. I have always been involved supporting organisations such as school committees, coaching sports teams, or raising funds for charities like Mary Potter Hospice. Giving back to the community is part of my DNA and something I have instilled in my own family.”


To find out more about becoming a Friend of the Malaghan Institute contact our Fundraising Team