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Scope 42 - A Volunteer Profile - Trudi Gardner

16 July 2010

Annabel Lush, representing the Malaghan Institute from our Northern Office, recently spoke with Trudi Gardner about why she chose to volunteer as a member of the Auckland Friends group:

When did you first start fundraising?

I guess like many New Zealanders, I began fundraising by collecting milk bottle caps and coins for charity while at primary school! As a teenager, I sold Girl Guide biscuits and helped with charities my mother was involved in, such as the Red Cross.

What have you done since you have been a parent yourself?

I have done a wide range of volunteer work and fundraising - for Plunket, Auckland Kindergarten Association, Brownies, Cubs, Primary School Galas, our children's sports teams, and Auckland City Art gallery where I was a docent for seven years.

It has been most enjoyable because, by volunteering, I have been really involved in these organisations and have been able to really get to know people in each place.

When did you first hear about the Malaghan Institute?

I heard of the research facility when it first started in Wellington in the 70's. It appealed to me because it is a NZ organisation. As NZers, we have a fresh, inventive, yet highly professional approach, which may just make all the difference in tackling some of the serious illnesses we have. Coming from an arts background, I admire the technology and scientific expertise in medical research.

Why did you decide to volunteer?

Originally, I volunteered because I just thought it was a worthwhile institute. I had some free time and I wanted to be contributing somehow in the community.

Was there a personal connection?

On reflection, I realise there are several personal reasons: my best friend died of cancer, my mother-in-law had multiple sclerosis, my nephew had severe childhood asthma.  Last year, I went to a school class reunion and found that four of my class mates had died of cancer. These are all illnesses the Malaghan Institute is researching so I couldn't have chosen a better place to support.

If you would like to volunteer for the Malaghan Institute from anywhere in New Zealand, please contact:
Vicky Hale on (04)499 6914 x821