Scope 42 - A Volunteer Profile - Trudi Gardner

16 July 2010, Supporting the Malaghan Institute

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