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Robert & Janine's love for PA

Wednesday 02 December 2020

When Robert and Janine Fiumara started considering who they would leave a bequest to in their wills, they knew they wanted to have a lasting impact that would change lives.

Once the Clayfield couple took a tour of the PA Hospital (PAH) they were quickly moved and convinced the PA Research Foundation was the right place for them.

After careers in Air Services and with Qantas, Robert and Janine first started to think of giving to a hospital foundation after Robert experienced a serious health scare. Four years ago, Robert was admitted into intensive care to treat a rare artery aneurysm that eventually required having a stint inserted.

Though not treated at the PAH, the care shown to Robert led him to want to volunteer in hospitals and give back to the community.

Robert's experience and an upcoming trip to Israel led Janine to begin the conversation with Robert about the couple's wills and how they would leave a long term legacy, a chat that resulted in a meeting to speak with their financial advisor.

"My financial advisor said to me, "what do you want to do with proportions of your money and estate when you pass away? and I thought, you know what? I'd like to give to an organisation, or to a hospital and know it's going to a very worthy cause," Robert said.

"At the time I looked into it and I thought about the PA Hospital and the PA Research Foundation, it was a combination of thinking of the PA Foundation and looking at hospitals where I could go and volunteer.

"I did some of my own research, and I had heard of the work done at the PA Foundation, so I made an appointment to visit the Foundation. This resulted in a walk around with Damian ( PA Research Foundation, Chief Executive Officer Damian Topp). Janine and I were so impressed after our walk and talking to Damian, and it just went from there."

Robert and Janine said the extent of the work the PA Research Foundation does, and the calibre of the staff both at the PA Hospital campus and within the Foundation itself was a key factor in their decision.

A key event on the couple's calendar each year is the Metro South Health Research Support Scheme Awards where they enjoy meeting the PA Research Foundation award recipients and learning about the work their generosity goes towards.

Robert and Janine pictured at this year's Research Awards ceremony

"Everything they showed us and the amount of work that they do, and the intelligence of the people that they've got there doing the research and all the good they're doing for people is just amazing and it's all happening here in Brisbane," Janine said.

"It's just unbelievable when you go to the research award nights and all the amazing minds in the room, you feel quite humble about the whole thing."

"The scope of the work that gets done there at PA and the people, it just blew us away. The dedication of the doctors, the researchers, the people that work there, it just was so inspiring, and they are matched by the staff at the Foundation, they're all just incredible," Robert said.

"When we did the tour, Damian took us into different places of research and there was lots of cutting edge technology which is absolutely unbelievable, and world-class."

Robert and Janine would encourage anyone considering leaving a gift in their will, or supporting a health-related organisation, to touch base with the Foundation and learn first-hand the impact they can have.

Knowing their support of the PA Research Foundation goes towards funding patient-focused transformational health research in a range of areas including, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, bladder cancer and more is not only rewarding for them, but has made them both financial and vocal advocates of giving to the organization.

"I speak about the Foundation and what a worthy cause is to my friends whenever I can," Janine said.

"When we give to the PA, we know we're putting our money to something that is not just for Brisbane or the local community, they're helping everyone around the world. Whatever you're donating is not going to help a small amount of people, it's going to help millions of people," Robert said.

"If there's an opportunity for me to tell someone about the Foundation, I always do. I haven't got any problem, any hesitation in doing that."

Though they have chosen to leave a gift in their will to the Foundation, Robert said he always supports each campaign the Foundation runs as his trust in the organisation is so high.

"I'm on the mailing list and I give to them each time whenever there's a cause, and I feel so happy. It's a big thing in my life to give to the PA Foundation now," he said.

"I will forever give to the PA Foundation, and I will not stop, and if I can give more, I'll give more."

For more information on how you can support the work of the PA Research Foundation or to donate head to our website.