Date: 16 March 2023
Legends of the music and entertainment industry united for young Australians with cancer
It was hotter than hot at Sony Foundation's iconic Wharf4ward event today which united the media and entertainment industry heavyweights to raise a phenomenal $1.26 MILLION to support young Australians with cancer.
Known as Sydney’s longest lunch down the length of Woolloomooloo Wharf, Wharf4Ward treated guests to special performances by Sony Music artists Daryl Braithwaite, Sam Fischer, Amy Shark, Pete Murray and Northeast Party House and was hosted by Sunrise’s David Koch and Natalie Barr, TODAY Show’s Sarah Abo and Brooke Boney and Richard Wilkins, Nine News Anchor, Peter Overton, Network Seven’s Samantha Armytage and James Tobin, Fitzy, Wippa & Kate Ritchie from Nova 969, Matty J, Laura Byrne and Network Ten’s Osher Gunsberg.
Husband and wife duo, Matty J and Laura Byrne competed to get the highest bids along the wharf during the luxury live auction, while Breakfast TV stars Kochie and Nat set the tempo early by encouraging guests to get on board with the fundarising efforts and pick up one of the media packages donated by Sony Foundation's 16 media partners across TV, Radio, Print, Digital and OOH.
Guests were treated to fine dining at restaurants Kingsleys, OTTO, Manta, China Doll and Elements Bar & Grill with drinks flowing from Mumm Champagne, Fox Gordon Wine, Aperol, Asahi and Santa Vittoria.
NSW Health Minister, Hon. Brad Hazzard attended and delivered a speech in support of the important work of Sony Foundation’s You Can program in NSW.
Alarmingly, one third of youth cancer patients are from regional areas and they are more likely to suffer mental health issues, financial strain and isolation due to the increased burden of seeking life-saving treatment in major cities. The survival rate of Australians living more than 200km from cancer treatment can be up to 30% lower than people living close by.
Funds raised at Wharf4Ward 2023 will go towards Sony Foundation’s You Can Stay program, providing accommodation in self-contained apartments, at no cost, for 15 – 25-year-old regional patients near city hospitals, as a vital step to bridging this gap. Since launching in 2020, the Foundation has provided over 13,000 nights of accommodation for over 200 patients nationally.
CEO of Sony Foundation, Sophie Ryan said, “We have to do more to support our young people from country areas. Our You Can Stay program is about lessening the gap between city and regional health services to support youth cancer patients. We know that cancer doesn’t just affect the young person, it affects the whole family and through You Can Stay, we are ensuring families are kept together as they face the toughest time in their lives.
“The support of over 50 corporate and media companies today is an incredible example of the impact corporate philanthropy can have in addressing some of our most pressing social issues.”
17-year-old Annabel Petersen from Canberra was diagnosed with Leukaemia requiring her to be treated in Sydney, which lasted for 15 months. Annabel’s family were provided a 2-bedroom apartment, at no cost, thanks to Sony Foundation’s You Can Stay program.
Annabel shared her story in front of the 900 strong crowd to shine a light on the hardship of cancer in your youth.
“The age between 15-25 is awkward in the cancer world. You are often too young to be treated in your home city, yet you are old enough to be considered an adult which comes with further complications. The huge financial and emotional strain that was impending on my family vanished when we were offered our own apartment in Sydney by the Sony Foundation, a home away from home.”