AMDF Awards 2017

The AMDF is pleased to announce the winners of the AMDF Awards for 2017. The Awards were  presented during Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week to thank individuals for their significant contribution to the mito community. Awards have been gifted to volunteers, donors, and researchers, as well as people who have been making a difference to the foundation and community as a whole since the AMDF began.

The winners of the AMDF Awards are as follows:

AMDF Chairman’s Award

Toni Catton

Toni Catton supports the mito community and the foundation in a multitude of ways. She has fundraised and participated in Bloody Long Walk, hosted Stay in Bed Days, organised fundraising and awareness raising events, shared her daughter Alana’s story and has spoken at a Mito Information Day. Toni’s generosity in giving so much time to help others and raise awareness, while fighting for her daughter, is invaluable.

AMDF CEO’s Award

Jake Costello

Jake is long-time supporter of AMDF and is an active fundraiser. This year is the fourth time he has hosted the Mito Masters, a golf tournament held at the Australian Golf Club in support of his niece Mielle who has mito. The last three events have raised $130,000, and we look forward to this year’s tournament increasing that total. His dedication to Mielle and the mito community, through the Mito Masters is greatly appreciated.

AMDF Advocacy Award

Dan Loden

As a father whose child has mito, Dan is a passionate advocate for AMDF and has spoken with MPs to raise awareness about mito and mitochondrial donation. He also secured local Perth MP, Tim Hammond’s support of The Bloody Long Walk this year. Dan has shared his family’s story with the media and is a successful fundraiser. We thank Dan for his contribution to the community.

AMDF Award for Excellence in Mitochondrial Research

These awards are presented to researchers who have conducted exemplary work in the field of mitochondrial medicine.

Alison Compton with AMDF CEO Sean Murray

Alison Compton – Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Biallelic Mutations in TMEM126B Cause Severe Complex I Deficiency with a Variable Clinical Phenotype

Ann Fraizer with AMDF CEO Sean Murray

Ann Fraizer – Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
ATAD3 gene cluster deletions cause cerebellar dysfunction associated with altered mitochondrial DNA and cholesterol metabolism





AMDF Awareness Award

Alice Gibson

AMDF CEO Sean Murray; Alice Gibson; AMDF Chairman Doug Lingard

Alice has been an active advocate for mitochondrial donation. She has met with MPs, and shared her personal journey with mito with the media. Alice has played a significant role in Australia’s efforts for Light Up for Mito, inviting all 79 local Victorian Councils to participate as part of Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. This year, she established ‘Mito Merch’, a range of clothing, bags and accessories that include humorous slogans about mito to raise awareness. Alice donates a portion of the proceeds to AMDF.

Alice has also participated in numerous support initiatives, including leading the Melbourne Mito Support Group. Alice does everything with a smile and we are so grateful for her incredible contribution!


AMDF Community Spirit Award

Mel and Andrew Macaulay

Mel is part of the Mito Community Advisory Panel at AMDF. Both Mel and Andrew wrote the training program for Bloody Long Walk and in 2016 they cycled 1350 km from Hervey Bay in Queensland to Circular Quay to raise awareness and funds for AMDF. They also took on the phenomenal challenge of riding 215 km from Yarraman to Ipswich along the Brisbane Valley Rain Trail in August. They arrived at Southbank ready to start The Bloody Long Walk Brisbane. Mel and Andrew are due for their next Bloody Long Ride from their home in Queensland to Canberra. Their exceptional spirit and contribution to fundraising means so much to the mito community.

AMDF GP Appreciation Awards

The AMDF GP Appreciation Awards are a way for AMDF to acknowledge and thank GPs who are supportive, caring and understand the needs of people with mito. As a complex and chronic condition, the support of a knowledgeable and compassionate GP is essential in ensuring the best outcomes for patients.

Members of the mito community nominated the following GPs for the award:

• Dr Antony Bayliss – Colleges Crossing Family Practice, Brisbane, QLD
• Dr Stephen Blanch – Western Sports Ortho and GP Practice, Adelaide, SA
• Dr Himashi Fonseka – Stanhope Medical Centre, Sydney, NSW
• Dr Sue Kiang, Castle Hill Medical Centre, Sydney, NSW

AMDF Inspiration Award

Mito Quilts of Hope – Margaret Cuthbertson

Margaret started Mito Quilts of Hope in 2014 in an effort to raise awareness of mitochondrial disorders and provide comfort for patients. Margaret’s passion for quilting and for supporting the mito community has resulted in many members of the community enjoying her work. Thank you Margaret for supporting people with mito, stitch by stitch.

Mito Community Appreciation Award

Dr Christine Wools

Dr Christine Wools was nominated by the mito community for her extensive knowledge and support for mito patients. Dr Wools is a neurologist who cares for mito patients at Calvary Healthcare Bethlehem in Melbourne, as part of a multi-disciplinary clinic.

Her extensive knowledge, patience, warmth and humour is much appreciated by our family” – Mito Community Member.

Thank you Dr Wools for supporting the mito community.

AMDF Support Award

Pam Hausler

Pam has been heavily involved with the AMDF since it was founded in 2009, both through volunteering in the office and offering support to others in the mito community. She is a member of the Mito Community Advisory Panel and is part of the AMDF Support Network. Pam is an active member of the AMDF’s Facebook Support Group and regularly participates in Mito Connect Calls, Information Days and support group meetings. Pam’s practical advice about living with mito has helped many. Thank you Pam for your incredible contribution and support of the mito community.

AMDF School Community Award

Galston Public School

The school has held Stay in Bed Days for a number of years, raising awareness of mito with their school community. Their continued support is greatly appreciated – thank you!

AMDF Volunteer Awards
Cassie Hames

Cassie has helped develop the Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week website for the last two years. Her contribution has not only benefited the Australian mito community, but also those affected worldwide. The AMDF team is appreciative of her service, time and skill. Thank you Cassie.

Tamara Robins

Tamara’s sense of creativity, collaboration and initiative has led to significant funds and awareness being raised for mito. This year alone, Tamara has helped organise the awareness-raising event Dream to Be, arranged for Perth monuments to by lit for Light Up for Mito and is taking on The Bloody Long Walk Perth again. Thank you Tamara for giving so much time to help others.

AMDF Youth Award

Lani Quirk

Lani is 17 years old and shows great courage and maturity in her fight against mito. She has participated in The Bloody Long Walk and shared her story during a Mito Information Day this year. Lani is an exceptional role model for other young people affected by mito. Thank you Lani!