- Liz Dawes established the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation in memory of her late son, and in just four years has raised $3 million for paediatric brain cancer
- She also created the largest event in Australia (Connor’s Run) for paediatric brain cancer, the country’s number one cancer killer of young people
- An inspiring ambassador, Liz has been working tirelessly to raise awareness for the little-known disease. She’s rallied communities worldwide and has been featured on Raw Courage TV, Channel 9 News, Herald Sun and many others
- She successfully lobbied the Federal Government to co-fund the AIM Brain Project, bringing world-class testing and research to every child in Australia and New Zealand
- Notably, she was invited to take part in the Federal’s Government’s Brain Cancer Roundtable alongside the best minds in paediatric brain cancer in the country and the world.
- Named 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review for her efforts with the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation.
- Motivation and inspiration (Productive Grieving)
When Liz lost her 18-year-old son Connor to brain cancer she didn’t fall apart, she got to work. Using her son as inspiration, Liz has learned how to harness grief and hardship into a powerful positive force and to always see things with a different perspective.
- Global collaboration and relationships
Liz Dawes is responsible for greater international collaboration in the brain cancer industry. She’s established a strong presence in Australia and the United States, and in doing so, has developed relationships with major brands and top tier education institutions in both countries.
- Creating positive disruption
In just a few years Liz has built Australia’s biggest charity for paediatric brain cancer and has caught the attention of the global industry. By being creative, bold and taking risks, Liz has carved out a niche in a crowded market place and challenged the stereotypical notion of what a NFP should be or do. With no prior experience or preconceptions of the industry, Liz has tried what others haven’t to bring a new mindset to a complicated problem.
- Marketing to millennials and brand authenticity
Liz’s foundation is fuelled by an army of passionate young people. By staying genuine to Connor’s legacy and keeping things FUN, Liz has created a brand that is fresh and relevant to millennials. From the creative branding, to the events, to the way she engages her community, there’s no dwelling on the negatives or guilt trips here. Instead, Liz has created exciting campaigns and experiences that get teenagers off the Xbox and engaging with a charitable cause.
As my daughter’s will tell you, Liz has brought cool into charity. It’s refreshing to see, especially given the circumstances. Liz is an engaging speaker and her story worth hearing. I have every faith Liz’s efforts will make a significant, positive impact on pediatric brain cancer.
Liz is an inspirational and courageous leader and speaker who took the awful pain of losing her son Connor to a brain tumour, to not only create the Foundation and to raise much needed funds for treatments and research but to also become a thought leader in brain cancer.
Deputy Chair RMIT
Directorships: Epworth Hospital and Robert Connor Dawes Foundation
Liz has created something beautiful- connecting young people in the most genuine way from life’s most unimaginable loss. She has channelled her son’s ‘awesome’ spirit into creating a meaningful legacy that is touching not only children and their families with brain cancer but the wider community, especially young people. Listening to Liz is incredibly inspirational, she is literally moving mountains.
Liz has a special and unique gift genuinely connecting with young people. Liz is a wonderful, engaging speaker, the way in which she held the Senior School boys in the palm of her hand was wonderful to see. She made an impact.
Head of Senior School
Hi Liz, you know, I have been reading the media and thinking .. and I must say .. I know it is the truth that YOU started this journey to bring attention to pediatric brain tumors and the dismal outcomes. You HAD NO FEAR and you have plowed through bureaucracies, you have pushed open doors, started conversations, and never let up. I am humbled to have been able to make a very small contribution to your journey. I hope to do more. You have MADE THIS HAPPEN and never lose sight of this fact. A story to tell, and while I know you just want outcomes for the children and the families and the research, but the story is also about a Mother, who in her heart, knew she had to find a way to engage people to do better..as Joe Biden said 'tomorrow is too late'. You are magnificent, humble and fierce. Connor and all of us are immensely proud. YOU.DID.THIS. Thank you on behalf of everyone.