Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Remarks at the Jane McGrath High Tea at the Commonwealth Bank Pink Test

05 January 2016

SCG, Sydney

Prime Minister



Thank you Petra for that very kind welcome and your description of the extraordinary work of the McGrath Foundation and your leadership. And so many distinguished guests here today, all of you are distinguished because you are all going to distinguish yourself by enormous generosity to the McGrath Foundation. That's the distinction that we should all be proud of today.

Can I acknowledge Glenn McGrath and Sara, James and Holly McGrath and baby Madison McGrath, Tracy Bevan, McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director, John Conde, the Chairman, and of course, Troy Grant, the Deputy Premier.

Now, Petra mentioned that the McGrath Foundation does receive support from government, I understand the New South Wales Government has contributed $2.5 million dollars this year and the Federal Government is contributing, this was announced in the Budget, $18 million over four years, as we should.

I just want to note the extraordinary inspiration of Jane McGrath's life. Jane McGrath's vision, the way Glenn has carried that, his leadership, his inspiration has moved so many people to do such remarkable work in support of women with breast cancer. Petra has talked about the 110 breast care nurses, and it is good to see some of you here today. Thank you again, so much. Let's give them another round of applause.

The way you have inspired so much fundraising, community fundraising, and I know we will be hearing from Hugh Bateman, the driver of the Pink Tractor shortly, but really, that is a great effort and you’ve exceeded your target of $380,000 and I know that is separate, of course, to what was planned for the Pink Test today, but, well done.

And Glenn, it is remarkable, the way, the world of charitable fundraising is very competitive. There are a lot of good causes out there, there are no bad ones, they are all great causes. But, the McGrath Foundation has a certain charisma about it and it is a charisma of you and your family, Jane, Sara, your children, what you have brought to this is changing the lives for the better of so many women.

Now, as Petra said, one in eight Australian women will fight breast cancer in their lives. But, that's bad news, that's bad. But, the good news is that thanks to the advances in medical science and the work of great carers, great nurses like those supported by all of us here today, and the McGrath Foundation - 89 per cent of patients survive the treatment and the disease. And that is remarkable. That is great news. That is real progress.

Now, let me encourage you. Let me explain why your money, your support, your financial support for the McGrath Foundation is so important. You may think, you may say, ‘well, I pay my taxes and I pay my tax to the State Government, I pay my tax to the Federal Government, and they've put some money in, so why should I do anything else?’

Well, there are many claims on governments, more claims then there is money to pay for it. And, you know the dollar that you give today will buy no more than a dollar that Troy Grant's Government gives or my Government gives, but, it has a special quality because it comes with your love.

It is not an impersonal payment announced in a Budget speech or doled out by bureaucrats. It comes from your heart. It comes with your love. It comes with your commitment, it’s part of you. And so, supporting the McGrath Foundation is a way of putting part of yourself into this extraordinary work. Part of your love, part of your care, part of your compassion is tied in with that financial support.

So, please, we can't help the weather, Troy and I are still arguing about whether it is a State or Federal responsibility, I mean, it's not raining everywhere in Australia so it clearly is a state responsibility.

But, the most important thing is to give generously today. So, let's all do that. Let's defy the elements, defy the elements and make this a record fundraising year for the Pink Test.

Thank you all very much.