The Build For A Cure house at Billy's Lookout is a labour of love by business for the community

CHANGING LIVES: Every dollar made through the sale of the luxury brand new home at Billy's Lookout, Teralba, will go to the Children's Cancer Institute for cancer research.

CHANGING LIVES: Every dollar made through the sale of the luxury brand new home at Billy's Lookout, Teralba, will go to the Children's Cancer Institute for cancer research.

I HAD the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Build for a Cure home in Lake Macquarie this month. It was an inspirational day that showed what can be achieved by working together.

The brand new home was built in just 21 days. It also shows the generosity of our business community and the importance and value of business giving back.

My team has the privilege of auctioning this luxury, four bedroom, architecturally designed home, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Cancer Institute.

Cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease. As a parent, I can’t imagine the horror of being told my child has cancer. No child or family should have to experience that.

Did you know childhood cancer is different from adult cancer with different causes? Historically, large pharmaceutical companies haven’t focused their research on discoveries for childhood cancers. There are more than 950 children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer in Australia each year and on average 50 of these will be kids from the Hunter Region. Although enormous advances have been made in improving survival rates, still nearly three children die from their cancer each week. The Children’s Cancer Institute is focused on working to reduce cancer deaths in children to zero.

For every $100,000 we raise the institute will be able to employ a researcher for a year. The benefit is far reaching. When local kids are diagnosed and treated for cancer, doctors at John Hunter Children’s Hospital and other hospitals send cancer samples to the institute for analysis. This helps doctors to create individualised treatment plans. It also contributes to the research knowledge of the institute and the medical profession to better understand and cure cancer.  

In our meetings with the institute, the team has been genuinely blown away by the generosity of support for the project here in the Hunter. From ambassador Scott Cam, local ambassadors and former winners of The Block TV show, Brad and Lara Cranfield, to the many businesses that are donating time, people and materials.

When you meet local families impacted by cancer, it reminds you why this kind of giving is vital. So many businesses have supported the project. The McCloy Group donated the land at Billy’s Lookout. McDonald Jones Homes, their suppliers and tradies have built the home. They haven’t just donated a standard home. It is a brand new design, filled with top of the line upgrades. Electrolux, Freedom and Panasonic have donated thousands of dollars’ worth of furniture, furnishings and appliances.

Many small businesses have also given their time, services and materials for free. This has delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of upgrades and makes valuing the property difficult. We urge buyers to recognise that value when they bid.

When I talk to the other business partners about how they got involved, they all report that they jumped in straight away. We obviously share the same philosophy that businesses must give back. We make money from our community and derive benefit from a stronger, healthier economy. It takes businesses and community working together to make that community a better and more caring place. No matter what size organisation, there is always something we can do to help others.

The “Build for a Cure” home goes under the hammer 1pm on October 23. Visit

Mark Kentwell is principal of PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie 

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