Founder and CEO of Robert Connor Dawes Foundation
In October 2011 Liz Dawes’ world was turned upside down when her eldest son, Robert ‘Connor’ Dawes, was diagnosed with brain cancer. In April 2013, after a 16-month battle, Connor sadly lost his fight to brain cancer.
Turning her greatest tragedy into her greatest purpose, Liz created the biggest paediatric brain cancer charity in the county to ensure that one day, no family has to go through what hers did.
In her role as CEO and Chairperson of the Board of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, Liz has worked tirelessly to develop the foundation to be the biggest paediatric brain cancer foundation in Australia. In this role, Liz manages the country’s largest paediatric brain cancer event, Connor’s Run, and has been crucial in lobbying the Federal Government to secure funding for the disease – which kills more young people than any other cancer.
Liz has been asked to take part in round tables with the top minds in paediatric brain cancer in Australia and abroad and was responsible for the AIM Brain Project (co-funded by the Federal Government), which ensures every child diagnosed in Australia and New Zealand has access to world-class testing technology.
Liz has always been a savvy businesswoman and passionate about helping her community, having held several high-profile roles in sales and marketing across the United States and In Australia. Fearless in her attitude and thoughtful in her approach, Liz has built relationships with top business leaders at Coles, Renault and NAB and done what few have managed to – spur thousands of people into supporting a previously unknown, seldom mentioned illness.
Throughout her career she has fought ageism, sexism and the stigma of being ‘just a grieving mother’, but has taken it in her stride. Now, she believes anyone can utilise the coping and business strategies she’s mastered, regardless of experiencing such tragedy.
Liz has turned her greatest tragedy into her greatest purpose and has inspired countless adults, teenagers and children to make a real difference to a relatively unknown disease.