In the lead-up to the Gallipoli Centenary, Calleija is honoured and excited to announce a very important partnership with the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, based at Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane. The dedicated team at GMRF are conducting revolutionary research into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To help raise funds for this worthwhile project, the Foundation is holding a Gala Ball at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday 18 April, where the winners of a worldwide silent auction will be announced. The lead auction piece has been designed by John Calleija, titled the “Calleija Gallipoli Poppy Brooch”. Featuring a stunning hand-carved Pink Tourmaline, White Diamonds, Green Tsavorite gemstone leaves, a rare Australian Arygle Pink Diamond all crafted in 18ct White and Rose Gold, the brooch has taken 200 hours to create and is valued at $52,000. This commemorative creation has been generously donated by Calleija to GMRF to raise much-needed funds and support the incredibly important research being conducted.
This week Dame Quentin Bryce was officially named the Patron of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, increasing the profile of the Foundation’s initiative even further. Dame Quentin’s work to support those affected by domestic violence aligns closely with the aims of the PTSD Initiative and she is proud to lend her voice to this vital, world-first research currently taking place in GMRF laboratories. This week, Dame Quentin became the first person to wear the unique handcrafted brooch, during her interview with Channel Seven Brisbane.
In addition to the historical significance of this commemorative piece, we asked John about his commitment to this project. Calleija says, “I initially heard about the PTSD research from a friend, Dr David Colquhuon. There is very little research being carried out to aid in the treatment of PTSD and I wondered how I could help. I know PTSD affects so many people of all ages, from all walks of life, and it’s all around us in everyday life — it’s not solely related to war and the military. I feel passionate about raising money for this worthy cause so that the research can continue and a support program developed for those suffering. This is a great cause and I feel honoured and privileged to be able to contribute in any way I can. I feel incredibly lucky to work in the jewellery industry — it’s a joyous field of exquisite creations that make people feel good about themselves and brings smiles to all those around us. By donating the Calleija Gallipoli Poppy Brooch to this wonderful cause I hope this will raise further awareness of PTSD, along with financial funding, and a lot of joy and pride to the generous winner of the brooch. Many people have suffered some kind of trauma in their life whether it’s losing a loved one, victims of crime, an accident or a traumatic event – you never know who is struggling and I want to help ensure that there is a safe and secure process to help those that are. PTSD affects so many people and it could affect anyone at any time — young or old”.
John continues, “I also felt drawn to contribute a unique emblem of the strength, resilience and tenacity of our ANZAC heroes and the families behind them. I hope the proceeds of the auction of the brooch ensures that this tribute to the ANZAC Centenary will not just live on through the brooch, but also through the millions of lives that will be positively affected by the outcomes of the PTSD research it will fund”.
There are many ways in which you can contribute, as the Foundation has a wide selection of bid items. View them and place your silent bid from anywhere in the world, on the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation website. Visit: www.galabid.com/GMRF