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In 2011, Australian fashion icon Jennifer Hawkins and retired paediatrician (turned artist) Dr Cliff Hosking were announced as dual Patrons of HCRF.
If ever a young woman has led a fairy tale life it is Jennifer Hawkins, the former Knights rugby league cheerleader who was crowned Miss Universe in 2004.
Born in Newcastle as the youngest of four children to Gail and Robert Hawkins, Jennifer won the Miss Universe title at the tender age of 20.
Suddenly her world revolved around a luxurious apartment in New York and global travels as an ambassador for HIV/AIDS awareness.
Jennifer has since graced the cover of every major fashion magazine in Australia. She is a guest presenter for Channel 9’s Getaway program, founder of her own swimwear label and the marketing face of department store Myer among other international fashion and beauty houses.
At the same time, Jennifer remains conscious of her public responsibilities and has supported many worthwhile charities, including Sydney Cancer Foundation, The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Canteen and Make-a-Wish Foundation.
“I really wanted to support HCRF as they do so much for community. I grew up in Newcastle so it’s very close to my heart and it’s amazing to see the medical advances being achieved by researchers in the region, particularly for young children,” Jennifer said.
“It can be heartbreaking to see kids in hospital or suffering long-term illnesses, but also reassuring to know that brilliant people are working on positive solutions and better clinical care.
“As a HCRF patron I hope I can help in some way to build recognition and their fund-raising profile.”
You enter the world of Dr Cliff Hosking through the low-slung doors of his aptly named Duck Down art studio in Mount Hutton, Lake Macquarie.
Inside, dozens of his moody watercolours vie for attention on the walls, while nearby is a long table and easel where nowadays he teaches painting and drawing.
Three years ago, at the age of 70, Cliff retired from a distinguished 45-year paediatric career to devote full attention to his long-held artistic passion, though he still dabbles in medical research.
As the former Director of Paediatrics at John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Cliff played an integral role in establishing the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation in 1996 after being approached by volunteer fundraisers Janelle Shakespeare and Lorraine Gardner.
His wife, Professor Trish Davidson, is currently the Director of Children’s Services for Hunter New England Health and also actively involved with the Foundation.
Cliff is thrilled to be named Patron of HCRF, along with Jennifer Hawkins.
“They obviously chose the two most beautiful people from the Hunter,” he quipped.
“I see the role as being a figurehead, attending charity events and helping to promote the Foundation.
Paediatric work has been my life so I am delighted and honoured to continue my involvement.”
Cliff studied medicine in Queensland then worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, for 20 years, before taking up a post at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in the early ’90s.
He is still following a Victorian cohort study dating back to 1991 looking at food allergies.