A leading philanthropist once told Barry to “give with a warm hand, not a cold one”. This insightful saying inspired Barry and Paul to make a conscious decision to support the causes they care about during their lifetimes.
Barry Janes and Paul Cross enjoy a wonderful life together. Following meeting in a café in Carlton nearly 40 years ago, they have developed a great circle of friends, have rewarding careers, and continue to create wonderful memories from their countless adventures; most recently with their beloved ‘COVID puppy’, Harrison. Life has been good to them. Some careful investments have meant they are in a fortunate position to support causes they are passionate about – causes that have the potential to instigate change and to make a difference to people’s lives well into the future.
“Leaving a legacy while you’re still alive, instead of waiting until you’re gone, means you get so much back personally. Seeing the benefits and witnessing the impact is a wonderful feeling,” Barry said
Left to right: Generous ACMD donors, Paul Cross, Barry Janes and ACMD CEO, Erol Harvey
Barry and Paul are great supporters of the arts, including being Presidents Councillors and Life Members of The National Gallery of Victoria. Barry is on the Foundation Boards of the NGV and the National Trust of Victoria Most recently they added medical research innovation to their portfolio, with a generous donation of $150,000 to the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD).
Paul explained, “A good friend of ours, Krystyna Campbell-Pretty, who is Co-Chair of the ACMD Philanthropy Council, invited us to an event where we first heard about the program; and were keen to find out more and get involved. We think it’s a wonderful initiative for St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, for Victoria, for Australia and globally
“Erol Harvey, the ACMD CEO, enthusiastically explained the advantages of the research and how the technology developed by ACMD is going to make a vast difference for so many. Erol was very specific about the long-term potential outcomes of ACMD’s work and so we have a clear picture of the benefits our donation will have.
“Much of the research being done at ACMD is around managing debilitating conditions such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and glaucoma. The devices they’re developing have the potential to vastly improve people’s quality of life. There are so many opportunities to harness AI to speed up diagnostics and enhance medical technology. We are very excited about the possibilities.”
ACMD Lead Researcher, Anita Quigley, explains some of her research to Paul and Barry.
Barry and Paul also have a strong personal connection to St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Paul’s mother was a nurse at St Vincent’s in the St Augustine’s Prison Ward for many years. With a wry smile, Paul confirmed there were few expletives his mother didn’t hear during her time caring for the prisoners.
“It was certainly a somewhat unusual and varied patient mix, but I can assure you, she always found her work very rewarding, and was highly regarded for her care” Paul said.
The generous donation of $150,000 will go towards constructing three Faraday Rooms within ACMD. A Faraday Room is fitted with a shield used to block electromagnetic fields, allowing researchers to undertake experiments to develop hearing and vision devices without electrical, sound or light interference.
Barry and Paul are keen to inspire others to join them in supporting ACMD.
“The ACMD will become an iconic medical innovation hub and the ground-breaking work being done in the new building will most certainly put Melbourne on the map globally. We can see how much ACMD will benefit society and it will truly make a difference long term. This is the ideal chance for others to support a truly worthwhile cause,” Paul said.