Women’s education foundation takes flight following flying competition

Sydney, 25 May 2015

More than $120,000 has been raised by Macquarie’s Sydney staff in a paper plane competition supporting the education of talented young women, in memory of one of the victims of Sydney’s 2014 Martin Place siege.

The paper plane challenge was the first corporate fundraiser for the Katrina Dawson Foundation, a charity set up in memory of the Sydney barrister to support further education opportunities for exceptional young Australian women with leadership potential in their chosen fields.

The event drew hundreds of staff observers to the balustrades of Macquarie’s flagship 50 Martin Place atrium, where pilots on the top floor battled it out to see whose plane could fly the furthest, and individual competitors competed to hit a ‘bullseye’ nine floors below.

The two highest fundraising teams were awarded the expert guidance from Australian paper plane champions Dylan Parker and James Norton. Each of Macquarie’s business groups had a pilot representative, with the Macquarie Asset Management and Corporate and Asset Finance teams benefitting from their advice on paper plane production as well as additional ‘guest pilot’ throws.

The inaugural ‘Come Fly With Us’ paper plane challenge was the brainchild of Macquarie Group employees Kelli Guerin and Sarah Stewart, who were inspired by the recent Australian movie Paper Planes.

“We were pleased that the tremendous amount of money raised will be going to community scholarships, high school prizes and fellowships to help young women fulfil their potential,” says Guerin.

A representative from the Katrina Dawson Foundation, Sandy Dawson, spoke at the event and ‘launched’ one of the first planes to officially open proceedings, while entertainer Andrew O’Keefe emceed.

The fundraising total included matching support from the Macquarie Group Foundation.


Image caption: Australian paper plane champions James Norton and Dylan Parker flank Andrew O’Keefe, MC at Macquarie Group’s inaugural Paper Plane Challenge, in support of the Katrina Dawson Foundation. Photo courtesy: Sarah Davis.