The Bertalli’s advance research in neurology

The immense generosity of Di and Neville Bertalli has supported the development of young minds around Australia for over 30 years. From improving access to the arts, education and learning outcomes, to caring for the hospital’s most acute neurology patients, Di and Neville’s commitment to helping others is deeply ingrained into their personal values.

“For us, it’s as simple as if you can do it, you should do it, and we really enjoy it,” said Di. “The ability to make a difference for individuals at this young stage can have great impact on their lives going forward, and that’s something we’re proud to be able to support.”

For Di and Neville, there’s no hesitancy when it comes to supporting the RCH. Beginning in 1989 with the support of John Vorrath, an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, and peer of Neville’s from University, the relationship expanded when Neville and Di met David Wallace, former director of the Department of Neurosurgery.

“We were expressly interested in furthering research into neurosurgery, and the ability to share this new knowledge on a national and international level, and it was in discussions with both David, and later Wirginia, that we decided to establish a permanent fund for a clinical neurosurgery fellow,” said Neville.

Throughout the years since the fellowship has been established, the funds have led to invaluable research and learnings into advancements of neurosurgery, and the incorporation of new technology into this field. In 2016, Joseph Yang was appointed as the Di and Neville Bertalli Clinical Neurosurgery Fellow, and is using his research time to map, analyse and review surgical data gathered through MRI scans to improve outcomes for surgery candidates.

“The research that Joseph is undertaking is incredibly valuable, and through meeting with him, we’ve learnt the impact of his work in discovering safe pathways for surgery through accessing data from MRI brain scans and taking it further,” said Neville.

Supporting the development of young minds isn’t limited to neurosurgery, as Di and Neville are also committed to improving literary and numeracy rates in lower socio-economic areas around the state.

“It was concerning to learn that in some areas of the state, children were starting high school with a very low level of literacy, reading and writing. We’re proud to be collaborating with a range of local primary schools we’re helping to fund dedicated Teacher’s Aids to increase the support available for students and improve their levels of reading and writing,” explained Neville.

Di and Neville’s support is helping impact young lives both now, and for generations to come, and it’s their ability to inspire others to become donors too that keeps them motivated.

“We try to put a lot of care into what we support, to ensure it makes a difference. We want to be able to start at the beginning to give children the best opportunity at life, and we really hope that we are able to encourage other people to do the same,” said Di.