Article from 2020/2021 Impact of Giving Annual Report
Since their passing in 1995, Margery and Keith Aitken’s legacy has lived on through the Margery and Keith Aitken Foundation, benefitting sick children at the RCH now and long into the future.
The couple, who had no children of their own, specified that after they passed, a charitable foundation would be created in their name to support sick children at the RCH. Trustees Barry Fry, the Aitken’s lawyer and Richard Bull, a chartered accountant, have ensured that the funds were invested appropriately to ensure its continuation and growth over 26 years.
“Since its establishment, the Margery and Keith Aitken Foundation has distributed multi-million dollar gifts exclusively to the RCH to assist children with movement disorders and those requiring organ transplants, as requested in their Wills,” said Barry.
Margery and Keith’s funds have supported the Complex Movement Disorders Program and the Intestinal Transplantation Program at the RCH, ensuring these services provide world leading care.
The Complex Movement Disorders Program features a multidisciplinary team that provides specialised care for children and young people with conditions affecting their movement, including cerebral palsy and neurodegenerative diseases. The program provides innovative and intensive therapies to decrease pain and increase motor function, such as deep brain stimulation surgical treatment.
The National Intestinal Transplant Service provides specialised care for children around Australia. Intestinal transplantation is challenging because the gut is a highly complex organ that plays an important role in the body’s immune response. The service involves highly trained clinicians across multiple teams to offer patients a new lease on life.
In 2021, Barry and Richard entrusted the funds to the RCH Foundation to establish the Margery and Keith Aitken Endowment. By establishing the endowment fund at the RCH Foundation, an expert Investment Committee strategically manage and invest the funds to generate the best possible returns. Through the dedicated management, the yearly income generated directly supports the lifesaving work of the RCH, creating an enduring commitment to children’s health.
“We had been acting as trustees for many years, and as the RCH was the only beneficiary listed, we agreed the RCH Foundation would benefit from managing the fund itself, and using it in the best way possible,” said Barry.
“We are honoured that Barry and Richard have trusted the RCH Foundation to manage the Margery and Keith Aitken Endowment. With careful financial investment and governance, the RCH Foundation will ensure the endowment continues in perpetuity, so the legacy of Margery and Keith’s generosity lives on and supports children with movement disorders and those requiring organ transplants well into the future,” said Ally Pekin, Manager of Individual Giving.