Thank you Lennard Mulhallen

Article from 2022/2023 Impact of Giving Annual Report

For 94 years Lennard Mulhallen, also known as Len, contributed to his community. Now, thanks to a Gift in his Will to CIKA, Len’s legacy of giving back will continue.

Sandra, Len’s oldest daughter, remembers her dad fondly. “Dad was born in Nhill, a small town in rural Victoria. His life was shaped by the Depression and WWII. He came from a hard working migrant family and by the age of 19 he was leading a crew of men building homes in rural areas around Nhill. “As a father of four, he was a hands on dad. He taught all his children and grandchildren to drive from the age of four and he loved participating in all the family birthdays, Christmas and the annual camping trip to Port Fairy. “His annual trek to the bush to find the best Christmas tree is still a topic of much love and laughter within the family,” said Sandra.

Alongside his wife Gwen, Len was heavily involved in the community. As well as working full time, Len was involved with his church, St George’s Tennis Club, the Nhill Cemetery Trust and the local council, including a time as President. In 1989, Sandra and her husband Steve’s oldest son Shawn was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer. He was just 13 at the time. Len was a great support to the family during this period and often travelled to Melbourne to spend time bedside with Shawn.

“Dad had a special relationship with Shawn as he had also endured poor health in his younger years. His presence was very reassuring for Shawn and was a great help to us as we lived in rural Victoria,” said Sandra. Some years after Shawn’s treatment, Sandra and Steve joined CIKA, an RCH Auxiliary group dedicated to funding research into cancerous solid tumours in children. “My parents were very supportive of CIKA. Mum would fundraise in her local town, while Dad donated financially and on occasions attended our functions in Melbourne,” said Sandra.

Len’s contribution to CIKA even extended beyond his lifetime. “Dad made it clear in his Will that my sister and I were to ensure that sums were to go to good causes and areas he was passionate about,” said Sandra.

Per Len’s wishes, the major beneficiary of his Will was CIKA. His Gift has been directed to the RCH’s Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank, contributing to the purchase of life changing equipment. Funds from Len’s Will were also directed to the fit out of the new Nhill Tennis Club kitchens, as well as upgrading technology at the Nhill and District Historic Society and establishing an annual scholarship for the next 20 years at Nhill College for a student who wants to pursue a career in a trade.

When asked how her dad would feel about his gift making a difference in the lives of children and young people at the RCH, Sandra summarised it simply, “He would be chuffed.”