Appeal to help end the heartache of Australia’s No.1 killer

| September 14, 2015

The Heart Foundation is running its yearly Big Heart Appeal. The National CEO of the Heart Foundation Mary Barry says investing in cardiovascular research is one of the best ways to fight heart disease.

Sadly more than 1,600 families will lose a loved one to heart disease this September. To help stop the heartache, we are asking Australians to listen to their heart and support our annual Big Heart Appeal.

The Heart Foundation Big Heart Appeal is the largest community-led fundraising program for charity, requiring the support of an army of 120,000 big-hearted volunteers who knock on doors in their neighbourhood to help reach a target of $5 million.

Funding world-class research is one of the best ways we can fight heart disease, the single leading cause of death in Australians.

Heart disease is serious – in fact, it’s the number one killer of Australians, taking the life of one person every 27 minutes. Heart disease knows no bounds; it affects the young, the old, men and women. It takes more lives than any other single disease in Australia.

Too many families are still losing loved ones to heart disease, but together we can save lives and stop the heartache. It’s our hope that we can turn this all around through greater investment in research.

The Heart Foundation is the peak heart health charity dedicated to reducing the number of Australians living with, or dying from heart disease in Australia. Donations from all sectors of the community help us to fund research, support health professionals in their work, improve patient care and help Australians to live healthier lifestyles.

As the largest non-government funding body for heart disease research in Australia, we play a major role in the fight against heart disease. Since our inception in 1959, we have invested the $520 million (in today’s value) towards research.

Our work in funding outstanding cardiovascular research, supporting clinicians and health professionals in their practice along with undertaking health promotion and public education activities over five decades singles us out as the premier body making a difference to the heart health of Australians.

Achievements of cardiovascular research supported by the Heart Foundation include:

  • Demonstration that passive smoking leads to risk of heart disease
  • The introduction of intensive coronary care units in hospitals
  • Establishment of Australia’s first mobile intensive care ambulances
  • Installation of 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECG) in Victorian ambulances to fast-track heart attack diagnosis and treatment
  • Development of improved treatments for high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney damage and blood vessel disease
  • Clinical trials of a potential vaccine for rheumatic heart disease
  • Funded Dr Graeme Sloman, who played an important role in developing the artificial pacemaker. In 1962, he implanted the first permanent pacemaker in Australia
  • Managed the LIPID study, which demonstrated that Prevastatin, a cholesterol-lowering medication, could significantly reduce coronary events, stroke and overall death rates.

At the Heart Foundation we believe evidence-based prevention and treatment is the most effective way to help all Australians have better heart health.

By supporting the best and brightest researchers across Australia, we play an important role in generating and translating that research evidence.

The majority of the Heart Foundation’s funding comes from everyday Australians whose generous gifts are critical to helping the charity continue its lifesaving work.

Please remember to collect or make your donation during September. By doing so you will be helping to keep Australian hearts beating.

All donations $2 and over are tax-deductible and a receipt will be provided. To make a donation visit