Local leaders and legends face the Big Wig Challenge!

15 Nov 2022

The Big Wig Challenge was our inaugural event to challenge local leaders and legends to abseil 18 metres down Building 8, at Canberra Hospital. Raising the $10,000 entry fee was the easy part!

A thorough practice session with Rigcom, the Canberra Health Services rope access team, ahead of time helped to allay the nerves of our ten Big Wigs.

On the day, they donned their wigs, costumes and harnesses, all for a good cause. Dave Peffer, CEO of Canberra Health Services conquered his fear of heights and even managed a radio interview with Mix 106.3 by phone halfway down the wall!

"CAN GIVE DAY is a great opportunity for the community to give back to a workforce they have asked a lot of over the last few years, and it's a workforce that has consistently delivered... whether they've been protecting the community throughout the pandemic, or responding and caring for our sickest Canberrans and those from the region."

Dave was joined in his descent by Debbie Rolfe, Chair of the Canberra Hospital Foundation Board, who explained why she had volunteered to take on this challenge.

"In our changing world, there are constant challenges. The challenges for patients undergoing treatment at Canberra Hospital are enormous and impact their families and loved ones significantly.

Healthcare professionals' challenges have been immense as they try to maintain the highest levels of care against a backdrop of the ever-shifting COVID.

The challenge of the work of the Canberra Hospital Foundation, of which I am fortunate to be the chair, is to continue to raise the vital funds needed to ensure that we can change lives by providing those extra services that dramatically improve patient care."

Our other brave Big Wig Challengers were

  • Archie Tsirimokos of Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers, who raised an incredible an $30,231
  • Christine Shaw of Blackshaw Real Estate Manuka
  • Richard Rolfe of Rolfe Motors
  • Tane Patchett of Multiplex
  • Amanda Whitley of Coordinate and HerCanberra
  • Susan Freiberg, Executive Director of Women, Youth and Children for Canberra Health Services
  • Ron Shepherd of Advantage Advertising
  • Jane Gunn of KPMG

A feat of determination saw Chris Cairns descending down the wall. Chris, our CAN GIVE DAY Patient Advocate, is recovering and receiving treatment after suffering an aortic dissection in August 2021, and subsequent spinal stroke and bowel cancer.

"So good to give back to Canberra Health Services through the Canberra Hospital Foundation. I have a lot to be grateful for and the incredible health workers who do so much for our community deserve to be celebrated."

Thank you to the RIGCOM team for making the Big Wig Challenge possible, and getting our Big Wig's to the bottom with as much confidence and enthusiasm as they could muster. RIGCOM's support and encouragement was amazing!

Thank you to all those who sponsored a Big Wig and got behind the Big Wig Challenge. 

Thank you to our brave leaders and legends whom we were honoured to call our Big Wigs Challengers for 2022.

Photos by Melissa Flanagan - A Shot Above the Rest

Thank you to our Changemakers

Thank you to our Supporters