Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe recently celebrated 20 years of service with the not-for-profit health foundation, which has raised an enormous $18.7 million for local public health services.
From humble beginnings fundraising from a demountable building at Nambour Hospital, Wishlist is now one of the Coast’s leading charities, directing more than $1 million each year to medical equipment and infrastructure upgrades, research, hospital accommodation, support services and health staff scholarships.
When Ms Rowe first started as the fundraising coordinator in 2001, the charity was known as the Sunshine Coast Health Foundation and only employed two staff.
Now, Wishlist’s main office at Sunshine Coast University Hospital is a hive of activity, with 13 part-time and full-time staff, plus an army of volunteers. The charity also operates two cafes, a gift house and two accommodation facilities.
Ms Rowe was surprised by her team last Friday with a ‘milestone party’ at the McDermott Aviation hangar.
“What a surprise and it was kept secret by so many wonderful, busy people who took the time to attend,” Ms Rowe says.
“I am so grateful to have played a part in the work of our charity for 20 years and I look forward to the next.”
And the next chapter is looking even more promising with their latest multi-million-dollar project, Wishlist Centre, on the horizon to provide a circle-of-care to those experiencing a health crisis. What started as Ms Rowe’s idea – a seed of thought – has blossomed into the charity’s most ambitious project yet.
Wishlist events and fundraising manager Lisa Wilson says, “To be at an organisation or company for over 20 years is unheard of these days, and Lisa continues to inspire and achieve amazing outcomes for patients and their families.
“The reality is, we will never really know how many lives have been changed or positivity impacted by the purchase of a life-saving ventilator or a piece of equipment to treat cancer, or even the value placed on having a parents’ retreat for a tired mother with a critically ill child.
“We will never know how many patients have benefited from the millions of dollars Wishlist has directed to our local public hospitals, but we do know that Wishlist would not be what it is today without Lisa.
“Her commitment, drive and dedication to what she sets out to achieve is outstanding and our community is so lucky to have her.”