The Michael Hughes Foundation was established in 2015 as a registered charity and as a legacy to Michael who passed away from cardiac arrest on 29 April 2013. Michael was 38 years of age and had just celebrated the birth of his daughter Georgia with his wife Julie.
The Foundation was started after a fundraising event was held for what would have been Michael’s 40th birthday in 2014. All who knew and loved Michael came together for a fundraiser to “Remember Mike and Save a Life”. The event focused on celebrating the life of Michael and to fundraise for defibrillators. That event raised over $35,000 and purchased 15 defibrillators to be donated in the communities of Ryde, Parramatta and the Northern Beaches.
It took nearly 18 months to complete the donation of the units to organisations in need. Many issues were identified through this process including the lack of knowledge of cardiac arrest, fear to own and use a defibrillator, lack of policies related to the placement of equipment, low confidence of individuals to respond and limited knowledge of the importance for community action to help save lives.
The Foundation was established to address these significant issues and creative positive change.
Our Board of Directors have all had some level of exposure to cardiac arrest. That has led our team to maintain our passion through our unique insights and personal experiences.
The Foundation also represents many individuals and families affected by cardiac arrest. This health issue is real, can happen at any time and it is important to talk about its impacts – not only for the victims of cardiac arrest but for their families and first responders.
We continue to develop our training and education programs and have placed an importance on debriefing and seeking support following a traumatic event.
Everything we do as a Foundation is underpinned by our core mission – to Turn Bystanders Into First Responders. Our advocacy work, our range of products and services and day to day activities all link back to helping communities to act.
Being a not for profit organisation, all fundraising and activities help keep our Foundation alive and give a beat to the heart of our work.
His Excellency General, The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, was Vice-Regal Patron of the Michael Hughes Foundation from 2017 to 2019.