About Us

The Cornucopia Committee passes 50 years of fundraising to help children of Sydney.

The Cornucopia Committee this year marks 58 years of fund raising to help the children of Sydney. The Committee was founded in 1963 by Wiska Listwan who was passionate and active in hosting fundraising events to raise money to help children. Mrs Listwan 
was the founding president of The Cornucopia Committee and presided until ill 
health and in the late 1980’s when Cara Brett Hall OAM took on the presidency 
of the Committee. In 1989 the Cornucopia Committee directed its fundraising 
solely for the prevention and treatment of child abuse supporting The Royal 
Alexandra Hospital for Children, now known as The Children’s Hospital at 
Westmead.

Dorothy Ryan OAM was elected President of the Cornucopia Committee in 2001, 
having been a member for thirty years, during which time she held a 
number of positions including President for 21 years. On Australia Day 2016 Dorothy was recognized with the Order of Australia for her significant contribution to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. A well deserved honour, of which we are all very proud. Following our Race Day in 2019 Dorothy announced her retirement, to be with her family in Perth. She is dearly missed.

The Cornucopia Committee Inc has donated over $1 million dollars to The Children’s 
Hospital at Westmead over the years and a further $1 million dollars divided 
between the child protection units of The Children’s Hospital Randwick, Royal 
North Shore Hospital, The Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and CAPS 
(Child Abuse Prevention Service).

The Cornucopia Committee was honoured to have hosted an event at 
Government House in the presence of Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO. Dr Elisabeth Murphy gave an address and a stark reminder to those in attendance of how 
important it is that the cycle of child abuse be broken. Unfortunately, increasing 
more and more is the problem of adult disease due to long term effects of child abuse. We are so grateful to our supporters and long time sponsors that we are able to continue our support of Sydney Child Protection Units.

Money raised is to help these Child Protection Units make a positive difference to children and their families and to break the cycle of abuse from generation to generation. The Committee funded and sponsored the first Shaken Baby Conference in Sydney 17 years ago highlighting the effects and problems to a child’s brain and development, possible long term problems and disabilities from “Shaking Babies”. The Shaken Baby Conference is now an annual event, reaching 25 countries based on the format of Sydney’s conference.

The Cornucopia Committee is proud to have helped fund the Child Protection 
Therapy Room at The Children’s Hospital Westmead and this year received an 
Award and recognition from The Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children 
appointing The Cornucopia Committee as a founder of The Children’s Hospital at 
Westmead.

The Cornucopia Committee is also a major sponsor in supporting the program BAM which is child abuse survivors who BECOME AMAZING MOTHERS. This program is run by the Royal Hospital for Women Randwick. The program is highly successful in nurturing new mothers to bond with their babies thus becoming amazing mums.

In July 2019 the Cornucopia Committee was recognized at a special event by the Royal North Shore Hospital for the Committee’s contribution in the funding of “Herbie” who holds the role of Animal Assisted Therapy Dog. He has become an invaluable addition to the Child Protection Unit at RNSH bringing comfort to children and families undergoing treatment. Following his first anniversary, Herbie is still much loved and continues to be high demand.

In 2019 we farewelled our much loved Patron Mrs Linda Hurley who had supported us admirably during her tenure. She endeared herself to the Committee members and all who met her. We all enjoyed her signature singing at our fundraising functions.

The Committee was delighted with the acceptance of Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, as our new Patron. Prior to her appointment as Governor in May 2019, Her Excellency enjoyed a long and distinguished law career spanning 43 years, during which time she served as a role model for women in law at both the State and National level.

Her Excellency and husband Denis Wilson were warmly welcomed at our Charity Race Day at Royal Randwick this year. Her Excellency addressed our guests and complimented the Committee on their continued work in fundraising for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. She also shared her experiences of child abuse from her legal perspective.

The Cornucopia Committee wishes to acknowledge the support of De Bortoli 
Wines, QBE, Gaia Resort & Spa, Harding Miller, Manjits at the Wharf, Mark Moran 
Group – Spirit of Life and Anita McKenzie.

Maureen Thornett, President, and the Cornucopia Committee 2021

Together we can make a difference