Online Fundraising

40 years of little progress is a long time to wait

Pancreatic Cancer Survival Rates have not changed in this timeframe

In 2017, it's simply unacceptable that someone diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer that is inoperable, should have a less than 10% chance of survival.

With increased funding and resources we can make a difference.

Please support the efforts of the Wish You Were Here team in its effort to raise awareness and funding for Pancreatic Cancer.

Trekking the Kokoda for Pancreatic Cancer

Peter Grima Image

Peter Grima

In 2016 a very much loved and larger than life man, Peter Grima, lost his battle to Pancreatic Cancer. To honour this amazing man, a team of seven of his closest mates banded together and formed the original "Wish You Were Here" team. They were then joined by Con, who himself is a cancer survivor and is currently supporting a close friend and relative undertaking treatment for Pancreatic Cancer. Two of Con's close friends have also joined to lend their support. This team of ten set themselves one of the most gruelling and emotional challenges, to walk the Kokoda Trail in memory of Peter.

The “Wish You Were Here” team wanted to set themselves a task that was symbolic of the physical and psychological challenges faced by cancer patients from the initial diagnosis and throughout the treatment. Walking the Kokoda Trail was the perfect fit as it needs courage, endurance and tenacity to make the 96km journey to the Kokoda village. They set off on their trek on September 1 and have now completed their trek for Peter.

The team members are all parents, husbands and business owners and believe they represent the vast majority of Australians who have all been touched by Cancer. The loss of their close friend has left them feeling angry, frustrated and determined to take positive action. The aim of the trek is to increase community awareness and raise much needed funds for research into Pancreatic Cancer.

Our Beneficiary

Our first step was to identify an organisation to receive these funds, the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation was chosen, as they are working hard on this problem, albeit with limited resources.

Our Ambassador

Author Peter FitzSimons imageWe sought out a suitable ambassador for the physical challenge and are proud to announce that the proud Australian and best selling author Mr Peter FitzSimons has come on board. There is no better authority on the Kokoda Campaign than Peter who's book KOKODA captures the difficult and challenging conditions that the Australian soldiers faced in the war against the Japanese Army.

A quote regarding Peter’s “Kokoda” book sums up perfectly what the “Wish You Were Here” team are striving for;

“The Australian troops were wounded and exhausted beyond belief, but always found that extra bit of spirit to fight on, with the help of the local people.”

As 2017 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Kokoda Trail campaign we can’t think of a better person to help with the “Wish You Were Here” fundraiser.

Our Goal

Our aim is to raise $500,000 that will go to the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

In order for us to achieve this, we will be seeking the support of Corporate Australia and the community in general. We know that the physical challenge is the easy part of our project and the real challenge will be getting community engagement and real buy in to our project in a very short period of time. However, when looking at our challenge in the context of someone being told that they have Pancreatic Cancer and that the odds of survival past 12 months are less than 5%, our problem is small by comparison.

The Wish You Were Here team

Con Kanellis, Scott Hunt, Ralph Kemmler, Mick Portelli, Dave Bilson, Glenn Buckley, Frank Grima, Michael Grima, Jim Vass, David Burnes.

Many thanks to our sponsors.


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Gala Dinner

Hear from our ambassador Peter FitzSimons with entertainment by Deni Hines and The Australian Girls Choir.

Following our return from walking the 96 km through the jungle and climbing the 2200m in elevation through the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea, we are planning on holding a gala dinner to acknowledge our supporters and to give all stakeholders of this project a forum to interact and to celebrate the lives of friends lost. It promises to be a great night and one to remember!


Date: Wednesday November 8 , 2017

Time: 6:30 for a 7pm start

Venue: Australian Technology Park Exhibition Hall - Locomotive Street Eveleigh

Ticket Price: $2500 (Table of 10), Single $250

Evening Includes:

  • Three Course Meal
  • Complimentary Beverages
  • Live Entertainment including Deni Hines and The Australian Girls Choir
  • Guest Speakers including Peter FitzSimons
  • Raffles, Auctions, Prizes

  Dining Room at the Advanced Technology Park Sydney