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Toowoomba hero wins Humanitarian Award

Del Fitton, one of Toowoomba’s most prominent businesswomen, has won the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) Humanitarian Award at the annual Derrick-Mackerras Memorial Lecture, held at Customs House in Brisbane last night.

Since 1999, Del and her son Ron from Fitton Insurance Brokers have raised over $200,000 for cancer research at QIMR through events held during the Darling Downs Equine Extravaganza. The Fitton Charity Race Day is a highlight of this three day event and one of the great success stories of thoroughbred racing on the Darling Downs.

“Del Fitton is an inspiration to the Toowoomba community and a long time supporter of QIMR,” said Michael Good, QIMR’s Director. “She is the founder and driving force behind the Darling Downs Equine Extravaganza – an annual event that raises significant funds for QIMR and the Cancer Council of Queensland.”

“It is people like Del and other donors and supporters that enable us to continue our medical research into critical diseases such as cancer, mental health and HIV.”

Del was inspired to raise funds for cancer research after witnessing the suffering of cancer patients firsthand when her husband fell victim to the disease in 1978.

The evening was attended by distinguished guests, Professor John Hay, (previously of The University of Queensland, and recently appointed Chair of QIMR Council) Mick Reid, Director-General of Queensland Health, and previous QIMR Directors Ralph Doherty and Lawrie Powell. The lecture is an annual event, named after QIMR’s founding Director, Dr Ian Mackerras and Deputy Director, Dr Edward Derrick.