Saturday, 7 May a “group of very dedicated people” attended a fund-raising picnic at Caulfield Park to celebrate International Thalassaemia Day, said Pat Bollard, the chair of the Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Australia (TASCA).

“Despite the cold, we enjoyed hot coffee, sandwiches, chocolates and ice cream to raise awareness of both genetic blood conditions which affect many people worldwide,” Ms Bollard told Neos Kosmos.

TASCA advocates for patients and their families and conducts community and school education programs to emphasise the importance of genetic testing.

“In addition, we had organised some light ups at various places around Australia, including the Drum Theatre in Dandenong and Kingston Council.

“This was the first social post-COVID event and it was great to talk with patients, committee members and invited guests face-to-face, as well as to answer questions about thalassaemia from others at the venue.

“TASCA would like to thank all those who attended, including Debbie Taylor-Haynes (Liberal for Bentleigh). We would also like to thank Glen Eira Council who supported this event through their Community Engagement Program and the various suppliers of coffee, ice cream and face painting. We look forward to seeing many more members and their families at future engagements,” Ms Bollard said.