Simone Leckey is a Laboratory Support Assistant in our labs. This weekend she gave her hair to help people with cancer.

I asked Simone to tell me about her work, and why she decided to participate in the World’s Greatest Shave, a fundraising event for the Leukaemia Foundation that is celebrating its 20th year. Here’s what she said.

“I’m a Laboratory Support Assistant. I work in the Scientific Services team, providing technical support to our researchers and technicians. I supply things they need for their work, and help maintain day-to-day workflows, like waste disposal and equipment repairs.

“I love my job. It’s very practical and hands on – I’m rarely at my desk. I get to see a lot of the facility and interact with a lot of different people and that helps me do my job better. All the people in my team are experts at what they do and that’s very inspiring. I feel like I learn something new nearly every day.

“I’ve wanted to do the World’s Greatest Shave since I was in primary school. It was always a charity that stood out to me. Naturally, I wanted to raise some money for important medical research and for some people going through a truly difficult time.

“What I admire about this charity is how much it gets people involved.”

“I love that you can see the impact of the money you’ve raised and what it goes toward.”

Simone’s close shave

Simone set her fundraising goal high, hoping to raise $5000. By the day of the shave she was only $452 shy of that total. An auction to secure the ‘privilege’ of shaving her head soon fixed that.

Bidding was fierce, but the winning bid of $502 finally came from Simone’s boss, Scientific Services Manager Kiri Collins.

Kiri cuts off a lock of Simone's hair with scissors
First you use the scissors…

The total has since climbed to $5,763, and Simone’s hoping it will climb even higher.

“The money that is raised obviously has a great impact, but the emotional support that is felt through the Greatest Shave means just as much. It’s a charity that gives a lot of hope,” said Simone.

“This experience has taught me a lot about altering your perspective and how important it is to keep looking at the big picture. To make real change you have to look beyond yourself. This has been such a rewarding lesson to learn. I hope I can continue to raise more and more.”

Positivity, camaraderie and excellence

Just last month Simone was presented with a staff award. These are given four times a year, based on nominations from the whole organisation. Simone’s nomination praised her positivity, camaraderie, and excellence in everything she does. It highlighted her willingness to volunteer for tasks and assist other team members, and pointed out that she works long hours and weekends if necessary to keep things running smoothly.

Simone stands smiling and holding a staff award
Simone recently received a staff award

Not surprisingly, Simone was a very popular choice for the award.

Hare off to Simone’s fundraising page to donate to her head shave.

Top image: Simone has her head shaved by her boss, Kiri Collins

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