Not even the early morning winter chill could deter the eager attendees from watching the grand unveiling of 'Toby's Platform' at Brookfield Multiplex's Sussex St site in Sydney's CBD on Friday 31 July.
The dawn ceremony kicked off at 6am and was part of a joint initiative by leading Australian construction site hire company, Preston Hire, and Brookfield Multiplex to raise much needed awareness about the debilitating Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder of the lungs which affects one in 25 Australians.
Preston Hire painted one of its SuperDeck™ loading platforms with a red rose – the symbol of advocacy group Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA). The platform has been named after Toby, a brave four-year-old who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of one, and the nephew of Preston Managing Director, Markus Preston.
Preston Hire will be donating $5000 from the platform's hire to CFA and Brookfield Multiplex matching dollar for dollar from the hire period from February to November 2015.
Markus's wife, Marika Preston, Preston Hire Charity Coordinator, Preston Hire explained the journey leading up to the event and the push to make others do the same.
"After beginning a corporate relationship with CFA some months ago we really wanted to come up with an ideal way to raise awareness. Preston Hire is extremely proud to be able to partner with Brookfield Multiplex and be able to place this special platform in such a prominent location. On a personal level, it's not difficult to find the passion within to do this kind of thing when it's so close to home," she said.
"We've got the platform installed to go up many levels, so as building at the site progresses it'll go higher and higher and eventually become part of the city landscape.
"It is my hope that our project will inspire another site to make a similar move, or better still want to use this platform after Multiplex."
Nettie Burke, CEO of CFA described the experience of seeing the platform being installed on behalf of all patients suffering from CF as "surreal".
"It was fascinating just to see this little rope coming out of the sky and then the platform with our big red rose logo and Toby's name appear. The guys worked on securing the SuperDeck™ into place and then we were able to stand on it. Having everyone else turn up has been such an exciting morning and well worth the early get up."
Nettie said there were many ways those interested in helping the plight of patients could get involved.
"CFA receives financial support from three key areas – government, community and corporate. Government funding is where we get most of our funding and then there are the magnanimous individuals out there in the community who get together and fundraise. It's wonderful, then, that there are corporations out there like Preston Hire and Brookfield Multiplex who are willing to partner with us to increase the public's awareness," she said.
"At CFA, we work very hard for three things, advocacy, funding and collaboration. This morning I can honestly say we've ticked all three boxes."
At the conclusion of the event, Nettie spoke briefly with Toby asking him: "You're a very lucky boy. What do you have to say about this platform?"
To which Toby replied, "The platform says my name on it, because it's my platform! The workers put it up there for me."