Property Industry and Mark Occhilupo Make Splash for Dementia Research

Mark Occhilupo

Wipeout Dementia hits $2 million raised on the back of the property industry’s 25 March Bondi Beach event, with 64 heavy hitters raising nearly $350,000 to support critical research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney.

The Surf Off event was sponsored by Morgans Financial, Avenor, Aoyuan International, AWM Commercial Furniture, Buildcorp, m3property, Sense Projects, Shape Australia, Winten Property Group with event partners Colliers International, Kennards Hire and Hurley.

The 2022 event continued the initiative’s track record of success reaching $2 million raised for The Dementia Momentum, with industry representatives joining from over 50 organisations including Morgans, Lendlease, Buildcorp, Colliers International, UBS, CBRE and Aoyuan.

This year 1999 World Surfing Champion Mark Occhilupo competed in the event, generously auctioning off the board he rode in the 2019 Bells Beach Heritage Heat against American pro-surfer Tom Curren.

“The evolution of Wipeout Dementia across the property industry has been inspirational and humbling,” said Spokesman for The Dementia Momentum and Ambassador, Dr Richard Grellman AM, Chairman of IPH Limited and former Chairman of The Association of Surfing Professionals (International) Limited, whose wife Suellen has advanced young onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Funding for dementia research still lags considerably behind other conditions, despite it being the single greatest cause of disability burden in Australia, the leading cause of death among women and the second leading cause of death overall.

Dr Richard Grellman AM

“Industry partnerships are fundamental to the future landscape of this disease and we are exceptionally grateful to the property industry,” said Dr Grellman.

A number of awards were announced on the day including the prestigious ‘Gnarly Award’, a Mark Richards 1980 replica twin fin surfboard which was awarded to highest fundraiser Michael Gordon, General Manager of Buildcorp Interiors.

In an extraordinary display of commitment Gordon personally raised over $30,000 for the cause and took his Buildcorp sponsored team to highest fundraising glory – with over $90,000 raised by the group and taking home a 5 hour private charter on a Sydney to Hobart winning yacht generously donated by Jim Cooney.

Gordo's Grovelers
Gordo’s Grovelers sponsored by Buildcorp
Clemo's Diehards
Clemo’s Diehards, sponsored by Avenor

A competition DHD surfboard signed by Ambassadors Richard Grellman and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew went to David Kemp of Buildcorp, former NFL player Colin Scotts, Avenor Director Peter Clemesha and UBS Managing Director Michael Hendrie, who were the other top fundraisers in this round (all raising over $10,000).

The 2022 Surf Off championship team was led by Avenor Director Peter Clemesha, the driver behind the property industry events. Clemesha’s team also won the Battle Royale, which saw 64 surfers hit the water at once to compete for waves.

CHeBA Co-Directors, Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Perminder Sachdev attended the event, which aims to increase awareness about the modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias while driving research funds to harness global research to prevent dementia.

A number of projects received a funding boost as a result of the March 2022 event, including the expansion of international studies under The Dementia Momentum initiative, particularly the continuation of research looking at successful brain ageing for those living to 100 and beyond. CHeBA’s ambition is to spearhead an international effort to promote successful brain ageing and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Shane Campbell
Wave of the Day – Shane Campbell, Colliers International
Wipeout Dementia

Funds raised from this Wipeout Dementia will also provide funding to expand CHeBA’s twins research, which has been significant in determining the proportion of risk of Alzheimer’s disease that can be attributed to our genetic makeup compared to the proportion that can be attributed to lifestyle.

Wipeout Dementia fundraising has been the launch pad for a significant number of priority research projects across CHeBA’s international consortia spanning more than 30 countries.

Professor Henry Brodaty

The reality of dementia: many surfers rode their waves in honour of a loved one.

Bob and Jill's Lineup
Bob and Jill’s Lineup, sponsored by AWM Commercial Furniture

Competitor in previous property industry events, and first-time team Captain, AWM Commercial Furniture Director Anthony Scotts surfed in honour of his late father who lost a 20-year long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and for his sister Jill who is significantly impacted by young onset Alzheimer’s disease.

His team, aptly named Bob & Jill’s Line Up, was a family affair – with his brothers and nephews, including sons of Jill – all riding the wave in support of medical research.

“It’s horrifying to learn that since 2016, dementia has been the leading cause of death in Australian women. That is particularly close to my heart as my sister is living in a home at just 66 years of age and she’s basically helpless.

“I’ve got to do everything I can to help her in every possible way,” says Scotts.

Steve Watson, Director of Steve Watson & Partners, celebrated the memory of his father who passed away from Lewy Body dementia in early 2019; soon after Steve took his team to highest fundraising glory in Wipeout Dementia.

“It was terrible to see him robbed of his vitality,” says Watson. “It’s pervasive, this disease, and not enough is being done given how debilitating it is.”

General Manager of Ziff Davis, James Whitehead, lost his grandmother following years of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

“I was honoured to surf in her memory and help raise awareness about the relationship between physical activity and the prevention or delaying the onset of dementia,” said Whitehead.

James Whitehead of Ziff Davis and his grandmother
Fiona Hunt
Fiona Hunt and her Grandfather Leo

Fiona Hunt lost her Dad, Leo, in 2015 following what seemed to their family an eternity of living with dementia. “My Dad was proud, a gentleman, very polite and very old fashioned.

“I miss him immensely and still shed tears for both of us; I know he would have been embarrassed if he was aware of what this cruel disease had done to his mind.”

These stories where lives have been upended and relationships destroyed further highlight the significance of Wipeout Dementia and the importance of research to prevent this devastating illness.

Photography by Sprout Daily.

To see photos of the event click here


In-kind event bag sponsors were Bounce Foods, Fine Fettle, Loving Earth, Monster Health Food Co, Protein Puffs and Slim Secrets.

In-kind event awards were donated by: Bistro Rex, Destination Towels, DHD, Dripping Wet, Garfish Restaurant, Hurley, iFLY Australia, Pilu at Freshwater, Samsonite, Tesalate Towels, Three Blue Ducks and Tidebreak Art.



  • Anthony Scotts (CAPTAIN): Director, AWM Commercial Furniture
  • Colin Scotts, former NFL player, motivational speaker (substituted on event day by Jake Scotts)
  • Richard Scotts: Executive Producer, RJ Media (substituted on event day by Mike du Chateau)
  • Anton du Chateau
  • Myles du Chateau: Principal & Licensee In-Charge, RichardsElliot Estate Agents
  • BJ Edwards: Sales Executive, LJ Hooker Palm Beach
  • Jackson Hunter: Director, Finance House
  • Beau Arscott (substituted on event day for Sage Gubbay)


  • Peter Clemesha (CAPTAIN): Director, Avenor
  • Shane Campbell: Residential Development Sites Analyst, Colliers
  • Ben Cradock: Director, SBC Plumbing
  • Matthew Faddy
  • Anthony Lombardo: Senior Development Manager, Avenor
  • Jeff Moxham: Owner, Moxham Commercial
  • Tom O’Neill: Acquisition Manager, Avenor
  • Lachie Paramor: Director, Leftfield
  • Blake Schulze: National Director, Colliers


  • Craig Rodgers (CAPTAIN): National Technical Operations Manager, Mirvac
  • Scott Anderson: Managing Director, Developed (substituted on event day by Darren Mansfield, Lendlease)
  • Brett Eichhorn: Director, Sense Projects
  • Peter Marix-Evans: CEO, Shape Australia
  • Maha Metwally: Primary School Teacher, Rose Bay Public School
  • Brett Newman: CEO, City of Parramatta Council
  • Phillip Wicks: General Manager NSW, Shape Australia
  • Andrew Wilson: Managing Director, AJW Interiors & Construction


  • Darren Beasley (CAPTAIN): Deputy General Manager, Aoyuan International
  • Steve Anderson
  • Alex Beasley
  • Aaron De La Harpe: Carpenter, Southern Builders
  • Ben Gross
  • Jim Hunter: Director, Capital Corporation
  • James Martin: Carpenter/Shopfitter, LBJ Fitouts
  • Josh Millard: Project Manager, Total Construction


  • Joel Ducey (CAPTAIN): Director, m3property
  • Jack Basil-Jones: Brand Manager, Diageo
  • Colin Beckton: Deputy Fund Manager, Lendlease
  • Jason Boon: Director, Richardson & Wrench
  • Harry Dehne: Valuation Analyst, m3property
  • Sam Franklin: Senior Project Manager, Root Partnerships
  • Mike Sergent: Investment Director, Metrics
  • Shaun Timbrell: Director, CBRE – Industrial & Logistics


  • Michael Gordon (CAPTAIN): General Manager, Buildcorp Interiors
  • Mick Café: Senior Project Manager, Buildcorp
  • Max Clinton: Managing Director, Clinton & Co
  • Brendan Dunkin: Construction Manager, Buildcorp
  • Fiona Hunt: Essential Surf
  • David Kemp: Senior Site Manager, Buildcorp Interiors
  • Scott Leney: Head of Risk Management, Marsh
  • James Whitehead: General Manager, Ziff Davis


  • Philip Vivian (CAPTAIN): Director, Bates Smart
  • Michael Hendrie: Managing Director, UBS
  • Guy Lake: Director, Bates Smart
  • Stephen Neille: Neeson Murcutt + Neille
  • Mark ‘Occy’ Occhilupo: 1999 World Title Surfing Champion
  • Karl Riedel: Finance Director, Jacobs
  • Alex Rosenthal: Associate, Arup
  • Will Rothwell: Director, Winten Property Group


  • Steve Watson (CAPTAIN): Managing Director, Steve Watson & Partners
  • Stuart Brown: Director, Workrooms
  • David Desson: Director, Aspire PDM
  • David Goldman: Director, Aspire PDM
  • Mark Gross: Executive Director, Morgans
  • Badier Kubis: Director, Kaddi Project Management
  • Joe O’Dwyer: Managing Director, JAltCap
  • Stefan Perkowski: Director, CBRE

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