January 2020 Australia Day Honours List: Patrick Tessier receives OAM “For service to the community”.
AADA Convention Director and former interim CEO, and long-time contributor to the Australian retail automotive industry, Patrick Tessier, was awarded an Order of Australia Medal “For service to the community” on Australia Day, recognising his efforts in raising millions of dollars for children’s cancer treatment and research.
Mr Tessier founded Bailey’s Day in the months following the death of his two-year-old son Bailey, to brain cancer, in 2004. The annual charity golf day and auction has raised almost $3.5 million, paying for the training of 17 paediatric oncologists, helping fund the development of a Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Childrens Hospital, and financing critical research into finding a cure for brain cancer. It is a cause the Australian retail automotive industry has adopted as its own and continues to support strongly each year.
Mr Tessier said he was humbled to be awarded the honour, and thanked the Dealer community for their ongoing support for the charity, which in 2019 raised more money than in any other year to date.
“When Bailey was being treated at Monash, I was shocked to learn that the facility only had one paediatric oncologist – and only on a part-time basis, as he was shared with the Royal Children’s Hospital,” Mr Tessier said.
“I was determined that Bailey’s death wouldn’t be for nothing, and that children and families who came after us would have access to better care and an increased sense of hope.”
Mr Tessier has spent four decades working in the retail automotive industry, and he praised car Dealers and associated businesses for adopting Bailey’s Day as their own cause.
“The way the industry immediately got behind Bailey’s Day, and continues to support it to this day, is immensely gratifying, and a tribute to the generosity and kindness of ordinary, everyday business people,” he said.
“They dig deep, they do it every year, and it means so much, not just to me, but to the countless children and their families who we have been able to help, as well as the doctors, nurses and other staff at Monash.
“It really shows what we’re able to achieve as a community when we come together and commit to a cause. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed over the years.”
Some of Australia’s finest entertainers have donated their talents to Bailey’s Day, including Normie Rowe, Lisa Edwards, Michael Christiano, Wendy Stapleton, Brian Cadd, Russell Morris, Venetta Fields, and Darryl Cotton, while legendary journalist Ian Leslie has given his time as host every year.
Monash is just Victoria’s second Children’s Cancer Centre, after the Royal Children’s Hospital, ensuring sick children have access to the best possible treatment.