Skip to the content

Nothing disgraceful about arthritis donation from bikers

12 December 2009

Arthritis research at Monash University has received a generous boost from Australia's leading organisation of 40-plus motorcyclists.

The Ulysses Club – whose motto is to 'Grow Old Disgracefully' – has donated $75,000 to the research group of Professor Eric Morand, which studies inflammatory rheumatic diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The group is based at the Monash Medical Centre.

"This grant will help us to further our research in the mechanisms of bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis, and may have implications well beyond this as well," said Professor Morand, who is himself a keen motorcyclist.

The funds will be used to fund the continuing research of doctoral student Ran Gu. She has been invited to ride pillion with one of the committee members during a major club ride day.

Denis Paulin, Vice-President of the Ulysses club's national committee, attended with Perry Stephens, the liaison officer for the club's Melbourne branch, and John Miller, editor of the club magazine.

"The Ulysses Club was formed in Sydney in 1983 and now has more than 29,000 members in Australia with Clubs in UK, NZ, SA, Germany, Norway, Canada and Vietnam. The club's chosen charity is arthritis research and they now sponsor a research fellow at Monash Medical Centre and one in Sydney at Royal North Shore Hospital," said Mr Paulin.

Involved in a range of philanthropic activities, the club raised the money through a fundraising competition involving around 135 branches. The club was founded in 1983 in response to public remarks made against mature-aged motorcyclists.



Smiling faces at the ceremony acknowledging the gift.
From left: Perry Stephens, doctoral student Ran Gu, Denis Paulin and Professor Eric Morand. The ceremony coincided with the birthdays of Mr Stephens and Mr Paulin.