Double denim returns for Jeans for Genes Day

Usually scorned as a fashion sin, double denim was on trend at schools to support a cause close to many staff and students hearts. Olivia Grey reports.

A group of students gather around a celebrity adult and look at the camera A group of students gather around a celebrity adult and look at the camera
Image: On report: Students at Lurnea Public School with Today weather presenter Lara Vella.

It’s not often that a Friday morning begins with skipping contests, fashion shows and TV appearances, but staff and students at Lurnea Public School, on Darug Country, donned their denim to support Jeans for Genes Day.

Students began their day a little earlier than normal, arriving at school from 6am to find Channel 9’s satellite truck and The Today Show’s weather reporting team on site and ready to show off the school’s Jeans for Genes celebrations.

There were smiles (and yawns) galore as students participated in a fierce handball competition, a skipping rope challenge and the very glamorous denim fashion parade, all caught on camera for the nation to see.

Scientists Scott Lee and Jess Merjane from the Children’s Medical Research Institute also joined the action and shared the importance of their roles in helping find cures to rare genetic diseases, and the students were thrilled with the opportunity to chat to them about their jobs in science and research.

Principal David Martin said the early start for The Today Show’s visit was worth it to see his students have so much fun, and support a great cause at the same time.

“It’s an honour to be able to support such an incredible cause, and also to have the opportunity to show off our beautiful school,” Mr Martin said.

“The kids had the most amazing time and I’m so proud of their enthusiasm and commitment.”

Jeans for Genes Day, a fundraiser supported by many schools across NSW, raises money and awareness for the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) to help scientists find cures for genetic diseases.

The cause is particularly close to the heart of the school as two-year-old Emilia, the daughter of teacher Jacqueline Londsdale , was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and is a passionate supporter of CMRI.

“It’s so exciting that there are new research and therapies being trailed to help find a cure for genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, and each step gets us closer to a better life for Emilia,” Ms Lonsdale said.

“I’m so grateful for the way our amazing school has gotten behind Jeans for Jeans Day and shown such enthusiastic support for kids like Emilia.”

A boy stands next to a poster with his photo on it A boy stands next to a poster with his photo on it
Image: Poster child: Cammeray Public School student Arato with the billboard featuring him as a Jeans for Genes Day ambassador.


Star billing

Cammeray Public School student Arato Katsuda-Green has appeared on posters and billboards all over NSW in his role as Ambassador for Jeans for Genes Day.

Diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a rare genetic condition causing vision loss, Arato and his family are hopeful that gene therapy research at CMRI will one day be the cure for the disease.

To show their support for Arato and Jeans for Genes Day, Cammeray Public School, on Cammeraygal Land, have been busy designing and selling custom denim bags and belts to fundraise for the cause.

Principal Kerry McConaghy said she was incredibly proud of Arato and all he achieved, and was thrilled to see him on posters promoting Jeans for Genes Day.

“It’s our privilege to be able to support Arato and Jeans for Genes Day and we are all so proud of him. There was certainly a sea of blue at Cammeray as we wore our denim to celebrate such an important occasion,” she said.

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