How do you explain Cystic Fibrosis to a four-year-old? Healesville locals Kirsty and Stephen Bowness had to find out when they first spoke to their daughter Grace about the condition she shares with her brother Liam. “Sixty-five roasters?” Grace innocently repeated back to them.

The sweet childhood mispronunciation inspired them to launch ‘The Big Roast,’ the annual fundraising event for Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Rob and the team were quick to jump aboard to support, and 5 years on, we continue our efforts. CF is a genetic condition which currently affects one in 2,500 babies in Australia. It causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs. There is currently no cure. We’re raising money for the Royal Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust (RCHCFRT) to contribute to the health and future of so many out there living with CF. Your generosity can help build on research, and the quest for a cure.

The virtual auction below opens on the 19th of September at 10:00am, and closes on September 26th at 4pm. You can also purchase $5 raffle tickets via the portal below, and check out some of the amazing prizes up for grabs!
We have Big Roast packs available via the link below, they include:

Black Label Blanc de Blanc
White Label Pinot Noir
White Label Cabernet Sauvignon
1 x Large Rob Dolan Condiment (Pinot Jelly, Quince Paste, Cucumber Pickle or Smoky Relish)

Packs are $100, and $50 goes straight to the RCHCFRT.

Auction ends:


In the past twelve months we have had many challenges which will live in our memories forever. Amongst bushfires and wild storms, we now know the hardship of lockdown. During this challenging time, families’ impacted by CF have had it even harder as they take steps to protect those immune-compromised.

We still have a lot to learn about this rare condition, and funds are needed to drive vital research and improve quality of life, no matter the state of the world. I’m pleased, therefore, that we are able to hold The Big Roast through the wonders of the internet in the midst of lockdown.

The Bowness and Dolan family’s relationship started in Healesville and continues today. The family are one of the most caring and lovely we know, and we feel very proud to support people who have given so much to our community.

Your support is greatly appreciated, as is the support of our major sponsors, businesses and individuals who have contributed.

Our aim is to raise more money than ever before so don’t hold back.

Rob Dolan


It’s hard to believe that we are here again. The generosity and vision of Rob Dolan Wines has now brought them to host their 5th consecutive Big Roast for Cystic Fibrosis event. This is extraordinary.

It becomes more difficult each year to articulate what this means to us but I want to try to communicate what it feels like. As the parents of 2 children with Cystic Fibrosis, we are naturally highly motivated and driven to do everything that we can to fund CF research and work towards a long and healthy life for Liam & Grace. Along with this endeavour, there is also a lot that goes on unseen in the life of a family living with CF. With all of this, it can sometimes feel like you’re relentlessly pushing a very heavy load up a very steep hill. When an event like this happens, suddenly you are not on that hill on your own. You look behind you and there is a whole army of people, heads down, arms outstretched, pushing just as hard as you. With you. Selflessly. So you’re not alone. And the load lightens, the pressure lifts, and you lift with it.

It is the selfless and herculean efforts of this collective Rob Dolan Wines army that just leaves me reeling with gratitude every year. That is what this event means to us. As always, this event has taken a village of many people working very hard. We would like to thank Tayla McKay who has once again been at the helm; working tirelessly with a determined drive, steadfast commitment, and huge heart to make this event a complete success.

We also thank the staff of The Farm Yarra Valley who have done so much work behind the scenes; providing the extraordinary food, contributing to sourcing donations, and organising so many details of the day. They have done this every year with such professionalism and generosity and we are so grateful to them for this.

We would also like to thank all of the amazing sponsors who have each given so generously and freely to help us raise every dollar that we can for Cystic Fibrosis research. It is your support that creates the opportunity to raise these significant and life-changing funds.

We would love to thank Rob & Jude Dolan which is always a challenge. Words never suffice. Their generosity, their support, and their kindness overwhelm us every time. None of us would be here making a difference to the lives of those with Cystic Fibrosis without them. Our gratitude goes well beyond what can be written. And finally, we would like to thank everyone here today. There is no Big Roast and no funds for CF research without you! You are part of that army on the hill. Generous, selfless, and supportive. Thank you for being here and joining us in this endeavour to improve the health and future of so many.

So everyone has a role to play here today and we are immeasurably grateful to all of you for playing your part. Know that you are making a difference. You are changing the lives of Liam & Grace, Jack, Jordan, Shari, and so many others living with Cystic Fibrosis. Thanks for being on the hill. 

The Bowness Family


Our story with Cystic Fibrosis began when our son Jack was born with a twisted bowel. As new parents it was quite a shock to see our son being taken off to The Royal Children’s hospital on day 2 of his life to have surgery to fix his bowel. We were still processing our little one recovering in the neo-natal unit when in comes this very tall doctor from the respiratory team to talk to us about Cystic Fibrosis (CF) – we felt like we’d been hit by a bus for the second day running! Jack spent 5 weeks in The Royal Children’s Hospital recovering from the surgery and then finally starting on pancreatic enzymes to gain weight.

Fast forward 14 years and we have a very active teenage boy who loves sport, riding his bike and generally keeping active which is brilliant.

The care Jack receives through The Royal Children’s Hospital is nothing short of amazing and we love supporting them in return. The team of doctors, physiotherapists, dieticians all work to ensure he remains as healthy as he can.

CF can often be a hidden illness, and if you were to meet Jack in the street you wouldn’t necessarily pick him out as being any different from any of his friends. However, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to keep him that way – he has to take pancreatic enzymes every time he has something to eat and also has to do daily physio to keep his lungs clear of sticky mucus!  Jack has had two bouts on pseudomonas which is a nasty chest infection that is often resistant to antibiotic treatment. We’ve been fortunate enough to get rid of it each time, but it’s enough to remind us not to take his seemingly outward state of healthiness for granted and to keep on top of our treatments!

We first met the Bowness family when Jack was at kinder which was fabulous for us as parents as we had people we could instantly connect with and share our experience of raising children with Cystic Fibrosis. Unfortunately, the people with CF can’t have this same connection and are encouraged not to mix with other individuals who have CF as they can pass on infections and make each other sick. This can make it a very isolating illness and one of the reasons we’ve supported such important events as the Big Roast at Rob Dolan since it first began. It’s a great way to bring people together over a meal and show our support towards all people with Cystic Fibrosis. Hopefully it makes Liam, Grace, Jack and all others like them feel like they’re not alone as we work to raise awareness and funds to support vital research to improve their care and overall health.

Claire Jones


DOLLARS RAISED FOR Royal Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust since 2016

In special memory


Community Bank Warrandyte is a proud supporter of The Big Roast for Cystic Fibrosis. Part of the Bendigo Bank network and with a unique point of difference Community Bank Warrandyte is committed to offering award-winning financial products and services, as well as returning up to 80% of profit to our local community; $3.85 million since opening is 2003.

Thanks to its customers the vast majority of profit has seen the facilitation of many projects, programs and resources and the building of essential infrastructure within the community.

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