Hunter Central Coast volunteer news

Mingara Relay For Life Launch


Mingara Relay For Life launched its 17th year whilst tackling some very serious trivia during the launch. Over 120 Relayers came out, decorated their tables and joined in the fun. The committee also presented the 2016 fundraising awards to teams along with our Relay Veteran awards to long standing supporters.

We are looking forward to October and another $250K in the bank for Cancer Council NSW services in our community!


Biggest Morning Tea


Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea season is in full May and June swing across the region with staff and volunteers generously giving up their time to share tea and cakes with our amazing hosts.

A group of our Hunter office volunteers and staff from the Upper Hunter and Charlestown office attended the Country Women’s Association (CWA) morning tea at Branxton, with our Regional Administrator Georgie Young speaking at her first Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event. Everybody loved the presentation and our CWA hosts are confident they’ll surpass the $2,200 they raised last year.


Lake Macquarie Business TV launches with Beat Cancer @ Work video


Glen Parson, Community Programs & Events Coordinator, was interviewed for the Red Carpet launch of Lake Macquarie Business TV (LMBTV) at Event Cinemas earlier this month, to showcase the partnership between the Business Chamber and Cancer Council NSW.

LMB TV will be an online channel showcasing the business initiatives in the City. The Chamber has partnered with us to provide Beat Cancer @ Work toolbox talks, advisory service and resources for their members. Go Glen!


Previous regional news from 2017

Innovation Award – Clint Ekert from Hunter Central Coast

chris ekert‘Clint held Australia’s first horse-back Relay For Life in Merriwa in early April. Clint worked collaboratively with Work Health and Safety Lead, Jan Smith, Community Programs and Events Coordinator, Glen Parsons, and the local community to hold a very successful event which will now be an annual Relay’ – Shayne Connell, Regional Manager Hunter Central Coast Region 



Steel Magnolia Nominee


Donna Robertson, Chair of Gosford City Relay, has been nominated for the Lifeline Steel Magnolia Award.

Donna was selected as one of six finalists who were highlighted at a nominees’ luncheon. Whilst Donna was not the winner for this year, we are certainly very proud of her and her achievements.

Easter Tennis aces $100,000


Another successful Seniors Easter Tennis Tournament was held at District Park, Broadmeadow, over the Easter weekend. Perfect weather and strong entries from across the state made for a great few days of on court action.

Off the court, the Cougars Tennis Club raised an incredible $7,800!

Cougars have been supporting Cancer Council NSW in the Hunter for the past 10 years, and during this time have raised over $105,000 – an amazing result and a huge thanks to Frank Kitcher (pictured), and his team for their commitment during this time.


Central Coast Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Launch


We had a lovely morning launch Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea last Thursday with 45 of our valued VIP Hosts, including Ailsa and Helen, who have been hosting for 22 years!

Our local ambassador Andrew Church shared his cancer journey and kindly donated his award winning cookbook and business mentoring books. Andrew Church was awarded 2016 Gosford Citizen of the Year and is an award winning author, master chef and owner of a local war museum.

Last year Andrew was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer and now loves sharing his story to support others in their recovery.


SunSmart Dougal a hit with the kids!


It’s always a team effort in the Hunter and this week was no exception with our regional manager Shayne pulling on the Dougal suit to accompany our Regional Administrator, Georgie on a visit to Jesmond Early Education Centre to talk to the children about being SunSmart when playing outside!

Dougal Bear was a big hit with the littlies handing out stickers and reminding them all about the importance of wearing a hat, sunscreen, protective clothing and sunglasses as well as playing in the shade.


Queen Ada helps launch Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea


Our much-loved Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea host, Ada Staader, took centre stage, and said she “felt like the Queen” at the launch of the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea campaign at Luna Park, sharing her cancer story and cooking tips with MKR’s Will and Steve.

Ada has been supporting Cancer Council since 1999, when she lost her brother Leonard to cancer. She held her first Biggest Morning Tea that year and hasn’t missed an event in the 17 years following, raising over $50,000.

“I do the morning tea because I want to achieve something. Even just the feeling of helping people, and the people that come and help me and come to talk about cancer – I think that achieves something,” Ada said.

Now a sprightly 86 years old, Ada spends the months leading up to the event making the relishes and pickles and handicrafts she sells at her event, and she still has the energy to get up at 4am on the official day to bake her famous scones!

We love you, Ada, and can’t thank you enough for your amazing support and dedication… not to mention the delicious tomato relish!


Stars of the Central Coast


Our 10 Stars took to the stage at a sold out Laycock Street Theatre on Friday 7 April to dance for cancer! 

29 year old Bowel Cancer Survivor, Hollie Fielder, took out the title with her moving Contemporary piece that told the story of Hollie’s cancer journey. She received a standing ovation from a teary audience and thee 10’s from the judges. It was an incredibly moving performance, which reminded everybody in the room exactly why they were there.

The People’s Choice Award went to our powerhouse sister act, who performed a 90’s Pop routine (think Salt & Pepa and Spice up your life) with their dance instructor, Mariah Sumner.  The crowd loved their energetic performance, and the girls danced for their 56 year old mum and 12 year old nephew, both of whom they have lost to cancer.

Highest Fundraiser was STAR1045 Sales Executive, Anthony Zibara, who raised $22,000 by virtual busking (putting hilarious videos of himself dancing on his social media and promising more moves to those who donated). He didn’t disappoint as he danced his “70’s Motown” routine complete with brown trousers, big afro and giant smile!  And let it be said, his hips don’t lie!

A live 13 piece band played all of the performances, our judges and hosts entertained the crowd, and everybody had a great time. We raised $115,000 and were reminded once again how much we love the Central Coast community!

This year’s event ticked us over to the $500,000 for this amazing event in just four years!

Our partners at STAR1045 created a great video for us, which gave our STARS the chance to talk about why they are doing it, and how much fun it has been. The video can be found on the Rabbit & Julie Goodwin Facebook page here

We got some great media from the Central Coast Express Advocate about the event, which you can read here


Face of Cessnock Relay

GOOD CAUSE: Relay for Life chair Steph Ekert, Face of Relay Kelly Moylan and Relay for Life Hunter community relations coordinator (with a second guernsey for this edition of the region's news) Clint Ekert.

GOOD CAUSE: Relay for Life chair Steph Ekert, Face of Relay Kelly Moylan and Relay for Life Hunter community relations coordinator (with a second guernsey for this edition of the region’s news) Clint Ekert.

Long-time Cancer Council NSW supporter, volunteer and passionate advocate, Kelly Moylan, has been selected as the Face of Relay for the 2017 Cessnock Relay for Life.

After she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Kelly went through over 12 months of treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, and was given the all clear in 2008. Since then she has worked tirelessly for Cancer Council NSW as a MP liaison, a member of the local Cancer Action Network, committee member for the Cessnock Relay for Life. and host and team leader for both Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and Daffodil Day.

Congratulations on a well-deserved honour, Kelly!

Read some media coverage here:


Gosford City Relay For Life


Rain, rain and more rain proved that Relays cannot float after council closed the venue grounds and we were forced to cancel our beloved Gosford City Relay For Life for 2017.

The irony was that we moved the event forward from May to March as we have had terrible weather every year… so ahh, yeh, that went well.

Having never had to cancel one of our Relays before, we churned around ideas of postponing the event,  of holding an indoor alternative or a condensed indoor version of Relay, but ultimately, our committee decided that Relay is so beautifully unique that we would be doing a disservice to our dedicated participants and teams by giving them anything else but Relay For Life as they know and love it.

So we have invited them to represent Gosford at Mingara Relay For Life in October, where both ends of the Central Coast will unite in full force to fight cancer, the best way we know how – by Relaying.

It has been understandably heartbreaking for our selfless Chair and committee, who proved just how amazing they are throughout this process as they continued to put their Relayers first. These are a truly remarkable group of humans and we feel incredibly lucky to work alongside them.


Horsing around for Relay For Life


The small rural community of Merriwa has hosted what must be the most unique Relay For Life event in Australia!

Saturday 1 April 120 riders completed a 23km horse ride through the beautiful countryside as part of the Merriwa Relay For Life celebrations. The ride kicked off at 8am with stops for morning tea and lunch along the way, before they rode back into town for the start of the Relay.

The event has raised over $20,000 and there are big plans within the community to at least double the amount of participants and funds raised next year, congratulations on an amazing result!


Relaying to help get patients to treatment


Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent (left), and State Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr (right)

The burden of organising transport to cancer treatment has been lifted for people living in the Cessnock area with the launch of a free transport service.

The Cessnock Patient Transport Service is being coordinated by Cessnock Community Transport with the support of trained Cancer Council volunteers and is being funded by the annual Cessnock Relay For Life.

Angela, a local woman with stage three breast cancer was the first to use the service after she was told she couldn’t drive because of the effects of her chemotherapy. She said the new service has taken away the extra stress of not being able to drive to Newcastle for her treatment.

Read more about Angela’s story here.


Catch up with previous months’ news by going here and then clicking on your blue ‘region’ link.