Volunteer Role Spotlight
Meet The Team
Name: Cosie Sekhas
Role at Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW): Community Relations Coordinator (Eastern Suburbs, Metro Sydney)
How long you have worked at CCNSW: 3 years in August
Favourite part of your job: Meeting our amazing supporters and cancer survivors who are passionate about working with us and fundraising for us to make a difference for all those affected by cancer. I am inspired by them every day.
How you work with volunteers: I’m fortunate enough to work with volunteers on all the campaigns I work on. This includes office based volunteers, on the day volunteers and committees who I work with on campaigns such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, Stars of the East, Pink/Girls Night In, the Breakthrough Art Festival and others.
A random fact about you: (Answer one of the below questions or include your own unique fact)
13. What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- Holiday in Bora Bora, staying in one of those bungalows in the middle of the ocean!
- Buying a convertible
- Having a white Christmas in New York
Name: Jess Green
Role at Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW): Community Engagement Manager, Metro Sydney
How long you have worked at CCNSW: A little over three years
Favourite part of your job: The people! Cancer Council NSW is made of great people working together. Every day you get to work alongside intelligent, inspiring and down to earth volunteers and staff.
How you work with volunteers: I’m lucky to have met many great volunteers through my role at CCNSW. Currently I work with volunteers in our Cancer Action Networks and MP Liaison roles to advocate for local and state cancer related issues, like our current Palliative Care Campaign.
I support Information Service Volunteers at treatment centres to provide information and support to patients, families and carers. AND finally, I get to work alongside volunteers to deliver our prevention programs, such as Improve Your Long Game!
.What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- Visit New York City
- Go skiing overseas, including a white Christmas
- Go back to Puglia, Italy again!…. So not much really!
Media and Communications Intern, Elle Johnson
Elle has come all the way from Knoxville in the United States to assist the Metro Sydney team with a number of media and communications related activities.
Elle is currently completing a BA in Health Communications and Promotions at The University of Tennessee and has come to Australia for a nine-week internship with Cancer Council NSW.
“Elle has been an absolute pleasure to have part of the team. She has supported us with media tracking and reporting, sourcing new media outlets and contacts, editing media releases and much more! Her enthusiasm, drive and commitment has been delightful – we don’t want to see her go back to America!” – Ali Boydell, Communications and Events Coordinator
I have absolutely loved and thoroughly enjoyed my time thus far at Cancer Council NSW! From working on media releases for the Dance for Cancer events to identifying proactive PR opportunities for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, I’m not only developing skills towards a future career in health communication, but also creating tangible material for a worthy cause.
Everyone in the Cancer Council NSW work environment has been so incredibly warm and inviting, and I am unsure how I will be able to say goodbye to all these wonderful people when my time in Sydney concludes. I am so honoured to be an active member of Cancer Council NSW’s mission to beat cancer—a position that is making my time as an intern time well spent.
Elle Johnson, Media and Communications Coordinator.
Mission Moments –
Cancer Council Information Service Training
On March 17, Katie Towers, Maxine and I were joined by 14 volunteers for Cancer Council Information Service training. We had volunteers join us at Prince of Wales Hospital from Metro Sydney, Greater Western Sydney, Southern NSW and Newcastle.
Despite the very wet and windy weather it was a great day. The group had an opportunity to meet with other likeminded people, learn more about the work we do at Cancer Council NSW and develop new skills, like active listening and practising empathy.
Some of the highlights volunteers took from the day included, understanding volunteer role boundaries, learning the difference between empathy and sympathy, and learning about the huge variety of programs Cancer Council NSW delivers to our NSW community.
Thank you to all who attended on the day and best of luck with your new volunteer roles!
Jess Green – Community Engagement Manager
I Care for Palliative Care Campaign at Sydney Relay for Life
Sydney Cancer Action Network (SCAN) set up an advocacy marquee over the Sydney Relay For Life weekend on 11 and 12 March. Dedicated volunteer advocates educated Relay participants about the I Care For Palliative Care campaign and asked them to sign the pledge to end the palliative care shortage.
SCAN also hosted a ‘palliative care hour’ where they took over the main stage at Sydney Relay to speak about the campaign. Jamie Seymour, team leader of SCAN, interviewed four local MPs, Alex Greenwich, Jo Haylen, Jamie Parker and Sophie Cotsis about the need for more palliative care doctors and nurses in NSW. It was an eventful day gaining a total of 124 signed pledges and a record number of 4 MP’s attending relay who will now do their part in taking our campaign ask to the new Health Minister.
Cancer Council would like to thank everyone who helped on the day particularly the CanAct advocates; Alison, Tony, Carolyn, Hiroko, Liz, Sarina, Lillian L, Lillian B, Jamie, Vicky, Amber, Sue, Matthew, Glynis and Yvonne.
Eat It to Beat It Facilitator Training
We delivered Metro Sydney Eat It To Beat It Program Facilitator Training on Friday 31 March. We had a great turnout of 17 volunteers from all different professional backgrounds keen to learn about the program.
The importance of eating enough fruit and vegetables was certainly not lost on this bright bunch who are keen to get out into their local communities and deliver Fruit & Veg Sense Workshops and Healthy Lunchbox Sessions to parents of primary school-aged children.
To book a session or workshop or to find out more about Eat It To Beat It head to eatittobeatit.com.au
Outrun Cancer funded research confirms obesity and physical activity are independent cancer risk factors
Local community fundraiser, OUTRUN CANCER, holds an annual Corporate Treadmill Marathon to fund a specific project within Cancer Council NSW’s prevention research each year. The results of a study funded by the 2014 and 2015 Marathon have recently been released, confirming that obesity and physical activity are independent risk factors of cancer.
With almost 9,000 participants, the study aimed to find out how body weight could impact the benefits of physical activity that affect the risk of developing different types of cancer. The study found that physical activity has the potential to lower cancer risk regardless of body weight, highlighting the need to encourage physical activity and achieving a healthy weight separately.
Luca Turrini, OUTRUN CANCER Founder, said that he hopes this new research will inspire Sydney residents to work towards a healthy weight, while staying physically active as well.
“We know that 1 in 3 cancer cases can be prevented, and obesity and physical activity play a big role in this. Our Corporate Treadmill Marathon gets participants active to promote the cancer prevention message and raise valuable funds for prevention research,” said Mr Turrini.
OUTRUN CANCER’s 2017 Corporate Treadmill Marathon took place on 24 March at four gyms across Sydney. Teams between four and 21 people from different organisations completed a 42.2km marathon relay on a treadmill, challenging each other to be the fastest or the highest fundraising team.
So, how did things go?
OUTRUN CANCER’s annual Corporate Treadmill Marathon took place on 24 March and raised more than $88,407 for Cancer Council NSW. This year, money raised from the event will fund a new campaign to help to reduce children’s exposure to unhealthy food marketing.
With more than 300 runners and four participating gyms, funds raised from this year’s event takes us over the half million dollar mark since OUTRUN CANCER began in 2012. Additionally, the long standing record for the fastest mixed team marathon at 02:27 was smashed this year by the AMP Mixed Team 1, who finished the marathon in a blistering time of 02:20.
The Corporate Treadmill Marathon would not be possible without the incredible support of the 40 volunteers who attended the event. Thank you for all your support in making the event a huge success!
Eat It To Beat It’s Fruit & Veg Sense Workshops
The Metro Sydney Eat It To Beat It team is currently hosting free 90-minute Fruit & Veg Sense workshops across the region to help parents understand the importance of family members eating two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day to cut cancer risk.
Local Strathfield mother, Teaghan Abbott, who attended a Fruit & Veg Sense workshop at Strathfield North Public School said that she was motivated to attend the workshop in order to learn new ideas to add more fruit and veg into her children’s diets.
“Learning how to plan our meals daily was very helpful. There are so many ways we can implement fruit and veg into every meal of the day. I even gained great tips to improve the entire family’s diet.
“The workshop made it seem so easy to incorporate a healthy diet into our daily lives. It has helped me have discussions with my kids on the importance of getting their fruit and veg servings, and we’re definitely heading in the right direction,” said Mrs Abbott.
Sydney Relay For Life a huge success!
On 11 and 12 March, the Inner West community came together at King George Park in Rozelle for the annual Sydney Relay For Life, a fun-packed 24 hours of festivities and celebration that raised funds for Cancer Council NSW.
There was plenty of entertainment and activities throughout the weekend, including rock climbing, market stalls, food trucks, mini golf, yoga, live entertainment, a jumping castle, overnight camping, and healthy eating workshops.
With 430 participants in attendance over the weekend, Sydney Relay For Life raised more than $96,000.
A special thanks goes out to our dedicated volunteer committee who did an amazing job organising the weekend!
Cronulla 2017 Local Woman of the Year
The 2017 Cronulla Local Woman of the Year Award was presented to Alison Todd on 6 March. Alison was recognised for her 26 years of voluntary services with Cancer Council NSW.
Having lost her husband, father and a very close friend to cancer, Alison believes that volunteering can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. She is a Community Speaker, an Advocate and a MP Liaison at Cancer Council NSW, working passionately to improve the journey for all people in NSW affected by cancer.
“I am very proud to be named Cronulla 2017 Local Woman of The Year. Having lived most of my life in the area, I feel a strong connection to this community.
“When my late husband died of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1990 I began selling daffodils on Daffodil Day to raise funds for Cancer Council NSW and in 2016 I managed the Daffodil Day site at Cronulla.
“Now much of my time is spent as a Cancer Council NSW advocate, working passionately on our campaign, ‘I Care For Palliative Care’, ensuring every person with a life-limiting cancer receives the best specialist palliative care when needed,” said Alison.
Previous news from the Metro Region
Volunteer Role Spotlight
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Volunteer – Natalie Wubben
Our Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Event and Communications volunteers are an integral part of making our 24 year old campaign the success that it is.
The volunteers manage over 200 of our Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea VIP hosts by communicating with them over the phone and via email throughout the campaign. They register the hosts’ events, book in speakers and media opportunities for their events, send out support materials and collateral hosts require as well as attending these morning teas on the day to offer event support.
This year the official date for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is Thursday 25 May, but the volunteers assist our Community Relations Coordinator Cosie Sekhas, who looks after the campaign for the Metro Sydney region, over the months of February to June for events that happen any time throughout May and June.
“A few weeks into the role, Natalie has already made it her own and has been effective in supporting our generous hosts to help them make their morning teas as successful as they are! In the two days a week that she’s in the office, Natalie looks after over 80 hosts and has built good relationships with them. They know that they can contact her if they have any enquiries about their events and she will be willing and able to assist. She has been a great addition to our Metro Sydney team and I look forward to seeing what else she will achieve during her time in the role.” – Cosie Sekhas, Community Relations Coordinator
“Each week I look forward to coming into the office and helping organise the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea campaign. A highlight of my day is interacting with not only the staff but my VIP hosts who share the same passion as I do in helping support Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW). My time spent at CCNSW has been so valuable as I continue to further develop my marketing and communications skills. Everyone in the team has gone out of their way to make me feel so unbelievably welcomed and supported in my role. I am excited to see how the events progress through the next few stages and I also hope to host my own Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea!” – Natalie Wubben, Events and Communications Assistant (Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea)
If you would like to volunteer to support the campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
2017 will be another big year for the Metro Sydney Region’s Mission Team!
Together with our volunteers we will continue to deliver practical support, through our Cancer Information Services at St George and Prince of Wales Hospital and Northern Cancer Institute. We’re partnering with treatment centres to deliver our Survivorship programs, like ENRICHing Survivorship.
With help from our community advocates we will be meeting with Members of Parliament about our Palliative Care Campaign, and building community support at our campaign launches.
You will also find us working with other Community Service Organisations to deliver Tackling Tobacco, talking to parents at primary schools about how to Eat It to Beat It, AND when summer rolls around again we’ll be back at golf clubs sun protection messages in hand. Importantly, we’re looking forward to working out in Metro Sydney Community with our champion volunteers again to make this all happen!
The Fundraising Team has been busy organising and supporting participants in a number of upcoming events in the Metro Sydney Region. They are currently working with volunteers on Relay Committees and with Christine, Natalie, Dina and Elle who are in administration and communication positions.
Please find below a list of upcoming events the team have been working.
If you would like to participate or volunteer at any of the below events please email email@example.com
Upcoming Events in Metro Sydney Region
The Metro Sydney Team are currently recruiting for a number of positions and would encourage you to check out these opportunities.
Two roles that may be of interest to you or you may like to share with your networks are:
Event and Communications Volunteer – click here.
If you thought Natalie’s role sounded exciting , we are seeking another dynamic and enthusiastic volunteer to work with the Community Relations Coordinator for the duration of the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea Campaign (March – June). This annual campaign is one of our largest events for Cancer Council NSW and we’re looking for enthusiastic, bright volunteers with excellent written and oral communication skills to join our Metro Sydney team in Woolloomooloo for 2 days a week.
Event Administration Assistant – click here.
The Metro Sydney Regional Office is seeking a dynamic and enthusiastic volunteer for the position of Event Assistant. The ideal candidate will be available 2 days a week on an ongoing basis.
This role assists the Regional Administrator on a range of Administration tasks for a number of community fundraising events throughout the Metro Region to support, guide, connect and engage with communities resulting in raising vital funds for Cancer Council NSW.
If you are interested in either of the event support roles or any other positions at Cancer Council NSW, please apply by clicking on the links or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet The Team
Role at CCNSW: Volunteering and Partnerships Coordinator
How long you have worked at CCNSW: I first started at Cancer Council NSW as a volunteer back in 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed my volunteering experience and was excited to join the organisation as a Community Relations Coordinator in the Metro Sydney Team in August 2015 on a 12 month contract. In July 2016, just shy of my contract ending I was successful in my application to become the Volunteering and Partnerships Coordinator.
Favourite part of your job: Meeting applicants for volunteer positions. It is a pleasure to learn about what motivates people to volunteer to help beat cancer.
How you work with volunteers: I support all Metro Sydney Team by engaging and supervising volunteers for the regional programs and events they are responsible for as well as demonstrating best practice volunteer engagement and supervision.
A random fact about Elise : I am a twin, and my twin also works for Cancer Council NSW in the campaigns team. It causes a lot of confusion.
Three things still left on her bucket list? I feel very lucky that I have ticked off a number of my bucket list items but I am looking forward to ticking off a few more.
- Go on Safari in Africa
- See Northern Lights in Alaska
- Open an Animal Sanctuary – I am passionate about animal welfare and love all types of animals. I would love to spend my retirement rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in need.
‘Improve Your Long Game’ Launch
Over the last couple of weeks, the Metro Sydney Team launched our cancer prevention program ‘Improve Your Long Game’ at a number of golf clubs across the region.
With Cancer Council NSW representatives in attendance to promote the program, Massey Park Golf Club, Manly Golf Club, Bayview Golf Club, Chatswood Golf Club, Kareela Golf & Social Club, Beverley Park Golf Club and Bexley Golf Club all held official launches. These launches educated hundreds of golfers about Improve Your Long Game, how to stay sun smart, and even included fun activities like sunscreen giveaways and putting competitions!
With World Cancer Day taking place on the first weekend in February along with its slogan ‘Support through Sport’, these launches were a great way to remind golfers how they can commit to sun protection behaviours in order to reduce their skin cancer risk.
Sydney Relay For Life Trivia Night
On 2 February, the Sydney Relay For Life committee held a trivia night to remember at the Royal Oak Hotel in Balmain.
We hosted our trivia night as a different way to hold our team information evening, and engaged with more than 75 attendees including Relayers, sponsors, committee, friends, family and many potential new Relayers!
Our legendary trivia hosts were our new committee members, Senny and Michelle, who kept the teams on their toes throughout the night. Our very own Global Hero of Hope, Danny Brombal, introduced Relay and our team information to the audience.
In addition to trivia, we also held a live auction, lucky door prizes, a challenging coin toss and we asked plenty of Relay questions throughout the night. Overall, it was a fantastic night filled with lots of laughter and to top it off, another $2200 was raised for Sydney Relay!
Stars of the Beaches 2017 Launch
On 9 February, Cancer Council NSW officially launched the 2017 Stars of the Beaches fundraising gala and dance competition.
Set to be staged on 6 May at Dee Why RSL Club, Stars of the Beaches will challenge local celebrities, business people and everyday heroes to learn a dance routine and perform it live in front an audience of more than 300 people.
At the launch event, 11 local stars were matched with a professional dancer and randomly assigned a dance style to learn. Those taking on the challenge and strapping on their dance shoes include Sarah Swain (Journalist at Manly Daily), Meredith Cummins (Director of Medical Oncology and Nursing at the Northern Sydney Cancer Institute), and Kylie Llewellyn (local Girl Scout Leader and employee of Northern Beaches Council).
With the participants already commencing their training and beginning to work towards reaching their fundraising targets, Stars of the Beaches offers residents of Sydney’s Northern Beaches a chance to fundraise for Cancer Council NSW in a fun way while learning something new.
Holy Cross Crusaders Cricket Club aim to reduce cancer risk
Ryde’s Holy Cross Crusaders Cricket Club is doing its part to promote healthy lifestyle habits as a member of Cancer Council NSW’s Healthy Sports Initiative.
The Healthy Sports Initiative is a free, three year membership program for junior cricket clubs aiming to create a healthy, cancer-smart environment for club members and their families.
“Cancer Council NSW’s ‘Healthy Sports Initiative’ has given our Club the opportunity to highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle to our junior cricketers and their families.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Cancer Council NSW in promoting a healthy, cancer-free lifestyle. We encourage all our players to ‘slip, slop, slap, seek, slide’ and enjoy their cricket in a smoke-free environment,” said Rob Gough, President at Holy Cross Crusaders Cricket Club.
Staff Achievement Award
Innovation Award: Ali Boydell, for her media success in the Metro team
‘In her short six months in the Communications & Event Coordinator role, Ali has worked closely with the Metro team to; increase the region portion of media score for Metro from 8-12%, position the team as a leading spokesperson for the first time, achieve record coverage for all mission and fundraising campaigns, increase the quality and favourability of media content by securing positioning for the majority of published material, using innovative techniques to secure new media opportunities’
– Lauren McAlister, Metro Sydney Regional Manager
Catch up with previous months’ news by going here and then clicking on your blue ‘region’ link.