Southern NSW volunteer news

Queanbeyan Relay For Life


On March 4 and 5, Queanbeyan Relay For Life took place at the Queanbeyan Showgrounds. Despite some tricky weather, the event had a great atmosphere and the community really came together for a fun-filled event.

Cancer survivor, Fiona Bromwich completed 23 hours on the track, mostly in a wheelchair, to complete a bucket list item – ‘become more involved in the community and the Relay For Life event’.

“At age 30 I had ovarian cancer that required my uterus to be removed, and then I had a speed boat accident two months later that bruised my spinal cord,” she said.

“The sky was clear and the ground was great. The wheelchair went around really well. When it was charging, I could do a few laps on the crutch.”

The “buzzing” atmosphere, which Ms Bromwich compared to a blue light disco, the candle light vigil, and walking the track between 1 and 2am in “pure peace” were highlights for the Queanbeyan mum.

Other highlights included the Canberra Raider’s mascot, Victor the Viking dancing with Dougal Bear, the ever popular Miss Relay with Queanbeyan High School taking out the top prize, as well as Karaoke throughout the evening to keep everyone awake on the track.

The community is looking forward to a bigger and better event for 2018!


Get your tea cups ready

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea has officially kicked off in the Southern Region, with two newly appointed volunteer Campaign Assistants, Nichola and CJ, coming on board to help hosts make their event truly successful this year. This power duo will be offering registration and fundraising support to some of our key VIP morning tea hosts in the region.



Both Nichola and CJ will be offering their assistance to hosts seeking any further information about Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and will ensure all hosts are registered and fully equipped for their event. Once hosts have registered, they will receive a welcome kit and a newly designed limited addition mug. Each year, a newly designed mug is released to our hosts, which many choose to donate to their event raffle, raising further funds for the cause. 

Campaign Assistant Nichola is looking forward to “seeing it all coming together.” Nichola said what she is enjoying most about her role with Cancer Council NSW and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is “having the opportunity to speak with all the hosts who are participating in the event, hearing their stories and why they enjoy being involved.”

Nichola also continued to state that, “assisting Cancer Council makes [her] feel like [she] is making a difference. There isn’t a single person who doesn’t have a personal connection to cancer, so it would be great for everyone to get involved.”

The official date for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is 25 May 2017, but events can be held anytime throughout May or June.

If you or anyone you know would like to get involved, make a donation or host an event for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and help beat cancer, you can register at or call 1300 65 65 85.


Farewell to a volunteer who will be sorely missed

PamAfter 10 wonderful years, we are saying farewell to our delightful Volunteer Receptionist, Pam Kilby, from our Southern Regional office. Pam has made the decision to resign from the role and join her husband in retirement, with the hopes to do some travel together.

Pam first got involved with Cancer Council ten years ago, when she heard a friend was volunteering and she too decided she had “a few hours each week of spare time and wanted to help out.”

Pam supported a large number of Cancer Council events over the 10 years, including Daffodil Day, Pink Ribbon Day and Relay For Life. Pam was instrumental in getting things ready for these events, spending countless hours packing team shirts for Relay, stocktaking merchandise and banking funds post event.

Pam highly enjoyed running the stalls and selling merchandise on Daffodil Day at Fairy Meadow and Wollongong Innovation Campus, and in particular “speaking to all those who generously donated.” Pam was also “appreciative of the number of people who thanked the volunteers such as herself for their participation on the day.”

When asking Pam what she enjoyed most about volunteering with Cancer Council she said, “The people I met over the years and that my role was different all the time. I’ve always tried to have a go at everything and I appreciated that everyone was very patient and friendly and always kind.”

Pam, also described as the ‘Office Mum’ by the Volunteering and Partnerships Coordinator, Mia Parsons, will be dearly missed each Thursday. “Pam’s kind heart and helpful personality made her a pleasure to work with. No task was ever too big, and she took on each responsibility with a smile, even cleaning up the kitchen,” Mia said.

“Pam’s smile and warm nature will be greatly missed. She has certainly left an impression and a hole that will be very hard to fill.”

Pam touched the lives of many whilst volunteering within the Southern Region and we are forever grateful for her efforts and hard work.

On behalf of everyone involved at Cancer Council we wish Pam the very best for the future.


Local Researcher Awarded Cancer Council NSW Research Grant


On Wednesday 1 March, Cancer Council NSW awarded nearly $6 million to 15 ground-breaking cancer research projects. These grants help fund future breakthroughs in cancer research, with leading research teams paving the way for new ways to treat the disease.

Included in the list of recipients is local University of Wollongong researcher, Professor Peter Metcalfe, who has been awarded a project grant, worth $427,000, to develop a world first radiation system to ensure the safe delivery of radiation doses to patients.

Radiation therapy is used to treat 40% of cancer patients in Australia. The problem with current therapy is that during treatment, the tumours are moving. Professor Peter Metcalfe and his team have found that they can follow the tumour with a new radiation machine, called the MRI-linac, but it is impossible to check whether the radiation dose is correct and safe for the patient.

To solve this problem, the team is perfecting a new radiation dosimetry system that could be operated with the MRI-linac. The new system’s detector acts as a surrogate for the cancer, which will be imaged and treated as it moves in the body. This world first radiation system will enable the safe delivery of radiation dose to cancer patients treated with the MRI-linac.

‘’We can monitor biological aspects of the tumour and effectively try and personalise the treatment for the patient, depending on how the tumour is responding,’’ Professor Metcalfe said.

‘’We’ll be able to deliver radiation more precisely, so potentially we’ll be able to deliver the dose in five doses, instead of 25 to 30.’’

Prof Metcalfe said the technology would be especially beneficial for soft tissue tumours that were difficult to visualise on scans, and therefore hard to treat.

‘’So cancers like lung, breast, oesophagus, pancreas, rectal, cervix, prostate and lymph nodes,” he said.

Cancer Council NSW Regional Manager, Michael Cannon, Cancer Council NSW Communication and Events Coordinator, Tracy Thomas, as well as WIN Television met with Professor Metcalfe at the University for a small tour of the laboratories to view his team’s amazing research.

You can view the story here


The 14th Annual Great Ocean Pool Crawl Makes Another Big Splash!


On Sunday 5 March, the Northern Illawarra Community held it’s 14th annual Great Ocean Pool Crawl.

Founded in 2002 by Real Estate Agent and keen ocean swimmer, Phil Murray, The Great Ocean Pool Crawl is a family friendly event where locals can swim, snorkel or paddle to raise funds for CCNSW.

Taking inspiration from the traditional pub crawl, the event involves participants ‘crawling’ down the South Coast from Coalcliff to Towradgi via seven stunning ocean pools. The participants complete two laps at each pool before moving on to the next one.

Participants at this year’s event evaded the stormy weather to raise $20,000 and counting!

We look forward to next year’s event.


Stars of Wollongong Dance For Cancer Launch


On Wednesday 8 March, the Southern Region officially launched Stars of Wollongong Dance for Cancer 2017 at the WIN Entertainment Centre.

Hosted by Christie and Crammy from i98FM, the event was an exciting introduction to this year’s stars, who will work with a professional dance instructor to learn a dance routine to showcase at a Gala Event on Saturday 3 June, while fundraising for Cancer Council NSW.

 We were also excited to announce our partnership with WIN Television who have come on board as naming rights sponsor for the event.

 Our 14 local stars, from many different backgrounds including law, journalism, broadcasting, banking, hairdressing, NSW Police Force and Dog Grooming, have so far collectively raised almost $10,000 with many fundraising events to come.

 Follow our hilarious Facebook page for further updates.


Eurobodalla Relay For Life


The Eurobodalla Relay For life was held at Bill Smyth Oval, Narooma on the weekend, 18/19 March. Over 360 participants walked the track for 24 hours, and despite all the rain, the event was hailed a great success at the new venue.

Eurobodalla Relay for Life Committee chairwoman, Gilly Kearney, said it was Narooma’s turn to host the Relay after previous events were held in Batemans Bay and Moruya. She was blown away by the level of support and participation shown by the Narooma community.

 “Last weekend in the rain and drizzle, I’m certain I speak for all on the committee when I say that Narooma residents and its surrounding family and friends have totally overwhelmed us with the generous support, be it in-kind, through gifts and sponsorship and donations,” Mrs Kearney said.

 “We all came together in the rain, to fight cancer and it was an epic 24 hours and an epic journey to get there.

 “The performers, the food and some kids some doing almost 200 laps – 60 kilometres – all walking to help fight cancer.”

 Almost $50,000 has been raised by the Eurobodalla community. Well done to the new, revamped committee for a great event!


Fruit & Veg Sense workshops loaded up with volunteers across our region to maximise the Eat It To Beat It program

Eat It To Beat It logo

The Eat It To Beat It program’s Fruit & Veg Sense workshops are in full swing in the Southern Region. We are excited to welcome 12 new volunteers to the program, joining our 11 existing volunteers.

Our volunteers are all very passionate about healthy eating, with some choosing to volunteer their time while completing a degree in Nutrition, Public Health and/or Dietetics.

The free 90-minute Fruit & Veg Sense workshops, facilitated by trained volunteers, provide parents of primary school aged children with information on fruit and vegetable servings, fussy eating, menu planning and food budgeting.

Our new Eat It To Beat It volunteers participated in training at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus on March 16. Volunteers spent the day gaining information about Eat It To Beat It including, how to deliver Fruit & Veg Sense workshops and another of the program’s key offerings, Healthy Lunch Box sessions.

Following the full-day training, four competency assessments have taken place. The competency assessment ensures volunteers feel confident facilitating a session and are ready to implement the program in the community! 

The Southern Region office is also excited to be gaining three newly-recruited volunteers from Mollymook, who will partake in training on Friday April 7. Once trained, these volunteers will be able to implement more Eat It To Beat It sessions in the Shoalhaven region.

If you have connections to a primary school in the Southern Region that might be interested in a free Fruit & Veg Sense workshop, please contact Regional Nutrition Project Officer Kate Angelucci on (02) 4223 0208 or


Previous news from the Southern Region

Going Bald for your Birthday


On 1 February, Goulburn resident and adored childhood educator, Kim Albon, went bald for her 45th birthday.

After learning her sister-in-law had been diagnosed with cancer for the second time in two years, Ms Albon wanted to help. “I’ve always said to her, ‘If you go bald, I’ll go bald’,” the early childhood educator said.

Kim’s head shave was held in front of her delighted students at the Scalliwags Children’s Centre raising $6,600.

“I thought no one would donate [but] I’m overwhelmed and humbled with the amount of generosity from the people. I feel fantastic,” she said. “I was going to shave it off at home, but I did it at school so the children could also understand and I could raise more money. It’s only hair, it grows back.”


Improve Your Long Game

4.Improve_Your_Long_Game.140058Southern has been on a recruitment blitz, signing up nine clubs (from two clubs in 2016) for our cancer prevention program ‘Improve Your Long Game’.

Yass Golf Club has lead the charge and is excited to encourage its members to use sun protection every time they play this summer and beyond.

Yass Golf Club manager Matthew Waters said the club did not hesitate to jump on board with the campaign, since about 80% of members are older than 40.

“Cancer Council NSW approached us and we just thought it was a good idea, especially with the older generation that we’ve got playing golf. It’s a good initiative for us,” he said.

“Once we got the gear, we implemented it all straight away,” Mr Waters said.


Eurobodalla Relay for Life launch event held at Club Narooma


The Eurobodalla community gathered on February 3 for the launch event to celebrate and raise awareness for the upcoming Eurobodalla Relay for Life.

The event held at Club Narooma was a fun filled afternoon which included barefoot bowls, a barbecue dinner, raffles and prizes, giving the community an opportunity to come together and celebrate the hope that Relay for Life gives.

More than 150 local residents including a brand new committee, patients, carers, friends, family members and those who have been touched by cancer came together on the night raising over $2000.

Many new participants joined the Eurobodalla Relay by registering at the launch event, recognising the importance and value of supporting the local community in the fight against cancer.

The launch event has been an encouraging start to the Eurobodalla Relay for Life, which is being held for the first time in Narooma on 18-19 March at Bill Smythe Memorial Oval, Barker Parade, Narooma.


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