Southern NSW volunteer news

Stars of Eurobodalla


On July 22, Tomakin Sports and Social Club hosted the 2nd Annual Stars of Eurobodalla Dance For Cancer.

Ten Stars and their dance partners performed a variety of dances from Pole Dancing and Ballroom to Rumba and Belly Dancing. TJ Productions once again provided all the sound and music and Shanna Provost was our wonderful MC.

The four judges, who were a part of the inaugural 2016 event, were Kerrie O’Connor – Editor of the Bay Post/Moruya Examiner, Graeme Thom – local celebrity and entertainer, Vicki Mennie – our local dance expert and Vitoria Haberley – entertainer and 2016 MC. Vitoria once again came as an impersonator of Kim from ‘Kath and Kim’ and delighted the crowd. ‘Kimmi’ even performed a ballet for the show!

Incredible support was shown from the community throughout the night including Oncology staff from Moruya Hospital who took to the stage to talk about Cancer Council NSW and how our organisation positively impacts the Eurobodalla.

The event was once again a huge hit hosting 250 guests (with 40 people on the waitlist) and raised $29,000! We look forward to the 2018 event.


Nowra Players donation


The Nowra Players, a theatre in Bomaderry, donated $1,000 to Cancer Council NSW Southern Region on July 3 from their takings from the recent Calendar Girls show.

The show, based on a true story, follows a group of extraordinary women who persuade one another to pose (nude!) for a charity calendar with a difference.

Having many members affected by cancer, the Nowra Players thought donating the show’s proceeds was the perfect opportunity to support Cancer Council NSW.


Advocacy Win – Illawarra Cancer Action Network (iCAN)


The Illawarra Cancer Action Network (iCAN) have advocated throughout the course of the ‘I Care for Palliative Care’ campaign for more accessible and culturally appropriate palliative care, for all those who need it.

The group tirelessly contributed to the state wide campaign, collecting pledges at events such as Relay for Life Wollongong and Shellharbour.

A total of approximately $13,000 was collected state-wide.

On June 11, the NSW Government announced a $100 million commitment to palliative care over the next four years showing that they have been heard and actions have been taken as a result. A fantastic win as a result of a consistent effort! Thank you to all our iCAN volunteers!


Prominent Newsreader to lead Wollongong Relay For Life

Wollongong Relay for Life chairman Stuart Barnes, participant Avah Bower and patron, newsreader Geoff Phillips.

Wollongong Relay for Life chairman Stuart Barnes, participant Avah Bower and patron, newsreader Geoff Phillips.

On June 15, the Southern Region officially launched the 2017 Wollongong Relay For Life at Beaton Park Leisure Centre.

WIN TV news presenter, Geoff Phillips was announced as the official ambassador of the event now in its 17th year. More widely known for his role as newsreader for the nightly news, Mr Phillips used the opportunity to speak openly about his own cancer experience and urge members of the community to support fun and flexible fundraising events such as Relay for Life.

‘’When someone tells you you’ve got the ‘big C’ you think it’s a death sentence – but it doesn’t have to be,’’ he said.

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer it took the wind out of my sails, it totally flattened me. But with the support of my family, the Cancer Council, and hospital staff, I got through it and am now happy to report that I’m cancer free.’’

Since its inception, Wollongong Relay For Life has raised over $3 million for local cancer services.


Previous Southern NSW Region news:


Cycle For Cancer

Club President, Zac Hulm and CCNSW Kelly Dinnerville with participants.

Club President Zac Hulm, and Cancer Council NSW’s Kelly Dinnerville, with participants.

Last month, the third annual Cycle For Cancer event was held in Fitzroy Falls.

The five-hour, non-competitive mountain bike challenge smashed its $30,000 target and raised more than $80,000!

Obstacles, jumps and bridges were set up throughout an 8km course which was designed to challenge riders and show off the stunning scenery of the Southern Highlands

Several members of the Southern Highlands Cycling Club helped to organise the event, including club president Zac Hulm.

Image: Club President, Zac Hulm and CCNSW Kelly Dinnerville with participants.


The Warner Family’s 22nd Biggest Morning Tea

Judy Warner and her family with Cancer Council NSW CEO Jeff Mitchell at the Warner's annual Biggest Morning Tea.

Judy Warner and her family with Cancer Council NSW CEO Jeff Mitchell at the Warner’s annual Biggest Morning Tea.

On May 27, The Warner family hosted their 22nd Biggest Morning Tea at the Burrawang School of Arts.

Judy, Don and Alex Warner lost their daughter and sister Lucinda to childhood cancer 22 years ago, two weeks before her seventh birthday after three years of treatment.

The first year they raised $200, and this year the family reached their highest ever total of $16,270.

“Last year we raised about $13,000 and I never thought we would make more than that,” Judy said.

“I’m absolutely blown away by the generosity of the community.”

Since 1996 the Warner family has raised a huge $120,197 for Cancer Council NSW. CEO Jeff Mitchell attended the morning tea to celebrate the occasion.


Stars of Wollongong Dance for Cancer 2017


On Saturday 3 June, the Southern Region hosted its Third ‘Stars of Wollongong Dance For Cancer’.

Fourteen professionals from around the Region swapped suits for sequins and learned a hot shoe shuffle over 12 weeks while each rounded up donations for local cancer support services and programs.

Cancer Council Community Relations Coordinator, Caitlyn Zalewski, said the event was its biggest and best yet, smashing last year’s fundraising total.

“We’re thrilled to confirm the final fundraising total of $146,128 for ‘Stars of Wollongong Dance For Cancer 2017’,” Caitlyn said.

“This is a phenomenal effort by our local community, generous sponsors and last but certainly not least, our 14 ‘Stars’ of Wollongong,”

“Together they took things to a new level in 2017 – smashing fundraising targets, breaking records for ‘Stars of Wollongong’.” Caitlyn continued.


Goulburn Hope Ball


Karen Wilson, 2017 Ambassador and The Hon Pru Goward, MP.

On Saturday 20 April, Goulburn Relay For Life Committee held their annual Hope Ball to launch the 2017 Relay For Life.

The event was well attended with around 150 guests, including The Hon Pru Goward MP.

The night was full of fun, dancing and fundraising, with the total raised coming to over $10,000.

New Chair, Rosemary Chapman, was announced along with a farewell to the previous chair, Mel Byrne.

We also used the opportunity to welcome our 2017 ambassador, Karen Wilson.

There were loads of fantastic prizes with the raffle and auction raising $6,000.

Being in its third year, the Goulburn Hope Ball is now a key part of the community calendar with plans already underway for next year.


Stars of Southern Highlands


On Friday 19 May, the inaugural Stars of Southern Highlands Dance For Cancer was held at Mittagong RSL, raising over $40,000!

Genres included jazz, ballroom, line dancing, Broadway, flamenco, disco and tap, however, top honours went to the Hip Hop routine performed by ‘SeeSaw Promotions’ owner, Thomas Farquhar, who won the Judges Choice Award.

With 280 people in attendance, the event was a sell-out, with the final dancers of the night encouraging everyone onto the floor with their re-enactment of the final scene from Dirty Dancing.

A great night was had by all with everyone excited to see the Stars of Southern Highlands Dancer For Cancer become an annual event.


Eurobodalla Relay for Life Celebration Evening


On Tuesday 9 May, the Eurobodalla Relay For Life committee held a celebration evening to thank and congratulate all involved. Overall feedback was super positive and grateful to Cancer Council NSW for bringing the Eurobodalla Relay for Life to Narooma from Batemans Bay.

Relay Chair Gilly Kearney addressed the group, saying how proud she was to have been involved in the event, and Relay Ambassador Tralee Snape talked of the importance of the event in demonstrating to the community as a whole that they are not alone when cancer rears its ugly head. Everyone is affected when a member of the community is diagnosed with cancer, and the event showed how much everyone cares.

Community Engagement Coordinator Kate Brett had the opportunity to speak to attendees about the importance of the Relay for Life as a community engagement, fundraising and information event. The Health Hub received great feedback with 44 participants. Five new Transport to Treatment drivers were also recruited at the Relay. $51,516.78 was raised in total from a small community, and everyone was incredibly proud to be involved.

Belinda Matthews-Bennett from Ben Bate Real Estate said, “We wanted to relay and raise funds for the Cancer Council when we came to the realisation that every single person in our office has lost someone to cancer. Every. Single. Person. Thank you again for such a well-run event. We really enjoyed the atmosphere, and were happy to raise funds for such a good cause. Now I’m off to plan our Biggest Morning Tea!”


Fruit & Veg Sense in Cooma

CoomaNorth_091847 fruit and veg

Cooma North Public School recently hosted a fantastic Fruit & Veg Sense workshop that was well received by the parents that attended.

Rachel Fergusson, teacher at Cooma North Public School, was delighted to offer something to parents that would address some issues that she often hears about.

Parent attendee, Rochelle Woolfe, left the workshop stating she would prioritise time to plan her family’s meals, ensuring they are getting enough serves of fruit and vegetables.

“I have tried meal planning before but it didn’t last too long. Today was a good reminder of the benefits of meal planning and I will definitely try planning meals again” Rochelle said.

All parents at the workshop were really interested to hear about fruit and vegetable delivery options in their area which our Regional Nutrition Project Officer, Kate Angelucci was able to follow up.


I Care for Palliative Care launches in the Southern Highlands

Margaret Mogg, Grahame Hackett, Jane Mahony and Matt Aiken are some of the voices in the call for more palliative care professionals.

Margaret Mogg, Grahame Hackett, Jane Mahony and Matt Aiken are some of the voices in the call for more palliative care professionals.

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. And great things are not accidental, but must certainly be willed.”

It has been a long time since Vincent Van Gogh shared this timeless insight, but its sentiment was embodied at the I Care for Palliative Care launch in the Southern Highlands.

On May 5, over 50 local community members gathered to give their support and call for increased numbers of palliative care professionals. More than 200 pledges have been signed by Highlands locals and will combine with pledges from across NSW that will be presented to members of parliament to lobby the state government for funding.


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