Southern NSW volunteer news

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.


Previous regional news from 2017

We couldn’t do it without you!

Volunteer Week

As it is National Volunteer Week I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the work you do for Cancer Council NSW.

As a team you help us deliver a number of local programs and events, including ten Relay For Lifes, five Dance For Cancers, 81 Daffodil Day sites, six transport services, two Cancer Council Information Services, and the list goes on.

It is through the time and effort you generously contribute that we can and will beat cancer.

Thank you for choosing to make a difference!


Mia Parsons,

Volunteering & Partnerships Coordinator


Volunteer Profile: Riley Smith

Riley Smith Photo

On March 25 the Centennial Park, Cooma, grounds were filled with hope and community support for Cooma’s second Relay For Life event. The purple and yellow Relay shirts filled the town and the day was a huge success!

To support the small but mighty local committee, we had three passionate volunteers working from the Wollongong office to help make the event happen. One of these passionate volunteers was Riley Smith, who organised and ran the Relay Health Hub.

The Cancer Council Health Hub is an innovative twist on the original Passport/Mission Area of Relay For Life. The aim of the hub is to encourage and support people to lead healthier, cancer smart lifestyles, reducing the burden of preventable cancers on the health care system.

The Health Hub operated between 12pm and 3pm at Cooma’s Relay and Riley was thrilled with the community’s overall awareness in making health conscious lifestyle decisions, which can help prevent cancer. These cancer prevention activities included applying sunscreen, maintaining a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Riley, a university student completing her final year in Health Science, made the five hour drive from Sydney to Cooma to run the Health Hub with seven additional volunteers. The health hub volunteers were from the Cooma community and included nurses, gym trainers and massage therapists.

Riley said she felt a great deal of accomplishment when she “realised (she) had contributed to the success of the event through encouraging others to volunteer, turn up and participate. It was also really rewarding seeing people make a connection between the advertising that Cancer Council NSW does and the activities we had operating at Health Hub.”

The success of the Health Hub has had a lasting impression on Riley, and she has decided to stay on as a volunteer, happily accepting the offer to help deliver the Stars of Eurobodalla Dancer for Cancer event, being held on July 22 at Tomakin Sports and Social Club.

Riley has stated that being part of a not for profit organisation, such as Cancer Council NSW, is very rewarding. “I really enjoy speaking to other volunteers, and getting to share their excitement and participation in an event. As someone with a Performing Arts background, I am really excited to be involved with Stars of Eurobodalla and I imagine on the evening of the event, seeing everyone have such fun on stage, I will be wishing I was also performing up there with them.”

 “Running around on the actual day of the event, seeing people participate, and having the opportunity to speak to so many people, I thrive on that,” Riley said.

If you are interested in participating in Stars of Eurobodalla Dance For Cancer, please contact Community Engagement Coordinator Kate Brett, on (02) 4223 0200 or


Have you got your ticket to Stars of Wollongong yet?


On June 3, fourteen enthusiastic fundraisers will be performing front and centre at the Stars of Wollongong Dance for Cancer event. The dancers will be performing in front of an expert judging panel and a live audience at WIN Entertainment Centre.

All fourteen participants have been working tirelessly to perfect their routines, with an overall aim to raise an incredible $3,500 each. Funds from the event will provide cancer support services within the Illawarra region.

Cancer Council NSW Senior Regional Manager Michael Cannon said, “We strive to connect people and organisations to the cancer cause because we know that together we can build insights into the significance of cancer in our lives and contribute our talents towards the vision of cancer defeated.

“Our key priority working areas of research, support, prevention and advocacy will ensure that no cancer is ignored and that no-one faces a cancer diagnosis alone. I commend each and every dancer for giving up their time, their energy, and putting their reputations on the line in order to help make our vision a reality.”

Be sure to book your tickets for the biggest showstopper evening to hit Wollongong! Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster for $140, with all proceeds going to Cancer Council NSW.

You can also follow the progress of our ‘stars’ on Facebook at Stars of Wollongong Dance for Cancer, on Instagram @stars_of_wollongong and through their individual accounts.

For full details, go to


Daffodil Day Team Leaders Needed

BowralColes_Daffodil Day

Daffodil Day is Cancer Council’s flagship fundraising event and the largest fundraising event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and this year is been held on Friday 25 August 2017.

Cancer Council NSW is seeking enthusiastic and passionate volunteers to take on the role of Team Leader. Your role and responsibilities on Daffodil Day will include:

  • Managing your site on Friday 25 August
  • Ensuring the safety of your team and customers
  • Contacting and coordinating your team of volunteers, prior to and on Daffodil Day
  • Managing the paperwork, banking and security for your site
  • Liaising with Cancer Council – volunteer needs, delivery / return of merchandise and fresh flowers etc.
  • Contacting site location Venue Manager – we suggest contacting them a couple of days out to re-confirm where to collect merchandise for site set up (if you did not receive it at home and are bringing it with you), access times to storage areas if applicable, and confirming a contact name for on the day (in case this has changed from the details provided by site venue originally).

Join the volunteer team to make a real difference towards the defeat of cancer.  Fundraising on the day will go towards cancer research, prevention, education and patient support services.

Daffodil Day is a great way to meet people, develop skills in communication, merchandising and sales, while engaging with your local community.

Previous Team Leader? We will be in touch very soon to register you for 2017.

First time? Please contact Caitlyn Zalewski on 02 4223 0212 or email


Nowra Relay For Life


On March 29, The 14th annual Shoalhaven Nowra Relay for Life was held at the Nowra Showground. The theme this year was “For Friends, Family and the Future.” Due to wet weather, the event was altered from a 24-hour event to a 12-hour event.

Team numbers were only slightly down on previous years, and participants numbered approximately 915 (including 158 registrations on the day).  There was a great turnout of survivors and their carers, our VIPs of Relay for Life, with an estimated 150 at the special survivor/carer morning tea.

One of the highlights was the performance by ‘Don’t Change – The INXS story’. We were very privileged to have this band perform at Relay, as they only support one charity event each year.  Relay formed part of their tour that includes a performance at the Singapore Grand Prix.


Bermagui Bike Show 2017


On April 22, the annual Bermagui Bike Show was held in Dickinson Park, hosted by local fundraisers, the Cancer Research Advocate Bikers (CRABS).  The day was filled with bikes, exhibits, live music, auctions, raffles and trade stalls.

As well as showing off bikes of all styles, and several hotrods for four-wheel fans, the CRABS were also donating $20,000 to Cancer Council on the day.

The donation takes the local chapter’s total contribution to Cancer Council NSW to over $300,000! What an amazing achievement?!


Stars of Southern Highlands Dancer For Cancer


On March 29, the Stars of Southern Highlands Dance for Cancer launched at Mittagong RSL. Ten Southern Highlands identities, from dairy farmers to cricket legends, are dusting off their dancing shoes and taking to the stage for the inaugural gala event on May 19.

Representatives from naming sponsor, First Class Wealth, attended the night along with General and Practical Support (GAPS) Coordinator, Joan Harrison and GAPS Driver, Kathryn Woodhouse.

It was announced on the evening that funds raised from the event would go towards the purchase and running of a GAPS transport car so that volunteers are no longer required to use their own vehicles for the service.

It was a fun night had by all, with excitement building for the event at the end of May.


Fruit & Veg Sense in Southern


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.

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 have gained three newly-recruited volunteers from Mollymook, who partook in training on Friday 7 April. Once trained, these volunteers will implement more Eat It To Beat It sessions in the Shoalhaven region.



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