Western NSW volunteer news

Orange & District Relay for Life


The Orange community celebrated their 15th anniversary of Relay in early April, drawing in 1,000 participants who gathered around Waratah’s Sportsground again this year.

The Relay was a huge success with people coming from all over the districts to be involved with this amazing event – which raised over $100,000! The Tug-of-War was a dynamic drawcard for local schools and sports club, with the inaugural men’s shield going to the local Orange Hawks footy team. The team has since donated the $500 winnings back to Cancer Council NSW.

The committee loved the spirit that inspired the Relay, and are looking forward to planning next year’s 2018 event!


Warren Relay for Life


The small community of Warren (population approx. 1500 people) came together to plan and celebrate Relay for Life. This is the second time Warren has done a Relay, with the first event raising over $100,000 in 2012.

The event was launched by an auction and dinner at the close-by town of Nevertire, where funds raised for Relay exceeded $10,000.

Warren’s Relay also saw the start of some new activities and the return of some old ones, including the Miss Relay competition, which was much-loved by the community in 2012, seeing seven participants raising almost $2,000!

The event was a great result for this close-knit community, with the funds raised going to local programs like ‘Improve Your Long Game’ and ‘walls of information’.


8 – 14 May 2017 saw Cancer Council NSW Wagga office celebrating National Volunteers Week.

Human V Pic 2

The Volunteer Centre in town put on an event asking all types of volunteers in the community to come together and create a “Human V”.

Wagga office volunteers Judy Heard and Angela Stinson attended with Volunteer Partnerships Coordinator Linda Hoey to help make the “V” and celebrate National Volunteer Week.

A BIG “Thank You” to all of our volunteers in the Western region!

Human V Pic 1

Judy Heard, Wagga Wagga Mayor Greg Conkey and Angela Stinson.


Previous regional news from 2017

Cultural Diversity in Palliative Care


With the “I Care for Palliative Care” (IC4PC) campaign gaining ground, and at least two Palliative Care Roundtable discussions planned for the area, it was a great time for Western staff members Mel Nixon and Pip Grant to attend the recent PEPA (Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach) workshop in Wagga Wagga.

Titled “Cultural Diversity – a multicultural perspective of end of life care”, the workshop gave some great insights into cultural self-awareness, the different beliefs and values surrounding death and dying, and what constitutes culturally appropriate palliative care.

The day also provided an opportunity for Mel and Pip to develop further contacts and networks sympathetic to the IC4PC cause.


Wagga Wagga Takes 2

wagga wagga ash blucher and haylee pottsMid April Ash Blucher from Hit 93.1 Riverina took to the stage for Cancer Council NSW in the annual “Wagga Wagga Takes 2”.

Ash has been fundraising for the past four months with the aim of raising enough money to get a new vehicle on the road for transport to treatment in the Riverina area.

She is up against stiff competition but knows that it is not about the prize, but what this fundraising event will bring to the local community as each of the stars are fundraising for a different charity.


Wellington ‘Nutritious & Delicious’ workshop with Kate Bracks


There was standing room only at the most recent healthy cooking workshop that took place in Wellington, co-hosted by former MasterChef winner Kate Bracks, and CPC Camilla Thompson from the Orange office.

Mums, dads and grandparents from the local community, who commented on the lack of community and social services that they have regular access to – were thrilled to learn the benefits of cooking healthy food for your family, both on the hips and the hip pocket, and also for the environment.

The workshop brings together the content of Eat It To Beat It – and Love Food Hate Waste – in a partnership between NetWaste and Cancer Council NSW funded by a grant from the EPA.

Skills such as how to cut onion, how to make tomato sauce from scratch and spread it across five different types of meals – were very well received. Lots of healthy topping ideas rich with vegetables were brainstormed while the participants were trying their hand at making pizza dough – and everyone agreed that cooking from scratch was much cheaper in the long run, and much more enjoyable when you have the skills and knowledge to do it.

This two hour interactive workshop has now been delivered in Orange, Narromine and Wellington – and will be delivered in Parkes and Gilgandra in May and June respectively.

Following the first workshop that took place in February, superstar host Kate Bracks was approached in the local supermarket by one of the mothers who had attended the Orange session and told that she was at the supermarket stocking up on the ingredients to make the fresh tomato sauce that Kate had demonstrated in the workshop, as well as the pizza dough. She had apparently been making a big batches of the sauce and was storing it in her freezer for quick healthy meals when they needed them. Her children had loved the pizza, now wanted a weekly pizza night, and they wanted to invite friends and family over to enjoy their fresh and healthy pizzas together!

This encouraging testimonial and the huge success of the recent workshop in Wellington demonstrates the value of working together in collaboration with other likeminded organisations to improve the education and awareness around healthy choices and behaviours – and the positive impact this can have on communities.


Byng Street Café Launch for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

ABMT Launch Orange

Western NSW have kicked off Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea (ABMT) this May with a launch at the Byng Street Café in Orange NSW. ABMT Hosts, office volunteers and staff attended a lovely high tea in the courtyard catching the afternoon sun.

Relishing some delicious treats, the company, and hearing the stories of many years of hosting, our hosts enjoyed attending an afternoon tea instead of hosting one!


Our ABMT cake toppers were also a hit which were specially ordered in for the month. We have multiple morning teas coming up throughout May and June across our region and thank our hosts for coming back on board for 2017.


Sibling Support in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (M.I.A)


The ‘I Care for Palliative Care’ campaign received some great support in Griffith prior to Griffith Relay for Life. The Relay For Life event was held 4 March with Community Programs Coordinator Mel Nixon collecting over 500 pledges towards the campaign.

More pledges will follow from local businesses and groups who offered to help Cancer Council NSW Western to reach the State target of 10,000 pledges for presentation to the Honourable Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Health.

Sisters, Karen, Annette, Denise-Ann and Janice (pictured), joined their voices to the many pledging support for the campaign around the M.I.A.

The sisters say it is the personal nature of the cause drawing them to speak out. Denise Hearn commented that “We have a history of cancer in our family…we cared for our grandfather because he wanted to live out his life at home. It was tough on all of us to make that happen.”

Prior to Griffith RFL Opening Ceremony, a whole Relay group photo was taken. Look out for the mass photo in the next Community Spotlight!


Cowra Relay For Life


The Cowra & District Relay For Life was held on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March at Sid Kallas Oval.

The event was a great success, as the weather cleared up, and although humid, it was wonderful weather for a Relay. With 24 teams and 273 participants walking the track, the vibe was electric.

With numerous teams tag-teaming the whole night, there was always a presence on the track, which was such a great effort.

There was amazing live music and plenty of entertainment with a bucking bull, jumping castle, Karaoke and martial arts demonstrations.

So far the Cowra community have raised $24,230, which is a fantastic effort, as there is still money being banked.

Overall it was a brilliant Relay with lots of sore feet at the end.


Eat It 2 Beat It Hippy Parent Group


On Wednesday 22 March, nine participants in the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY Program) attended a FREE Eat it to Beat it education session.

Cancer Council NSW knows that up to four per cent (4%) of all cancers can be prevented by eating the right amount of fruit, veg and fibre.

By helping parents to understand why fruit and veg are so important, Cancer Council NSW hopes to make a difference in reducing the impact of cancer in our community while also creating a cancer-smart community.

The session went extremely well, with the group having a great discussion following upon our event, and setting themselves some goals to work on with their primary school aged children.


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