Western NSW volunteer news

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.


Previous months’ news:

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.


Bathurst Golf Club bears the sun in mind, hole after hole


Bathurst Golf Club participated in the Improve Your Long Game program over a six week period commencing in February 2017.

Improve Your Long game is a program funded by Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Institute NSW encouraging golfers of all ages to use sun protection and reduce their risk of melanoma every time they play.

Pro Golfer Matt Barrett had plenty of positive things to say about the success of our program;

“The program of awareness is going really well, there are more members wearing skins on their sleeves and we have increased sales in wide brim hats, I have introduced more styles and I am even wearing one myself instead of a cap after 25 years of playing golf. The sunscreen stations are excellent and well supported with some visitors saying that we really look after our golfers.”

Let’s hope this behaviour change continues!


Improve Your Long Game Making an Impact


On Thursday 16 February over 35 golfers from Wentworth Golf Club in Orange attended a Save Your Skin presentation.

This presentation aimed to further equip golfers’ knowledge on how to reduce their skin cancer risk. Wentworth Golf Club has been an active participant for the last two years in the Improve Your Long Game program, which aims to improve the sun protection behaviours of male golfers.

Unfortunately men tend to have poorer sun protection behaviours than women, especially whilst out on the golf course.

The men who attended were quite interactive with plenty of questions. Let’s hope by promoting positive sun protection behaviours we can have a positive impact on both individuals, and the club culture alike.


Lilier Lodge Re-Launch


On Wednesday 15 March members of the broader Riverina community came together to celebrate the relaunch of Lilier Lodge, the Wagga Wagga based accommodation facility providing rural cancer patients a home away from home during their cancer treatment. Lilier Lodge, a joint venture between Cancer Council NSW and CanAssist, recognised the investment that both organisations and the community have made to this great facility.

Recently over $300,000 has been invested in the 21 room facility, including creating an extra family unit for those caring for others during their treatment. The Dry July initiative helped to contribute significant funds to these refurbishments, along with many other cancer accommodation and transport services across the state.

Wagga Wagga Mayor, Greg Conkey, spoke at the relaunch and has been a long-time supporter of Lilier Lodge; being on the original fundraising committee that contributed to the original building project. Both representatives from Cancer Council NSW and CanAssist were present on the day as the facility continues to be jointly managed by both organisations.


Bathurst Relay for Life


The Bathurst & District Relay For Life was held at All Saints College, Bathurst, on Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 March, in perfect weather conditions. Over 600 participants took to the track and have currently raised $90,435 with teams still banking their fundraising, which is an amazing effort by the Bathurst community.

The Battle of the Bands competition was a huge success with Crimson Royale taking out the title of the Bathurst & District Relay For Life Battle of the Bands Winner! Congratulations also to Betty Botox who battled through three challenges – brains, Braun and beauty – in the Miss Relay Pageant to be crowned Miss Relay 2017.

 There were also plenty of razors there on the weekend with 5 head shaves and a beard shave! It was amazing to see the brave participants take off their locks in order to raise money for Relay For Life.

Overall it was a brilliant Relay, with beautiful weather and ta fantastic turn out!


Griffith Relay For Life


The Griffith RFL was held on 4 and 5 March when close to 850 participants took to the track for the 18 hour event.

Just over $109,000 was raised, and a great response towards the ‘I Care For Palliative Care’ campaign was received, with 832 local community members making the pledge. It was a great Relay to kick off the Autumn Relay season!

Participants were kept busy with many activities and events throughout the afternoon, including Zumba, Fashions on the Field, The Purple Glove Danc,e and entertainment provided by a number of local musicians.

A special mention to the event’s Major Sponsor, Dom’s Motors Pty Ltd, who donated $50 for every new car sold at their dealership in the lead-up to relay.

The sales team managed to sell a total 150 cars, which resulted in a generous donation of $7,500 towards the Griffith Relay For Life.


‘I Care For Palliative Care’ in Orange and Dubbo


The Palliative Care campaign has been in full swing around the Orange office with many dedicated staff and volunteers putting their hard work into ensuring their local communities know about Palliative Care and the Cancer Council NSW campaign.

The office has worked heavily with the local media outlets, being broadcast across all TV channels in the Central West, all radio stations and all local papers – quite a feat in itself!

The campaign was launched in Orange to a huge amount of local support, with locals coming along to share their stories, sign the pledge and find out all about the Cancer Council NSW campaign and how it will benefit their community.

The campaign moved to Dubbo next, with the launch there planned to get the local political spectrum involved with Troy Grant MP coming along to share in the campaign.

dubbo story pic

Cancer Council ambassadors Susie Hill and Trish Taylor with the petition.

Ensuring people in their final stages of cancer get the best possible care is the reason behind a new push for more palliative care specialists in NSW.

On Monday 27 February Cancer Council officially launched its ‘I Care for Palliative Care’ campaign at the Dubbo branch of the Macquarie Regional Library at 10am.

Cancer Council community programs coordinator Camilla Thompson said she wanted the launch to raise awareness of the campaign in the Dubbo community so people could get behind it.

“When our loved ones are in the final stages of their cancer journey, they deserve the best possible care and support. But, right now, that’s not possible because there’s a shortage of specialist palliative care in NSW,” Ms Barlow said.

The Cancer Council has started a petition calling for the NSW government to fund ten additional palliative physicians, 129 more palliative nurses and culturally appropriate specialist palliative care services for Aboriginal people.

“Cancer Council, together with other advocacy groups including Push For Palliative, recognised a huge gap in current palliative care services across the state,” Ms Thompson said.

“Our aim is to ensure that those people living with a life-limiting cancer get the specialist care they deserve so they can have the best quality of life for as long as possible.”

Members of the community can support the campaign by visiting the website at www.canact.com.au/palliative_care_pledge.


‘Love Food Hate Waste Nutritious & Delicious’ Workshop with MasterChef Kate Bracks!


Camilla, Kate and Sue will be rolling this workshop out in Narromine, Wellington, Parkes and Gilgandra up until June.

In partnership with NetWaste, Cancer Council NSW has delivered its first ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ workshop, co-hosted by former MasterChef winner, Orange local and Eat It To Beat It ambassador Kate Bracks, and Community Partnership Coordinator Camilla Thompson from the Orange office.

The first of five ‘Nutritious & Delicious’ two hour workshops across Western NSW over the next five months; this session was held at the Glenroi Community Centre in Orange in front of a group of 21 participants keen to find out how they can improve their family’s health without compromising on taste or the environment.

In 2016, Camilla, Kate Bracks and Sue Clarke from NetWaste were successful in applying for a grant to deliver healthy cooking workshops that focused on increasing families’ fruit and vegetables content, and reducing food waste. Together they designed an interactive workshop which combines the practical and nutritional theory behind ‘Eat It To Beat It’ together with ideas on how to reduce food waste, all underpinned by Kate’s hands-on demonstrations on how to cook simple, healthy food that is nutritious & delicious!

Themes such as recipe modification, menu planning, stretching the food dollar further, storing and freezing food appropriately, tips on how to attain maximum flavour from fresh, seasonal produce – were all discussed with enthusiasm. Participants were able to put their newly learnt skills to the test by having a go at making pizza dough from scratch, while brain storming which vegetable combinations would work best in their household.

Each participant from a group who consisted of families with young children, were given a goody bag to take home and cook with that night with Fruit & Veg Made Easy recipes, Kate Bracks’ recipes, Fruit & Veg snack ideas, storage containers, plus ingredients used in the cooking demos including fresh carrots, onions, basil and garlic, pizza flour and dried spices.

This joint initiative between Cancer Council NSW, Kate Bracks and NetWaste was born from feedback across Western NSW that although Eat It To Beat It has a great place with the information it provides parents on ways to improve their health and reduce their risk of cancer, the actual practical cooking skills required to create healthy meals was something that a lot of parents didn’t think they had.


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