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First-of-its-kind family accommodation for cancer patients opens in Orange

27th February 2019 - Patient support
First-of-its-kind family accommodation for cancer patients opens in Orange

Cancer Council NSW has today announced the opening of a new accommodation service in Orange for cancer patient families – the first of its kind for the region. The Lionel and Joan Smith house was gifted to Cancer Council NSW through Lionel and Joan Smith’s generous decision to leave a gift in their will. It provides home-away-from-home accommodation in Central West NSW for patients and their families travelling for cancer treatment.  

Annie Miller, Director of the Cancer Council NSW Cancer Support Services Division, says that the new accommodation service will provide incredible value for families in rural NSW.

“Cancer patients in rural Australia often need to travel huge distances to receive the treatment they need,” said Annie Miller. “This can mean long periods of time isolated from their families at a stage when a patient needs support the most. Thanks to the generosity of Lionel and Joan Smith, we are able to meet a demand for accommodation in Orange NSW by providing long-term stays for cancer patients and their families.”

Daughter of the late Lionel and Joan Smith, Lorraine Miller, is proud that her family home is going to such a good cause.

“I’m so happy that the house is going towards helping cancer patients in their time of need,” said Lorraine Miller. “My mother always wanted to have a way for her husband to be remembered after he passed away from cancer. Their passion lives on in this house and every family it helps keep together.”

The Lionel and Joan Smith House is available to patients accessing treatment at Central West Cancer Care Centre (Orange Health Service) who are travelling distances to treatment and wish to bring their families.

Guests must be:

  • Eligible for Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)
  • Experiencing financial hardship if living less than 100kms from Orange
  • Requiring an extended stay of around two weeks or more
  • Able to stay in the house independently without nursing or personal care support
  • Capable of managing stairs unaided in case of emergency

The house has been newly renovated and upgraded with a full kitchen fitted out with new appliances, a lounge room and two bedrooms with new furnishings. It accommodates up to seven guests.

Cancer Council NSW has an array of accommodation services across the state, last year providing more than 22,000 nights of accommodation for over 1,500 cancer patients. Cancer patients who need to travel to local and regional treatment facilities in NSW and require accommodation are encouraged to call Cancer Council NSW on 13 11 20 or email to find out about our existing accommodation solutions. For any other information, visit

Patient support