Page 1

VolunteerVoice For and about volunteers with Cancer Council NSW

Winter Edition June 2014

On just one day in just one office of Cancer Council NSW a call to volunteers for their photographs brings together people of all ages and worldwide origins. The same exercise could be repeated in Cancer Council offices, shops, information centres, advocacy meetings, support groups and event sites right across New South Wales. Any hour of any day. Cancer Council’s mission to defeat cancer every day builds connections and sustains relationships amongst people constantly working for the defeat of cancer. Nowhere more committedly than our volunteers. You. | Volunteer Hotline: (02) 9334 1813

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Desk Notes

from Volunteer Development Advisor, Meghan Hermann

The 2014 Volunteer Satisfaction Survey has just been wrapped up and I wanted to give you a few highlights as to what has been achieved since the last survey. Three of the areas identified in 2012 that we at Cancer Council NSW could work on to make your experience even more amazing were the following: recognition, communication and manager training. We worked hard on improving these areas from your feedback, and we developed the following: • Recognition: Rolling out the Star Volunteer program, updating certificates and cards. • Communication: Having Volunteer Voice cover additional topics across the organisation, and adding supplemental email-only editions of Volunteer Voice (e-VV) when important information comes up relating to whole organisation issues • Manager Training: Cancer Council NSW has now rolled out additional volunteer management training available to all volunteer managers.

The 2014 survey was completed by the majority of participants online, with about 100 submitted on paper. It had great results, including 668 respondents (up from 538), and 90 per cent (up from 85 per cent) of those who responded referring a friend or family member to volunteer for Cancer Council NSW. The response rate was increased by three per cent over the previous survey in 2012. Three identified areas that Cancer Council NSW could continue to work on to make the volunteer experience even more rewarding were again, recognition, communication and training. As all of these areas are quiet broad, we will be conducting focus groups so that we can explore them more and find out what we as an organisation can do to improve. Once we have completed the focus groups and identified how we are going to address these areas for improvement, we will report back to you, our volunteers, in the September issue of Volunteer Voice.

From volunteer intern to employee “It makes a real difference to me to know that no matter how challenging a day at work is, I’m part of a service that helps people during a time when everything in their life is in turmoil” By Picorelli Pal Cancer Council’s Pro Bono Programs refers cancer patients and their carers to a range of professional service providers. For example, we refer clients to lawyers for legal issues relating to their cancer. A Pro Bono volunteer intern’s role is to call a client, conduct a means test to see whether the client qualifies for free assistance, and to take instructions from the client. I learned very quickly that the case managers trust and rely upon the interns to speak to clients with sensitivity, while still drawing out all the relevant information.

A cancer diagnosis can have a crippling impact on an entire family, so we also refer clients to other specialists to help with financial, employment and workplace issues that may arise. The Pro Bono Programs play a vital role in providing practical advice that has a genuine impact on peoples’ lives. Many individuals provide their time for free, in order to make our service run – from volunteer interns, to our panel of financial planners, lawyers, human resources and recruitment specialists. I have recently made the transition from volunteer intern to full-time employee.

It makes a real difference to me to know that no matter how challenging a day at work is, I’m part of a service that helps people during a time when everything in their life is in turmoil. Read Picorelli’s full story here:

Editor: Michael McGennan. Please feel free to forward your feedback and contributions to 2

VolunteerVoice | June2014

‘Close the Gap’ partners Relay For Life Liz Hing is the volunteer Health Promotion and Advocacy Coordinator on the North Shore Relay For Life Committee. Since this Relay coincides with National Close the Gap Day in March each year, Liz decided in 2012 to do some advocacy around this and tie it into the Relay event. Over the last 3 years this initiative has grown, and has the support of local Aboriginal groups. Close the Gap in partnership with Relay For Life has grown each year with local Aboriginal groups supporting the initiative.

L-R: Wenona Director of Community and Service Learning, Kate Seale; Uncle Neil Evers; Wenona school boarders Shakiera Mununggurr, Nicole Ningiga and Budatgna Mununggurr; Wenona Head of Boarding, Emma Hegerty; and boarder, Anna Charlton Shick.

This year the North Shore Relay For Life coincided with National Close the Gap Day. To further the Close the Gap initiative, and raise awareness of the disproportionate effect of cancer on Aboriginal Australians, we aimed to actively encourage participants at our Relay event to take action by showing their support for Close the Gap. Asking participants to plant a rainbow of symbolic hands in our ‘sea of hands’, and to join hands with other participants in our Close the Gap Lap. ‘The Sea of Hands’ is an initiative by Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR) It symbolises the healing power of hands. The Close the Gap Lap symbolises the power of all of us (as a community) to unite together to raise awareness for Indigenous Health inequalities, and to help bring about change.

Close the Gap Since 2006, Australia’s peak Indigenous and nonIndigenous health bodies, NGOs and human rights organisations have worked together to achieve health and life expectation equality for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This is known as the Close the Gap Campaign. The campaign’s goal is to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation. By joining our efforts we can make sure that by 2030 any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child born in this country has the same opportunity as other Australian children to live a long, healthy and happy life.

This year at our Close the Gap ceremony we asked local Aboriginal leader, Uncle Neil Evers, to speak and to lead our Close the Gap Lap. Neil’s talk, titled Cancer Doesn’t Discriminate, was very moving as he talked about Indigenous Health inequalities around cancer. Local students from Wenona School carried the Aboriginal flag, and everyone at the Relay joined in to form the Close the Gap Lap. As the Close the Gap Lap was being walked and formed, volunteers walked around the oval and took signatures for the Close the Gap Pledge.

A colourful ‘Sea of Hands’ assists the colourblind mission to ‘Close the Gap’.

Artwork by Georgina Altona (Kamilaroi People).


VolunteerVoice | June2014


from CEO, Jim L’Estrange

Building connections, sustaining relationships In May, we celebrated National Volunteer Week to thank you for your contribution to the cancer cause in many varied roles across our organisation, helping out in our offices, supporting our events, offering practical support and participating in our community advocacy campaigns. I was especially pleased with the results of this year’s Volunteer Survey, which show that you value the time that you spend volunteering at Cancer Council. Volunteers play a key role in every

Volunteer Profile Valda Homer volunteers for Cancer Council with the Friday mail-packing team at Woolloomooloo. Undertaking her eighteenth year with us, her time here’s spent “preparing and organising mailouts for campaigns. Sorting and dealing with returned mail.” Valda chose to volunteer “to support Cancer Council NSW in its work to combat cancer, and support people who have cancer and their families. My husband died from cancer and I wanted to contribute to Cancer Council’s work in memory of him. “I enjoy the company of the other volunteers at Cancer Council, working with the staff, and doing work as part of a team. Overall, I just like to think that the work I do is of benefit to the organisation,


“Volunteers play a key role in every area of Cancer Council NSW’s work and all our progress and I would like to thank you” area of Cancer Council NSW’s work and all our progress and I would like to thank you. I am proud to let you know that Cancer Council NSW was runner-up in the PwC Transparency Awards, recognising charities with the most rigorous and transparent reporting on financials, governance, community engagement and strategic vision. Our vision of working together, building connections and sustaining relationships to beat cancer is

relevant across every area of Cancer Council NSW. This issue of Volunteer Voice offers just some of the many examples of our work connecting people: the partnership between the ‘Close the Gap’ initiative and Relay For Life, the importance of peer support groups for those affected by cancer, and our Community Speakers Program that aims to build a ‘cancer smart community’. I’m really proud to be working with you.

and what I contribute by volunteering saves money for other direct services. “Having experienced cancer in my family I feel that Cancer Council NSW does great work to prevent cancer and to educate and support people with cancer and their families. I have made some good friends among my fellow volunteers. I am also impressed by the commitment of the staff. “I think volunteers are appreciated and made to feel welcome by the staff we have contact with. There is variety in the work we can do and I think Cancer Council tries to provide activities that match our skills and the time we have available. “I’m passionate about my family and friends and keeping in touch with friends all round the world. I like to

support a range of charities and believe that those of us with the time and the means should contribute to helping others to whatever level we can.”

“...the work I do is of benefit to the organisation, and what I contribute by volunteering saves money for other direct services”

We provide support after treatment finishes. Need help with your exercise and nutrition? ENRICH

is an exercise and nutrition program FREE for cancer survivors, carers and family members.

We’ve all been told we need to maintain a healthy weight and do the appropriate amount and type of physical activity. For cancer survivors and carers, there is even more reason to follow this sage advice. In response to the research, Cancer Council NSW and University of Newcastle collaborated to develop ENRICH – a face to face group program which covers both nutrition and exercise. An informative and interactive program, ENRICH encourages participants to set goals and take responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Take that next step and register for a program near you Call 1300 360 541 Email Visit Please include your name, location and a phone number as we need to speak with you.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

In NSW, about 36,600 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer say it’s one of the most stressful experiences they have been through.

Several studies have documented the psychological distress associated with a cancer diagnosis, and found that peer support can reduce this distress. A Cancer Council NSW study shows that peer support has a positive impact on quality of life and emotional wellbeing. Attending a cancer support group is one way to access peer support.

What is a cancer support group? A support group is two or more people who come together regularly and voluntarily to discuss shared experiences. Most groups are face-to-face, but they can also be over the phone or online.

In a support group, you can talk to somebody about it and you can meet up with people who may be worse off than yourself. The isolation is gone. Women’s cancer support group member, rural NSW.

How do support groups work? Support groups provide a safe place for people affected by cancer to come together to support each other, develop friendships, share ideas and thoughts, obtain information from health professionals and each other, and learn coping skills in a non-judgmental and caring environment.

We can help connect you to local support groups. Visit the online Cancer Services Directory cancerservicesdirectory/search_oncall.asp to find a group in your area. Or call the oncology health professionals on the Cancer Helpline 13 11 20.

Venues for face-to-face meetings fall into two broad categories: • those held in community settings • those held in hospital or health care settings. Groups can be led by health professionals or non-health professionals (such as a community member with a personal experience of cancer).

Why join a support group? Cancer Council NSW research has shown that people who take part in support groups have lower levels of anxiety and depression than those who don’t. The fact sheet What we know about cancer support groups includes research that identifies the many reasons people choose to join and stay in a support group. The main reason people seek support is because they are feeling anxious about the cancer and its ‘social burden’. A cancer diagnosis can also be a very isolating and lonely experience, especially if a person has little experience with cancer or doesn’t know about available support. Isolation can lead to distress, fear and feelings of abnormality. 6

This information is from the Peer Support Groups fact sheet – part of a series developed about cancer support groups in NSW. Studies show that support groups can enhance participants’ self-esteem, improve their relationships, and reduce depression and anxiety.

Peer Support Groups help defeat cancer

How do participants benefit? Support group members say that they get a sense of belonging from being in the group, and a feeling that they aren’t alone. Members describe the group as a supportive and caring environment where individuals feel accepted for themselves, and where they feel safe to express their true feelings without having to protect family or close friends. Many people who join support groups find that they give as much as they receive, which raises their confidence and their ability to cope. Belonging to a support group people can feel protected and safe to express their feelings. It is often the case that people have to hide their feelings with family and friends feeling they need to protect others.

I wanted a place where I could really talk about how I felt and not have to worry about hurting someone or protecting them. Prostate cancer support group member, metropolitan NSW

People join support groups to not only look for encouragement and optimism but for inspiration, hope for survival and quality of life. Many support groups provide access to a range of highly qualified speakers. Although many speakers will be health professionals, many other people can contribute to the group such as artists, writers, yoga instructors, massage therapists. By joining a support group people can feel empowered through their increased knowledge and understanding of cancer, research and treatments. Support groups provide a safe place for people to relax and be at ease with others who understand what they are going through. They can also allow an environment where people can feel comfortable to cry, laugh and joke – and just be themselves! To find out more, visit where you will find a wealth of information on cancer support groups and a whole range of other support offered by, or affiliated with, Cancer Council NSW.

Having guest speakers allows the group members to have access to information that they may otherwise miss out on, and it is also delivered in person, which makes a big difference. It’s good for the group to hear from experts so they can be empowered to make decisions. Young woman with breast cancer, Metropolitan NSW

What does Cancer Council NSW do for Support Groups? We support leaders to run groups based on evidenced based best practice. We provide the book Cancer Support Groups: A guide to setting up and leading a group and training for community and health professional leaders. Through our Cancer Council regional offices we support leaders with access to regional contacts and bring leaders together to share their experiences through Network meetings for support group leaders. To find out more about setting up a cancer support group go to support-for-patients-family-friends/support-groups/cancercouncil-new-south-wales-cancer-support-groupnetwork/?pp=42833&cc=3368&ct=35

People in our group say it makes them feel like they’re not on their own, and that the other members are a great support. Women’s cancer support group member, rural NSW 7

VolunteerVoice | June2014

“Volunteer? Me? I’ll tell you why.” By Sandy Ostini

“I have witnessed firsthand the impact that cancer has had on my immediate family, relatives and friends. I wanted to make a difference and lessen the burden on those affected by cancer in any way possible, and hopefully one day contribute to a cure” “Volunteering for me involves engaging the local community through various fundraising Cancer Council events. Mainly seeking sponsorship and support through my role on the Orange & District Relay For Life Committee as the Sponsorship Coordinator, over the past 16 years I’ve also been involved in Daffodil Day, Pink Ribbon Day, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and Girls Night In.

to make a difference and lessen the burden on those affected by cancer in any way possible, and hopefully one day contribute to a cure. I like helping others, giving back to the community and I enjoy a making new friends. I also enjoy a bit of a challenge. “I am grateful for the ongoing support of my family, my husband Frank and our two wonderful teenage boys, Kyle, 16, and Bryce, 15, and very proud of both my sons for their own individual fundraising efforts. It definitely is a family affair, as my sister and her partner are also registered volunteers and on the Relay For Life committee. My stepdaughter, grand-kiddies, and extended family and close friends are always involved in some capacity. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011, underwent treatment for six months, and am now well and happy and have a renewed appreciation for the simple things in life.

“I choose to volunteer for Cancer Council NSW because I can! I have many reasons, primarily for everyone close to me that has been touched by cancer.

“This experience, although unfortunate, I feel has certainly been beneficial in my function within Cancer Council. I now empathise, not sympathise. I’ve walked the walk, so can talk the talk, so to speak. Knowledge and understanding is important in any role!

“I have witnessed firsthand the impact that cancer has had on my immediate family, relatives and friends. I wanted

“I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people and making a difference in peoples’ lives. Volunteering is very

“Sandy Ostini is an instrumental part of the Orange & District Relay For Life, mainly as the sponsorship committee coordinator, and has volunteered for many years with other key Cancer Council fundraisers such as Daffodil Day, Pink Ribbon Day and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. She understands the value of nurturing relationships and building trust with local businesses and organisations – giving back to those that give – and has thus managed to significantly develop the capacity of the Orange Relay For Life sponsorship portfolio over the years. Her organisational skills, ability to lead, inspire and charm, are second to none, plus she brings unrelenting positive energy and spirit to Cancer Council.” Camilla Barlow, Community Programs Coordinator, Cancer Council NSW, Western Region.


Sandy and Don Peck – our lone piper for the Hope Ceremony who plays every year at Relay For Life.

self-satisfying; it’s good for the soul. I particularly like the ‘fun’ involved in FUNdraising!” You can read the rest of Sandy’s story by visiting here: www.cancercouncil. volunteer-voice/local-volunteer-news/ western-nsw/

Volunteering is very self-satisfying; it’s good for the soul. I particularly like the ‘fun’ involved in FUNdraising!

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Ways to stay connected to Cancer Council NSW We know that together we can beat cancer. That’s why we’ve made it easier for you to discover our diverse range of services, access the information you need quickly, learn how to reduce your risk of cancer, and see how your support is making a genuine difference to those affected by cancer in New South Wales. Our official online communities are updated daily and outside of work hours by our staff – because we believe that nobody should have to face cancer alone. So whether you need support and information, if you have a question you need answering, or have a story and photo to share, we’re always here for you. By joining our social media channels, you’ll be able to see who we are as an organisation, the work that we do, the difference we’re making, and all the resources we provide. From healthy eating tips to finding out how you can take part in our events, from seeing the difference your donation makes, to locating cancer screening centres in your area – our online communities cover it all.

View daily photos from our staff, volunteers and supporters. Follow Us.

View rich HD videos including cancer support clips, exclusive interviews and real stories from those affected by cancer. Watch Us. Stay connected via our forum

Here’s how you can stay connected to Cancer Council NSW via our social media communities

Stay up to date on Facebook with our latest news, events and research developments. Like Us.

Stay informed on Twitter with breaking-news, live event updates, latest cancer resources or ask our expert team any questions you have. Follow Us.

Cancer Connections is an online community that links people with cancer, their carers and families. Join Here Stay connected via these recommended apps

Instagram is a photo app for iPhone and Android smartphones. Follow @cancercouncil to view daily photos from our staff across Australia or tag #cancercouncil to show us yours.

View a wide range of videos including cancer support clips, exclusive interviews and real stories from those affected by cancer. Watch Us.

Stay up to date with the latest job openings and volunteer vacancies at Cancer Council NSW. Follow Us.

The SunSmart app lets you know when you need sun protection across Australia and when it’s safe to get some sun for vitamin D, making it easier than ever to be smart about your sun exposure all year. Download here (iPhone only) id402707467?mt=8


VolunteerVoice | June2014

Research Report Our information can save scientists a great deal of time Use our CLEAR Study to research risk factors for cancer The interaction between our lifestyle and genetic makeup are the two key ingredients in understanding the causes of cancer. Large numbers of people need to be studied in order to research this interaction, and the Cancer Lifestyle and Evaluation of Risk study (CLEAR) has been designed to do just that. We have collected information from about 8,000 people with any cancer type and 2,000 ‘controls’ – people without cancer – so we can make valid comparisons.

a comprehensive encyclopaedia. If it sits on the shelf it is simply a repository of knowledge. The data only comes alive when you come up with an idea and then cross-question the data, in order to prove or disprove it, or to lead to new areas to research. CLEAR Study saves researchers a great deal of time having undertaken the foundation work of data collection.

We need two things to happen to make it all worthwhile: more information in the form You might imagine that of new participants, having collected the The interaction and creative CLEAR Study cancer researchers between our lifestyle information the who want to and genetic makeup are results from its interrogate the the two key ingredients in analysis would CLEAR Study be immediate, understanding the causes of data and blood fairly obvious, samples. cancer. Large numbers of and applicable people need to be studied Epidemiologists there and then. in order to research at Cancer Council But it’s not. plan to start Managing the this interaction working on risk CLEAR Study is like factors for cancer in six continually compiling

main areas: alcohol, tobacco, Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity, infectious agents, hormones, sun exposure and sleep patterns. We hope that collaborations will be formed with other research institutes, and that laboratory scientists and doctors will join us to examine our questions from their own specialised perspective, so that knowledge from one field can inform another. CLEAR Study is not currently recruiting, but if you would like to help cancer research by taking part in a study, please complete the questionnaire online at joinastudy or call (02) 9334 1398.

CLEAR Study: Six areas that our scientists plan to research for cancer risk factors The CLEAR Study resource has blood samples and information in response to questions asked in each of these categories.

Alcohol Because of its links with bowel and breast cancer and the cancers of the upper digestive tract, alcohol has been nominated as a class 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Cancer Research. We intend to investigate


which cancers appear to be linked with alcohol in Australia, whether the risk changes for people of different ethnic backgrounds, and if there are more risks if the person is a smoker or is overweight. CLEAR questions ask about the number of alcoholic drinks participants had in a week, and on how many days they typically drank alcohol.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Smoking It is known there is a strong association between smoking and lung and other related cancers, but there may be links with cancers previously thought to be unaffected by smoking. We plan to investigate the contemporary risks of smoking on cancer in Australia, especially in regard to prostate, bowel and breast cancer. CLEAR questions about smoking ask whether people have ever smoked, and if so, when, for how long and how much.

Body Mass Index/ Physical Activity Not only are people who are obese and don’t exercise at a greater risk of heart disease and stroke but they are also at a greater risk of getting certain cancers. It’s suspected there are links between obesity and breast cancer, but we need to know more about the importance of physical activity and BMI at different stages of life; whether the results are the same for men and women, for immigrants and people born in Australia, and if it makes a difference if a high BMI is pre- or post-menopausal. There are numerous questions in CLEAR about height and weight, weight gain, time spent exercising or sitting and time spent resting.

Infectious Agents Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is usually the cause of cervical cancer, and it has recently been found that there are links with a number of other cancer types. While the number of cancers in Australia caused by infectious agents is very small (about 3 per cent), they still cause unnecessary suffering and death. CLEAR has questions that enquire about sexual activity, intra-venous drug use, tattoos and body piercings, as well

as organ transplants and blood transfusions, as these activities can be the source of infections. CLEAR blood samples will be tested for evidence of infections.

Hormones Cancer Council NSW is looking at the link between various hormonal factors and breast cancer, particularly with regard to the use of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer. In addition, CLEAR data has been included in a worldwide collaboration examining the links between breast cancer and hormones. Questions for women in the CLEAR Study ask about the number of children, mother’s age when her children were born, contraceptive use, when periods started and use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). We also ask about family history of breast and ovarian cancers, hysterectomy, mammograms and PAP smears. Questions for men relate to when they started shaving, when their voices broke and balding patterns.

Sun exposure and sleep patterns We know there is a link between sun exposure and skin cancers, but we need to collect information about the consequences of UV exposure and other cancers. There is also debate about the consequences of Vitamin D deficiency and cancer risk. There may be a connection between irregular sleep patterns, such as those experienced by shift workers, and some cancer types. CLEAR asks where people have lived so UV exposure from their environment using satellite data can be calculated. We also ask about time spent outdoors, skin colour and tanning, sunburn experiences and exposure to indoor UV from solarium use.

We need two things to happen to make it all worthwhile: more information in the form of new participants, and creative cancer researchers who want to interrogate the CLEAR Study data and blood samples For more information, visit or email


VolunteerVoice | June2014

Central and Southern Sydney

Volunteer Profile Barrie Wright, one of our amazing Central and Southern volunteers, went on an incredible six week holiday recently with his wife, Margaret. Together they covered the Galapagos, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Falkland Islands. Part of the holiday was a 13 day cruise aboard the Holland America MS Zaandam down the Chilean coast and around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires. The Holland America Line and the Holland America Line Foundation take the fight against cancer to the high seas with On Deck For A Cause, a non-competitive five kilometre fundraising walk on each sailing. This program, announced in February 2013, gives guests of their cruises the choice to support cancer organisations including Cancer Council. Barrie took on the On Deck For A Cause challenge while on his cruise, which was well attended by about 50 people, all completing the ten lap walk of the decks. Thanks Barrie for supporting our work even while on your holidays!

Barrie took on the On Deck For A Cause challenge while on his cruise, which was well attended by about 50 people, all completing the ten lap walk of the decks 12

Volunteers shine in tough SunSmart conditions Earlier this year, five intrepid volunteers joined the Central and Southern Sydney team for a tough sell – to recruit additional primary schools to the SunSmart program.

125 primary schools – a record number of drop-ins for a term.

Central & Southern Sydney began intensively recruiting schools to join the SunSmart program in 2012, and then did so again in 2013. As a result, as of the beginning of this year, all 330 primary schools across the region – from Bondi to Homebush and from Glebe to Engadine – had already been contacted multiple times about becoming SunSmart. Those schools most inclined to sign-up had already done so.

As a result of their combined efforts, Central and Southern Sydney is pleased to share that another 30 primary schools became SunSmart. A number of other schools expressed interest in the program and we are confident will become SunSmart over the months ahead.

During Term One this year, Georgia Draper, Laura Gilmour, Renee King, Sumitra Gurjar, and Vicky Martin hit the phones and keyboards to re-contact all 140 non-SunSmart schools across the region. They also hit the road and dropped-by a staggering

That’s a significant number of additional students who’ll benefit from best practice sun protection whilst at primary school. Thank you and congratulations to Georgia, Laura, Renee, Sumitra and Vicky! For more information call Mark Ludbrooke on (02) 9344 1857. Visit to check whether your local primary school is SunSmart.

Become a Cancer Council advocate Crowded outdoor areas now smoke-free; there’s more funding for bowel cancer screening; and primary schools have updated sun protection guidelines. Wins like these are achieved because Cancer Council NSW volunteers speak out about cancer issues that are important to them and their local communities. We are now looking for new advocates to join local campaign teams taking action across the Inner West, Canterbury, Eastern Suburbs, St George and Sutherland, on any of the following issues: lymphoedema services; palliative care; parking at local hospitals; hospital pharmacies; health services for CALD communities; patient accommodation; and smoking outside hospitals. Cancer Council NSW actively supports local campaigns and also runs free training to help volunteers develop their advocacy skills. For more information, contact Mark Ludbrooke at or call (02) 9334 1857.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Greater Western Sydney

Community Speakers Program update The volunteer Community Speakers Program has been growing in Greater Western Sydney (GWS) over the past nine months, both with more volunteers representing the widely diverse communities in GWS recruited, and in the delivery of talks. To date the program has had a 29 per cent growth in the number of community talks delivered for 2013/14. The volunteers have done a fantastic job of presenting to a wide range of audiences, and building a strong connection with community groups in the region. As one of Cancer Council NSW’s vital prevention programs, it is of great community benefit for this program to flourish and continue to engage widely across the Region and NSW generally. One of the locally identified areas of expansion for the Community Speakers Program is performance management, seeking to best utilise feedback from community speaker engagements to ensure that prevention messages reach the target audience, and the speakers’ skills are recognised and valued. Therefore an exciting new volunteer role has been developed in performance management, a role kindly accepted by Ramsina Lee. Ramsina (pictured above) has extensive leadership and managerial experience in HR management spanning her 20 year career. The GWS team welcomes Ramsina, certain that the program will benefit from her support.

Volunteer Profile James Nixon has recently joined us as the new Penrith Community Office administration assistant. His main duties will be assisting with the Raiser’s Edge database and coordinating the Nepean Cancer Council Information Centre (CCIC) monthly roster. James comes to the role with 18 months volunteering experience at TRI Community Exchange as a volunteer administration and IT officer. In this role he built skills in the Microsoft package

Celebrating unsung heroes

Back L-R: James Butler; Meagan Johnson, Community Coordinator, Parramatta office; and Michelle Bustamante, Volunteer Coordinator, Penrith office. Front L-R: Elaine Butler; Tom Fink and Bev Fink.

The 2014 ZEST Awards were held on 26 February 2014 at ANZ Stadium in Homebush Bay. This annual event celebrates the extraordinary work of individuals and local organisations that support communities in Greater Western Sydney. As one presenter acknowledged, the event really was ‘the Best of the West!’.

With over 500 attendees, the awards ceremony was a wonderful showcase of the Greater Western Sydney community spirit, diversity, and outstanding contribution of the community services sector. There were 12 award categories and Cancer Council NSW nominated four volunteers from the GWS region in the Outstanding Community leader – Volunteer Capacity category. These volunteers were James Butler, Bev Fink, and Ken and Marj Freeman. Read more about Cancer Council and the 2014 ZEST Awards here: volunteer/volunteer-voice/local-volunteer-news/greatwestern-sydney/ and here:

and IT. James is currently completing a BA Applied Business Management through Federation University Australia. Community Programs Coordinator Rodney Titovs said, “having James in on Thursday allows the office to be open to the community more, and will be a great assistance to the CCIC. Penrith Community Office also leads the way in attracting male volunteers, which is fantastic. Along with James at the Office, the Nepean CCIC has five men volunteering there”. James is an avid reader and movie fan. He lists his favourite read as the Night Dawn Trilogy, and according to James,

the greatest movies of all time are the Lord of the Rings. James is obviously a big trilogy fan! According to Rodney’s numerology facts, the energy from the number three is ‘optimistic, fun loving and strives to uplift and colour its surroundings’. That’s James. “I am looking forward to learning about Cancer Council NSW being one of the biggest charities in NSW and having fun,” said James.


VolunteerVoice | June2014

Hunter Central Coast

Secret women’s business goes public program co-ordinator Sandra Shorrock told Denice Barnes, reporting for the Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate. The group will be informal, for women with gynaecological cancers and younger women with breast cancer. Volunteers Robyn Dennis and Adele Miller (pictured left) are partnering with the Central Coast community to ensure local access to a much-needed group. Robyn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 18 months ago, and Adele was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. “It’s good to be able to talk to someone who has walked in your shoes,” Robyn said. “It will be very informal, just a chat.

‘Secret women’s business’ took on a whole new meaning at the first meeting of the region’s new Women’s Cancer Support Group. “Having a chat over a drink and some nibbles is the best way for women to talk about their cancer diagnosis without being judged. Joining with others, being accepted and helping one another through the cancer journey, is truly a helpful experience,” Cancer Council Central Coast community

“Having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 48 with three children to look after, I quickly became aware how much support I needed, both practically and emotionally.” Adele said it would be good to talk to others who have been through similar experiences. “It will be nice to have someone there who you can just pick up the phone and call, or go have a coffee with,” she said. For more information please email Sandra Shorrock at or call (02) 4336 4500.

Healthy eating reduces cancer risk Eat It To Beat It (EI2BI), Cancer Council NSW’s flagship nutrition program, relies on volunteers to promote its healthy eating message to families across the state. It follows a train-the-trainer model: staff from Eat It To Beat It train volunteer Program Facilitators to deliver sessions and workshops to families in the community, and volunteers help with the administration of the program at EI2BI Headquarters in the Hunter regional office. Overwhelmingly, our Hunter Central Coast volunteers come from the University of Newcastle, because of their strong Nutrition and Dietetics program, which means the program benefits from well-educated, highly


engaged volunteers. The connection between the University and Cancer Council NSW has been established for five years now, and the relationship is stronger than ever. As the program was piloted in Hunter, lectures given at the University refer to Eat It To Beat It, while interested students are directed to Cancer Council to volunteer as part of course or workplace experience. Associate Professor Surinder Baines, Program Convenor for Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of Newcastle, says students learn about the importance of healthy eating to reduce cancer risk as part of their usual studies. “The volunteer activities offered by Cancer Council NSW support the

students learning as they gain experience in working with the community in a professional setting,” Professor Baines added. The benefits flow both ways, with volunteers gaining invaluable office experience, public speaking opportunities, program planning and evaluation skills, not to mention an impressive addition to their CVs. Read more here www.cancercouncil. volunteer-voice/, on our Local volunteer news page, including the EI2BI experiences of Cancer Council Volunteers Irena Patsan and Emma Robson.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Northern NSW

Help us grow Hope on our special days

Higher education links

Cancer Council NSW is calling for Daffodil Day and Pink Ribbon Day Team Leaders. No matter your location, how big or small your community, or your level of skill or experience, we need your support. Every year, communities right across the Northern NSW Region help to fundraise around $300,000 in our mission to defeat cancer. Team leaders are responsible for the management of a merchandise stall and the recruitment and engagement of volunteers to help out on the day. Being a people person is all the skill you need for this exciting role! Daffodil Day supports all cancers and all people, with Pink Ribbon Day focussing on women’s cancer, including breast and gynaecological. If you are interested in volunteering on Daffodil Day (22 August) or Pink Ribbon Day (24 October), contact Sarah Royall on (02) 6639 1303 or

No matter your location, how big or small your community, or your level of skill or experience, we need your support

Victoria Smith (second from left) with University recruits Mikayla Adams (far left), Marieka Bugeja, Laura Harder and Michaela Boland.

Integral to Cancer Council’s mission of beating cancer is our ability to engage the community across all aspects of our work. One aspect of this is the importance of strengthening community connections through University engagement. Tori Smith, who deservingly claimed the title of ‘Star Volunteer’ in March this year, is Cancer Council’s Lead Community Engagement Volunteer at the Byron Bay office. Tori originally became involved with Cancer Council as a Relay For Life participant, and was thrilled when an opportunity arose to assist Cancer Council further, using her professional skills in a more in-depth manner. With a background in Organisational Psychology, and a career as a selfemployed Organisational Development consultant, Tori was the perfect person for the job of researching tertiary institutions and their potential to engage with Cancer Council through student placements. The result has been astounding, with months of work culminating to develop the new University Partnerships Against Cancer (UPAC) program that has created opportunities for students

to engage with Cancer Council in Prevention, Advocacy, Support and Fundraising. Universities already engaged include Griffith, Southern Cross, and the University of New England, as well as external students from as far as Deakin, Queensland University of Technology, and James Cook. When reflecting on her experience with Cancer Council, Tori said, “It has been really exciting to see the new students who are starting placements this year as a result of UPAC! I strongly believe in Cancer Council’s mission, and get a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that I am doing my small part to help”. When asked what she enjoyed most about volunteering, Tori added, “The team at Byron Bay are a really wonderful, fun group of people, and I love the working environment. It is always positive, and it is really nice to come into such a bubbly office.” Tori’s passion, enthusiasm and skill in bringing together organisations and businesses for mutually beneficial outcomes has set the foundation for strong and sustainable University Partnerships now, and into the future.

“The team at Byron Bay are a really wonderful, fun group of people, and I love the working environment. It is always positive, and it is really nice to come into such a bubbly office” 15

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Northern Sydney

The Navy’s on board for the North Shore Relay For Life

Team Captain, Fiona White, leading her team and their families during the 2013 Relay.

The Navy Team and local students collaborated to raise funds.

In 2012 some of the naval crew from the HMAS Waterhen (based in Waverton) registered a team in the North Shore Relay For Life. After spending the whole event tag-teaming around the oval, they selflessly offered their assistance with the pack-down of all the stalls and marquees when the committee found themselves a little short of hands. In 2013 they registered a team again, and this time immediately volunteered themselves to assist in the set-up and pack-down, which was an invaluable help. On top of that they raised over $2,000, and completed an impressive 525 laps of the Relay track.

Wrapping to beat cancer Last Christmas the Northern Sydney regional office of Cancer Council NSW was invited to take part in the MYER Charity Christmas Gift Wrapping project. We took on the task of wrapping for five stores; Chatswood, Hornsby, Top Ryde, Macquarie and Warringah Mall. We had an overwhelming response to our advertisement, and over 180 volunteers took part in the initiative. Many of these volunteers have now joined our Volunteer Team and will receive updates on other volunteering opportunities in the region. Some have even already signed up for this year’s MYER Christmas Gift Wrapping. We have built a good relationship with the MYER stores and look forward to working with them to defeat cancer again in 2014.


A Navy Team member flying the flag at the end of last year’s event.

It appears that the Navy team has caught the Relay ‘bug’, as this year they have not only registered a team in the 2014 North Shore Relay For Life and volunteered their services for set-up and pack-down, but two of the team members have joined the North Shore Relay committee. Able Seaman Theresa DeBritt is carrying out the role of logistics and ceremonies coordinator, and Lieutenant Commander Steven (Blue) Reynolds, is supporting her in this role. It has been great working alongside these guys and learning from their experience. We hope that this is a collaboration that lasts long into the future.

Working with the Department of Human Services The Northern Sydney Regional Office of Cancer Council NSW has embarked upon a relationship with the Department of Human Services (DoHS) Rehabilitation Department in North Ryde. This service tries to match up job seekers with volunteer roles to assist them in making the transition from healthrelated absence back to the workforce, which, after considerable time away, can often be a daunting prospect. Initially we are keeping the DoHS abreast of all volunteer opportunities that arise in the Northern Sydney Region, and we are hoping that we are able to match volunteers to tasks that will assist them in integrating back into employment.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Southern NSW

Mammoth walk for cancer research Windang man Steve Quirk this year embarked on what can only be described as an epic trek for cancer awareness. Steve began his journey in February, starting in Wollongong and walking 4,000 kilometres to Fremantle, WA. Recently his stepfather lost his battle with throat cancer, inspiring Steve to make a difference within the community. Devoting six months of his life to the challenge, he began training for several hours a day, determined to complete the physically consuming task. This walk has certainly drawn attention to the thousands of Australians who battle cancer each year. The initial idea behind the walk was to ‘take one step at a time’, the way that many cancer patients proceed with life after diagnosis. Throughout his journey, Steve spoke with the local communities in four states to raise awareness of the impact of cancer and to connect all local communities to the wider spectrum of Cancer Council. There was an overwhelming amount of support demonstrated by the communities, along with that of driver Garry Jones who supported Steve on his 4,000 km trek. These contributions have certainly made this walk one to remember.

Do Your Thing fundraiser Alex Woods didn’t set out to raise a remarkable $35,000 when she announced she was shaving her head (pictured below, right), she was just trying to support best friend Renae Van Woerden through chemotherapy. Alex, 30, has been friends with English teacher Renae, 29, since high school and was shocked at the diagnosis. “We did everything together,” Alex said. “Obviously I can’t go through chemo but I can shave my head with her. I thought she might feel self-conscious going out with no hair so now I can do it with her.” Renae said she was “blown away by the support of the Illawarra community, even my students who are 16 years old are giving whatever little bit they can,” she said. One comment read: “Ms Van Woerden was my English teacher last year and I loved going to her classes and being taught by her. I hope that my small donation makes a difference!”

Nowra’s Cancer Information Centre Eighteen new volunteers from the Shoalhaven area have put their hand up to volunteer for the new Cancer Council Information Centre situated in the hub of the Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre in Nowra. This exciting new facility provides much needed access to services and treatment for the Shoalhaven community who were previously required to travel over an hour for what it now houses. It provides an array of information to the public as well as support for cancer patents, carers and their families. The centre relies on volunteer support and we are so lucky to have such a wonderful, skilled and trained group of volunteers who inform and comfort patients visiting the Information Centre.


VolunteerVoice | June2014

Western NSW

Building connections, sustaining relationships Cancer Council’s Orange office has the privilege of having Barry Spilstead on board as a volunteer Community Speaker. Barry has been part of the Orange team for the past 10 years.

detection, support services and Cancer Council NSW involvement in the community. They are also about sharing experiences, and include displays and information resources.

Barry, himself a prostate cancer survivor, is dedicated to defeating cancer by helping Cancer Council build a ‘cancer smart community’. Barry says he draws on his own experiences battling prostate cancer to inspire his audience at his Community Speaker events, and that knowing he is doing something positive for the community is greatly satisfying.

The enthusiasm and commitment from Barry is inspiring. He is constantly spreading the word about our Community Speakers program, seeking more volunteers to join the team, and regularly communicating with our team to see if he is booked for a Community Speakers event.

Barry’s talks are not exclusively medical. They are not only about subjects such as prevention, early

Without Barry playing such an important link in our communities we would not be building the strong connections to the people we have today.

Barry Spilstead and Fiona Markwick, Orange Community Programs Coordinator.

...Barry is inspiring. He is constantly spreading the word about our Community Speakers program...

Skilled Wagga advocates A group of 25 South West volunteer advocates, both new and not so new, gathered together for a day of motivation and information exchange at the Annual Advocacy Workshop held at the Wagga Wagga RSL in February. Advocacy representatives from Albury, Wagga Wagga and Griffith were inspired by a presentation from Glenda Pym (Community Volunteer and advocate), whose 52 years of volunteering experience allowed her to explain, in simple terms, that the ultimate reason why people volunteer “…is that we all want to feel good about what we do.” Comments such as this, as well as valuable tips to volunteers on right versus wrong reasons to volunteer, when it’s time to stop volunteering, as well as learning you can say “No”, resonated strongly with the crowd. Attendees were given insights into the Cancer Council NSW Budget Submission and Election 2015, and invited to brainstorm and discuss advocacy issues relevant to their regions. Social Media training saw some “tweeters” emerge from the group, and lots of laughs were enjoyed over lunch and throughout the day.


An Advocacy Leadership Gathering has been organised for July 2014 to further develop skills amongst the group and keep everyone in touch with other advocates across NSW.

What is Advocacy? Advocacy can be described as public support for, or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Advocacy is about being active – whether that’s by telling your story, lobbying decision makers or mobilising others – and is one of the ways Cancer Council NSW is beating cancer.

Why do we do this? Cancer Council works to defeat cancer. Our vision will be realised when lives are not cut short nor the quality diminished by cancer. Everyone in NSW deserves equitable health opportunities regardless of their economic, social, cultural or geographical situation. Visit www.cancercouncil. to learn more.

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Recipe Corner Easy Quiche Serves: 6 Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes Ingredients Olive or canola oil spray 4 slices, stale or lightly toasted wholemeal bread 250g frozen spinach 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 can, drained mushrooms 2 medium tomatoes, sliced 6 eggs 1½ cups low-fat milk 1 cup grated low-fat cheese 1 tsp chilli powder Pepper, to taste

• Place spinach in microwave for two minutes or until defrosted. • Top bread with spinach, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes. • Beat the eggs, milk, cheese, paprika, and pepper. • Pour egg mixture over the bread and vegetables. • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. Serve warm. Variation: Substitute vegetables as you please. Peas, corn or carrots work well. Replace brown onion with chopped leek or spring onions. LiveLighter © State of Western Australia 2013, reproduced with permission.

Friday 22 August Volunteer your time on Daffodil Day to help sell Cancer Council’s merchandise. Register at www. where various shift times and locations are available across NSW. Dress up in yellow for a fun day contributing to growing hope for a cancer-free future. volunteer-your-time

Method • Preheat oven to 200oC (180oC fan forced). • Spray baking dish with oil. • Cut bread into halves. • Spread bread over base of a casserole dish.

Book review The Fault In Our Stars by John Green The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is a book for young adult readers. The central characters, Hazel and Augustus, are dealing with cancer, but they are also handling depression, love, and the unexpected connections and confrontations that arise sharing any of the above when ‘you’ believed you were utterly alone in the world. Narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, the book has attracted rave reviews, the occasional pan…and a film adaptation that should see the story on cinema screens this year. Read the book or wait for the film, but don’t pass on the opportunity to explore The Fault In Our Stars.

Monday 27 October An excellent way to get involved in Pink Ribbon Day is to volunteer your time to help sell merchandise. Registrations will be open in August at You can contribute to the fight against women’s cancers by joining us in raising awareness and funds. 19

VolunteerVoice | June2014

Events Calendar Relays For Life Maitland: Maitland Sports Ground, James Street, Maitland, 6 September Manly: Keirle Park, Manly, 13 September Illawarra: Kerryn McCann Athletic Centre, Gwynneville, 20 September

Singleton: Singleton Showground, Church Street, Singleton, 25 October Cooma: Cooma Showground, Cromwell Street, 25 October Nambucca Valley: Macksville Showground, Macksville, 25 October Border: Wodonga Raiders Football and Sports Club, Birallee Park, Wodonga, 25 October Blacktown: Blacktown International Sportspark, Eastern Rd, Rooty Hill, 25 October

Dubbo & Districts: No. 1 Victoria Oval, 20 September Camden & District Rotary: Onslow Park, Cawdor Road, Camden, 20 September Mingara: Mingara Athletic Track, Mingara Drive, Tumbi Umbi, 11 October Macleay Valley: Kempsey Showground, Kempsey, 11 October Wagga Wagga: Paramore Park, Wagga Exhibition Centre, 11 October Moree: Moree Showgrounds, 18 October Cessnock: Baddeley Park, Vincent St, Cessnock 18 October

Star Volunteer Help recognise and highlight the amazing work of our volunteers in helping us to defeat cancer. Nominations for Star Volunteers are currently being accepted at 67850/. Winners are announced on the first Wednesday of each month. Visit the Cancer Council NSW website and search ‘Star Volunteer Award’ for more information.

Help us beat cancer Register to join a research study today! Cancer Council and other academic bodies conduct research studies to do with cancer. These studies may be questionnaire based surveys, focus groups and interviews or other types of research. Study participants will not necessarily be cancer patients. Please register your interest to be included on our database. Your story or the story of someone you know will help us find the answers. Register at au/joinastudy or call the special Join a Research Study number, (02) 9334 1398.

Your local Cancer Council contact details

Regional and Rural offices: Hunter & Central Coast Charlestown Regional Office, Unit C1.2, Level 1, Landmark Building, 215 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown NSW 2290 .................................................................................................................................................................................... (02) 4923 0700 Upper Hunter Community Office 69 John St, Singleton 2330 (PO Box 570) ................................................................................................ (02) 6571 2899 Erina Fair Community Office The Hive, Erina Fair, Erina NSW 2250 (PO Box 5102) ................................................................................ (02) 4336 4500 Northern NSW Suites 8 & 9, Level 1, 130 Jonson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481 .......................................................................................... (02) 6627 0300 Coffs Harbour Office 121 High St, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 ................................................................................................................................... (02) 6659 8400 Tamworth Office Shop 1, 218 Peel St, Tamworth NSW 2340 (PO Box 1616) ................................................................................................. (02) 6763 0900 Southern NSW Wollongong Regional Office, Suite 7 Ground Floor, iC Enterprise 1, Innovation Campus, Squires Way, North Wollongong NSW 2500 (PO Box 21, Fairy Meadow NSW 2519) ................................... (02) 4223 0200 Bega Community Office Shop 8, Auckland Plaza, 81-83 Auckland St, Bega NSW 2550 (PO Box 772) .................................... (02) 6492 1805 Queanbeyan Community Office Southern NSW Medicare Local, 15 Crawford St, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 (PO Box 1506) ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 0413 886 584 Western NSW Orange Regional Office, 4a/122-124 Kite Street, Orange NSW 2800 (PO Box 1977) .............................................. (02) 6392 0800 Wagga Wagga Office: 1/37 Tompson St, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 (PO Box 1164) ............................................................................... (02) 6937 2600

CAN3001 06/14

Metro Regions: Metro Sydney 153 Dowling St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011 (PO Box 572, Kings Cross NSW 1340) .............................................. (02) 9334 1754 Northern Sydney Community Office Crows Nest Regional Office, Level I, 117 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest NSW 2065 .... (02) 9334 1600 Greater Western Sydney Parramatta Regional Office, Rotary House, 43 Hunter St, Parramatta NSW 2150 (PO Box 3426) .. (02) 9354 2000 Casula Community Office 39 Ingham Drive, Casula NSW 2170 (PO Box 287) ............................................................................................ (02) 9354 2050 Penrith Community Office 114-116 Henry St, Penrith NSW 2750 (PO Box 4379) .................................................................................... (02) 9354 2060 Rouse Hill Community Office Health One, The Terrace, 40 Panmure Street, Rouse Hill NSW 2155 (PO Box 6112) ......... (02) 9354 2070

Volunteer Voice June 2014  

Cancer Council NSW Volunteer Voice June 2014. The voice of our volunteers.