Cancer Connections

Beating Cancer in the Highlands ... This column is brought to you regularly by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and is first published in the Lifestyle section of the Southern Highland News. It is designed to inform everybody of matters relating to cancer in our local community and the wider society. We aim to focus on local news, forthcoming events, services and other cancer issues.

Cancer Connections - April 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Can Assist Luncheon
The Southern Highlands’ many supporters of Can Assist will be gathering at Bowral Golf Club for lunch on Sunday, May 5. With well known Australian comedian and entertainer, Anthony Ackroyd, as the guest speaker, a beautiful venue looking over the fairway, and all profits going to our local branch of Can Assist, it’s no wonder places are selling fast. To reserve your place at the table, ring Aurelia on 0474 647 506 or email Oh, and don’t forget the raffle being run in conjunction with the luncheon. Winners for great prizes will be drawn on the day. Look out for tickets (only $2 each) when on sale outside supermarkets – Woolworths and Coles in Bowral and IGA at Moss Vale.

Rare Cancers Australia’s Kosi Challenge
The annual climb of Mount Kosciuszko by enthusiastic followers of Rare Cancers Australia was held this year early in March. The additional activity this time was an inaugural “Parliament to Peak” cycle ride, organised by keen local cyclist, Zac Hulm. Always a big fundraiser for RCA, Kosi Challenge 2019 was able to raise over $278,000 for the their programs in aid of people with rare or less common cancers. RCA continues to progress and grow, exemplified by their move into larger offices in Springetts Arcade. The greater space will enable the national organisation to provide the new patient care program which is being rolled out with substantial funding from the Federal Government.

Meeting with Stephen Jones, MP
I had the chance early in April to sit down with Kate Vines from Rare Cancers Australia to discuss the ALP Medicare cancer plan with the Federal member for Whitlam. We were able to take up some issues about the details of the plan and how it would be implemented. The listing of more cancer medications on the PBS should see some relief for people living with cancer when it comes to their pharmaceutical bills. Mr Jones was keen to find out more about the kinds of out-of-pocket expenses incurred by patients during treatment.

Myeloma Australia forms support group
The first meeting of a new support group will be held on Friday, 3rd May. This is an initiative of Myeloma Australia to provide support for people living with myeloma, their family and friends. The venue is Bowral CWA rooms with the meeting 10am-12pm on Friday, May 3. For more information, ring Geo Sobrio on 0420823420.

Changes at our committee
From time to time, circumstances change and committed members of our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership team have to move on. We regret to say that this has happened for both Mira Glavan and Heather Parkes - Mira having transferred to a new position with NSW Health and Heather concentrating on her work with the Bong Bong Race Committee. The Committee sincerely thanks both for their valuable contributions to our work.

Latest news : A new lymphoedema unit has been opened in Bowral Public Hospital.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. April 23, RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12pm, Wed. April 24
• Myeloma Australia first meeting of Support Group, Bowral CWA rooms, 10am-12pm, Fri. May 3

• Can Assist Luncheon at Bowral Golf Club, 12 noon, Sun. May 5. For tickets : ring 0474 647 506 or email :

• Can Assist Meeting, Mittagong RSL, 10am May 14
• Dance event “Stars of the Highlands”, Mittagong RSL, 6.30pm May 17. For tickets : ring 4872 6700.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - February 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Haematology services improved

Readers of this blog will know that our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee, aided by good publicity in the Southern Highland News, has long advocated for an improvement to haematology services in our district. Having commenced our campaign way back in 2011, we can at last recognise that success has arrived. From January this year, public patients can now have a consultation with a specialist haematologist at the Cancer Centre within the Southern Highlands Private Hospital and, more importantly, public patients can now receive their treatment there as well. This is a most significant advance since previously they were required to travel to Liverpool for every treatment.

The successful outcome for uninsured patients would not have been achieved without the sustained backing of Prof Geoff Delaney, Director, Cancer Services, South West Sydney Local Health District. The initiative has also been progressed by collaboration between the Southern Highlands Private Hospital and the LHD, in particular through the work of Jenny Harper, CEO of the private hospital, and the support of Prof Stephen Della-Fiorentina, medical oncologist and member of our committee.

Can Assist fundraiser results
We are able to happily report on the most successful fundraising activity held recently by the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist. The luncheon Sunday@Centennial was planned as their major fundraiser for the year. Along with its associated auction, raffle and donations, the whole event altogether raised just over $18,000 net. With 102 guests attending, and many more having purchased raffle tickets beforehand, the result is a record boost to Can Assist’s financial position. That amount will actually cover our local branch’s expenditure in support of patients for a little over 3 months. The encouraging result is a tribute to the efforts of Can Assist’s volunteers, donors and supporters.

Patient Transport for 10 years
The Cancer Council bus which takes Southern Highlands cancer patients up to Campbelltown and back each day has now been operating for 10 years. That is an enormous achievement considering that it has been operated the whole time by volunteer drivers. To celebrate this milestone, and also to acknowledge the retirement of Terry Liebmann, who has been one of the e drivers all through those years, a function will be held at Mittagong RSL at 2.30pm on Wednesday, February 28.

Mount Kosciuszko Challenge

Walking to the summit of Mount Kosciuszko has now become an annual event for supporters of the Rare Cancers Australia charity. Each year the initiative, founded by Bowral locals Kate and Richard Vines, has seen increased numbers join in the activity. This year’s participants will be gathering at Thredbo National Park, 8.00 am Saturday, March 17, with a target of $200,000. More information on the RCA website at For registrations, which close on March 10, go to

The March Charge for Cancer Council
Also on the fitness theme : The March Charge is a fun personal fitness challenge. By walking or running for Cancer Council this March, and by raising funds, you can help them Charge ahead with cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support services. You can choose to go solo or get your friends, family, or colleagues together and do it as a team – it’s up to you! For all information, visit

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Feb 27 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Feb 28
• “The March Charge” is on in March 2018. See item above.
• Can Assist Meeting at BDCU, Bowral, 10am, March 13
• Mount Kosciuszko Challenge for RCA, Sat. March 17. See item above.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - February 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cancer Services Directory 2017
Each year the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee provides the text for the Cancer Services Directory which is published by Southern Highland News as a free special booklet. This year’s issue will be the 9th edition of the Directory and its theme will be aspects of palliative care. This is certainly a topical issue right now here in the Southern Highlands, as it is across NSW, so it is timely that we inform readers about the role of palliative care for cancer patients. The March edition of this column (on the 3rd Wednesday of the month) will indicate the actual date on which the issue of Southern Highland News will carry the booklet.

Committee consulted for Cancer Plan
At the February meeting of our committee we were pleased to welcome Leah D’Souza who came to consult with us about cancer issues. Leah is the consultant working with staff from NSW Health to develop a new Cancer Plan for the South Western Sydney Local Health District. The District stretches from Bankstown and Fairfield in the north across seven LGAs to Wingecarribee in the south and contains a population of about 820,000. It was an indication of the standing achieved by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee as a community-based consultative body that our input was sought on a range of issues affecting cancer patients and their treatment. The Cancer Plan will be the means by which the Local Health District will focus and prioritise its efforts to improve its range of cancer services.

Can Assist to meet at BDCU
Those who attend the monthly meetings of the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will now have a new venue for all future meetings. The branch, which previously met at the old Bowral Hospital, has now accepted the generous offer from the BDCU Alliance Bank for the use of one of their rooms for its meetings. 
Many thanks to BDCU – we all know the building at 411 Bong Bong Street, Bowral – for once again demonstrating its exceptional commitment to providing support to members of its local community.

Healthy Lifestyle Program
Coming this year : a free program from Cancer Council NSW for cancer survivors, carers, partners and family. The face-to-face group sessions will be facilitated by a dietitian and exercise physiologist and involve 2 hours per week for 8 weeks.

A course will be held at Narellan in the Macarthur region on Saturdays, commencing on Feb. 11th, from 10am-12 noon.
For full details and the schedule of where all sessions will be held, visit the Cancer Council NSW website at 
Reservations are essential; telephone 1300 360 541 or email

Coming Events
• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month; Teal Ribbon Day will be on Feb. 24
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Feb. 22
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at SH Private Hospital, 10-11.30 am, Tues. Feb. 28. RSVP to Katie on 4862 9469.
• Feel the March Charge. Walk or run, solo or team, for Cancer Council this March. See
• Can Assist meeting March. 9, 10am. Note new venue : BDCU, Bong Bong St, Bowral
• Mount Kosciuszko Challenge, March 18. A fundraiser by Rare Cancers Australia, this involves a climb from Thredbo to the summit. To register, visit
• “Bounce Forward” program at SH Private Hospital, March 25-26. For information or a booking, contact Jo Pearson, Nursing Unit Manager, Cancer Centre 4862 9472.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - February 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Greater support for regional patients

It was encouraging to learn of a commitment made by the NSW Liberal and National parties to implement further improvements to the IPTAAS scheme. This is the Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme which provides assistance to those rural and regional patients who need to travel a long distance in NSW for medical treatment. The enhanced program being proposed would see an increase in the petrol subsidy, increases in the accommodation subsidy rates, and a reduction in the patient co-payment. Commitments were given that, if re-elected, the Government would also simplify the IPTAAS forms, make some further services eligible for claims, and make the claims process itself much easier for people to use. It is hoped that the State Opposition will give a similar undertaking to match these improvements.

Our Patron the Mayor

The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is very pleased to announce that the Mayor of Wingecarribee Shire, Duncan Gair, has accepted the position of Patron of the committee. In indicating his willingness to fulfill this role, the Mayor acknowledged that the Cancer Leadership Committee’s annual Cancer Services Directory is a very important publication assisting all those affected by cancer in our shire.

Cancer research

In a new study by Cancer Research UK, almost half the participants did not see their GP despite suffering cancer "alarm" warning signs. Commenting on the study, Professor Sandro Porceddu, a radiation oncologist and clinical advisor to Cancer Council Australia, says one in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This is not meant as a scary statistic; it is not a cause for alarm so much as a call for awareness. "In Australia, we have one of the highest cancer survival rates in the world," Professor Porceddu says. "If detected early, we have a much greater chance of surviving." For instance, did you know that an Australian dies of melanoma every six hours. Every two and a half hours someone dies of bowel cancer, yet 90% of such deaths would have been prevented if detected early.

The conclusion from these findings is that, if you have a concern about a health problem which has not gone away, consult your GP. Early detection saves lives.

Bounce Forward !

The valuable initiative ‘Bounce Forward’ (previously called ‘Living Well’) is a two-day program which will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Saturday and Sunday, 21st and 22nd March. To find out more or to make a booking, contact Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Cancer Centre, on 4862 9472.

Cancer Services Directory 2015

Our material for this year’s edition of the Southern Highlands Directory is ready for publication. For this year our focus is going to centre on cancer within families and what help is available for families in that situation. A big change from previous years will see the booklet combined with the Southern Highlands Health Guide to make a super-sized health issue for 2015. Publication date will be Wednesday, March 25th with your free copy available in that day’s Southern Highland News. Don’t miss it. To place an advertisement in the new bumper booklet, please contact the News sales team on 4861 2333.

Coming Events

• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Hold an “afternoon teal” in February to support Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their website is :

• Teal Ribbon Day, fundraising for ovarian cancer programs, is on Feb. 25th
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. March. 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• ‘Bounce Forward’ program, Sat.-Sun., March 21-22. Details above.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - January 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cancer Services Directory 2015

Our committee is currently putting together material for this year’s edition of our Southern Highlands Directory. This time our focus is on cancer within families. A big change from previous years will see the booklet combined with the Southern Highlands Health Guide to make a super-sized health issue for 2015. Publication date will be Wednesday, March 25th with your free copy available in that day’s Southern Highland News. If you provide a service for cancer patients or carers and you would like to be given a free listing for the very first time, or if you wish to make an alteration to your current listing in the cancer directory, please get in touch with me. Contact details are below. To place an advertisement in the new bumper booklet, contact the News sales staff on 4861 2333.

Can Assist success

Just in case you missed our note in the December blog on this website, the final fundraising result from Can Assist’s ‘Venice Carnivale’ was $10,077 – a wonderful tribute to the organisers and to the tremendous community support they received.

Pictured below are more scenes from the spectacular evening. Further excellent photos taken by Hamish Ta-me can be viewed on the website of Southern Highland News.

Above : Assoc. Prof. Stephen Della-Fiorentina, a member of the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee, was the guest speaker at the function.

Blood Cancer Support Group
I can report that this new support group will definitely be continuing in 2015. The group, which caters for Southern Highlands patients with various forms of leukaemia, commenced meetings late last year. Those who are interested in the group or would like more information are asked to telephone Emily Barry at the Leukaemia Foundation on 4222 0602.

Vision for Change, 2015

With the NSW state election coming up on March 28th this year, Cancer Council NSW has identified five opportunities for the next NSW Government to reduce the number of people who receive a cancer diagnosis and ensure that those with cancer get the care they need. The issues chosen to seek support from all political parties are :
More palliative care services – many people in NSW who need specialist palliative care don’t receive it, especially if they live in a regional or rural area
Reform of tobacco retailing – some regulation of the selling of tobacco will support people who are trying to quit and encourage young people to live smoke free
Co-ordinated cancer care – Local Health Districts can support cancer patients by providing assistance with co-ordinating appointments and managing the overall care program
Increased Aboriginal workforce in cancer services – making sure that when Aboriginal people go to a cancer service they are cared for by an Aboriginal person
No chemotherapy co-payments – eliminating the discrepancy where some public hospital patients are charged a chemo co-payment while others are not.

World Cancer Day, February 4th
With a theme of 'Together it is possible’, this year's World Cancer Day is about everyone doing their bit to tackle cancer issues. The particular focus on the global goal of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025 makes World Cancer Day a platform for supporting both prevention and treatment. We know that understanding and responding to the full impact of cancer on emotional, mental and physical wellbeing will maximise the quality of life for patients, their families and carers. As the tagline for this world event says, it is “not beyond us”.

Coming Events
• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Hold an “afternoon teal” in February to support Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their website is :
• Teal Ribbon Day, fundraising for ovarian cancer programs, is on Feb. 25th
• World Cancer Day will be on Wednesday, February 4th.
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. Feb. 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Hold an Iced Tea Party for lymphoedema research, Jan. 12 to March 20. All details on the website :

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - August 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cancer Council grant for the Southern Highlands
It is important to support breast cancer patients by monitoring for the early detection of lymphoedema following treatment. The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has just been awarded a grant of $7,150 which will fund the software required for two years’ operation of an apparatus to monitor for lymphoedema. A Breast Care nurse and a lymphoedema specialist trained in using the monitor are available at the Cancer Centre. Early detection of this condition post-operation leads to better outcomes and may reduce the long term effects caused by a late diagnosis. Following the great result of the 2014 Relay For Life held in the Southern Highlands, our committee had applied for the grant from Cancer Council NSW and we were delighted to be successful.

Cancer Centre Information Session

On Tuesday September 16th staff at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital will provide a valuable presentation for any cancer patient or future patient, their family members, and also carers. This instructive presentation, running from 10.30am til noon, will give insight into the treatment process, what to expect, and introduces the trained professionals who make up the support team. All the services available to assist patients will be outlined. Anyone interested in attending should ring Jo Pearson, Nurse Unit Manager, on 4862 9470. Full details are shown on this website under the “News and Events” tab.

Pictured after the Information Session held in July (L to R) : Richard Vines, who spoke to the meeting about Rare Cancers Australia; Jo Pearson; Peter Coupland, who helped present the session.

Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd
The golden daffodil, so well-identified with Cancer Council, was chosen as the symbol of hope for all affected by cancer because of its reputation as a hardy annual flower, pushing its way through the earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth. As one of the first flowers of an approaching spring, the daffodil symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. To Cancer Council, the daffodil represents hope for a cancer-free future. This year the wonderful band of volunteers will be out in our community raising funds on Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd. Some collections may take place on nearby days.

New Blood Cancer Support Group
A support group for patients and carers affected by blood cancer will be commencing this September. If you are interested, please contact Emily Barry at the Leukaemia Foundation by telephoning 4222 0602. It is anticipated that the group’s inaugural meeting will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Wednesday, 17th September.

Community Hospice forum
Do you have questions you would like answered about death and dying, but you've never known who to ask ? An information forum organised by Southern Highlands Community Hospice Inc. called the “Dying To Know Day” will be held at the Mittagong RSL Club, 10am to 3pm on Saturday, August 23rd. Admission is free. For full details, see the item under the “News and Events” tab on this website or visit the hospice website at

Changes to Medicare Local
What is going to happen in 2015 to South West Sydney Medicare Local which covers our district ? A session entitled “Future of Medicare Local” will be held at Mittagong RSL, 11am-12.30pm, Tuesday, August 26th. Telephone Amy Humphries 1300 179 765.

Coming Events
• Daffodil Day raising funds for Cancer Council, Friday, August 22
• Community Hospice “Dying To Know Day”, Mittagong RSL, 10am-3pm Aug. 23
• “Future of Medicare Local”, Mittagong RSL, 11am-12.30pm, Aug. 26
• Can Assist Annual Branch meeting, Thurs. Sept. 11th, 10.30am at Pepperfield
• Cancer Centre Information Session at SH Private Hospital, Sept 16
• Blood Cancer Support Group at SH Private Hospital, September 17
• “Bounce Forward” program at SH Private Hospital, Sept. 20-21
• YWCA Encore program commences at Henley Brae, Wed. October 15. Contact Mandy Lawson on 4868 3246 or 0438 68 3246.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - June 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Can you spare a little time ?
Currently some opportunities exist for people to volunteer to help cancer patients by means of our GAPS program. That’s the General and Practical Support service which is available throughout the Wingecarribee Shire to people undergoing cancer treatment. Training for volunteers will be provided by Cancer Council NSW. Some of the ways you can assist include preparing light snacks; shopping; respite for a carer; and transport to medical appointments or to connect with the Patient Transport Service taking patients to Campbelltown. Whether you are helping a patient or their carer, your assistance will be greatly appreciated by people who are facing a most serious challenge to their health. If you would like to take part, telephone Tina Hunt at Cancer Council NSW on (02) 4223 0200.

Pictured above are some of our team of GAPS volunteers (L to R) : Suzy Kennon, Jann Wadsworth, Aurelia Grigore-Reid, Chris Roode, Wanda Lach, Julianne Halpin, Belinda Lamb (Cancer Council), Judith Brooks, Joan Harrison (GAPS Co-ordinator),
Di Hinton, John Hinton. In front : Nick Goodall.

Relay For Life 2014
In the wash up to this year’s immensely successful Relay For Life in the Southern Highlands, the tally for funds raised has now passed the $286,000 mark – a fantastic achievement and proof once again of how generously the Southern Highlands community will respond to a good program and a worthwhile cause. (A report on Relay was given in our Cancer Connections blog for May – access via the tab above.) Our keynote speaker on that cold, wet day, Barbara Williams, was both entertaining and inspiring as she described the excitement she had in forming a breast cancer dragon boat team and competing at regattas. A reminder that the full text of what she had to say can now be read on the News & Events section of this website just click here.

New members for the committee
The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has recently benefited from the addition of a number of local health professionals who have come on board. We shall now have the added expertise brought by : Peter Coupland and Mel Kalde, who are both employed as Social Workers at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre; Mira Glavan, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Palliative Care, from the Wingecarribee Community Health Centre; and also rejoining the committee at its next meeting will be Jonathan Purvis who was this committee’s first chairman and, more recently, the co-chair of the successful local Relay For Life 2014. A full listing of the membership of our committee can be viewed under the “About Us” tab above.

Concerns about the co-payments issue
At its June meeting, a number of committee members expressed their concerns about some of the Federal Budget’s changes in the health area. Of particular concern were the proposals to charge a co-payment for GP visits and some medical tests, which, if passed by Parliament, will place extra burdens on cancer patients who already face financial difficulties due to their illness and which will, as a result, create an even greater demand for assistance from such organisations as Can Assist. The Federal Government’s stated intention to restructure in 2015 the pattern of Medicare Locals was also viewed as a backward step, in view of the fact that the Medicare Local for our district was making real advances in improving primary health care across a range of medical fields.

Coming Events
• Red Aussie Apple Day, June 18, to raise awareness of bowel cancer
• “Dry July” is a month for raising funds for families with cancer
• “Call to Arms” in July - football teams support action against cancer
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs., July 10th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.
• Community Hospice “Dying To Know Day”, Mittagong RSL, 10am-3pm August 23rd

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - July 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Mayor meets with Cancer Leadership Committee
The July meeting of the Cancer Leadership Committee was given over to a most useful conversation with the Mayor of Wingecarribee Shire, Councillor Juliet Arkwright. The Mayor’s readiness to attend an evening meeting of our volunteer committee provided us with an opportunity to highlight the range of support programs and services with which we are involved. Members made special mention of their endorsement of Council’s policies on smoke-free outdoor areas. During the evening Councillor Arkwright not only expressed her full support for our work but also made the kind offer to serve as our Patron. The Committee was very pleased to accept this gesture and can now look forward to even closer co-operation with Council in the future.

Pictured above : At front on left : Therese Harris, then behind her (L to R) : Kate Partington, Steve Burton, Juliet Arkwright, Jo Pearson, Grahame Hackett, Terry Hughes, Tina Hunt, Kit Bullivant and Margaret Mogg.

Do we know of your cancer service ?
If you provide a service for cancer patients and carers, or you host a cancer support group, and we don’t know about it, then it probably won’t appear in the 2014 issue of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory. Our committee is currently planning next year’s issue which will focus on local cancer support groups and service providers. So, if you would like to be given a free listing for the very first time, or you are interested in advertising in the booklet and you haven’t done so before, please get in touch with me. Contact details are below.

Lions Club of Bowral makes $500 donation
At the start of this month, Lions Club President, Tom Dolan, informed me of a generous donation they were making. From funds raised by members, the Lions Club of Bowral has provided a cheque for $500 to the local branch of Can Assist whose sole object is to help cancer patients. 

Support like this, coming from social, sporting and service clubs in the district, together with the continuing backing of local businesses, have helped sustain the valuable work of Can Assist. You may remember that the Can Assist organisation as a whole received the NSW Premier’s award in 2012 for “Excellence in Public Service Delivery”.

Can Assist needs more members 
While on this topic, it must be said that the wonderful achievements of the local branch are made possible by quite a small band of volunteer supporters. They need more members. Can you volunteer some time to help out ? The contribution of your own time, no matter how small, is the most productive way you can do your bit to show people they are not alone on their cancer journey. 

The Secretary, Terry Hughes, can be contacted on 48723059, or by email at or why not go along to one of their meetings, always held at 10am on the second Thursday of each month in the conference room of the old Bowral hospital, Ascot Street, Bowral.

Coming Events
• July is Dry July – helping adults living with cancer
• “Call to Arms” at AFL games during July – Clash for Cancer
• Breast Cancer Support Group luncheon, August 7th. See the website
• Can Assist meeting, Thursday, August 8th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Daffodil Day raises funds for Cancer Council programs, Friday, August 23rd
• Daffodil Day events at the SH Cancer Centre will be held August 21st-22nd

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - May 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Biggest Morning Tea 
Southern Highlands Cancer Centre will hold their morning tea on Thursday, May 23rd which is the nominal date set for this year. But groups can hold one on any morning around that date. The BIGGEST Morning Tea at Burrawang School of Arts is on Saturday, May 25th. The Southern Highland News carried an extensive list of BMTs planned for the district in its issue of Wednesday, May 15th. Maybe this means you get to go to more than one event ! These are fun activities and are great fundraisers for Cancer Council. Because every cup counts.

About the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee
Following the success of our Cancer Services Directory for 2013, people have asked that we say a little about what we do. The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee (SHCLC) is an independent committee of local volunteers committed to improving services for cancer patients and raising awareness of the support which is available to them and their carers. The committee, which meets each month, works closely with the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, health professionals, members of volunteer services, support groups, program providers and cancer charities within the Wingecarribee.

To help spread the information about cancer issues to patients and to all in the community, the committee provides the material for the annual Directory published by Southern Highland News. The most recent step taken to make knowledge of cancer services and all these matters more accessible to people has been the creation of this website. The design of our website was funded by Cancer Council NSW who strongly support the committee’s activities. The column “Cancer Connections” which we write for Southern Highland News is printed on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and then provides the material for this blog. (You can find out more about our committee by clicking on the "About Us" tab above.)

Community Hospice winter fundraiser

This will be a Wearable Art Fashion Parade at Annesley on Thursday, June 13th, 5.30-7.30pm. The event will feature Margaret Connor’s creations which will be available for purchase after the parade. Book early. Tickets from the Hospice shop in High street, Bowral. Full details are on the Hospice website at

BowelCare kits available
With 1 in 12 Australians diagnosed by age 85, bowel cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in Australia. The good news however is that, if detected early, 90% of cases can be treated successfully. So, why not “Get checked”. BowelCare kits are still available from local pharmacies until June 1st; the last day for returning kits for pathology testing is June 15th.

Cancer Services Directory now online
If you were not able to get your copy of our Directory for the Southern Highlands, the whole contents of the booklet can now be obtained from this website. This year’s booklet, which featured special articles on men’s health issues, can be easily downloaded as a pdf file. Just click on the Directory tab above.

World No Tobacco Day, May 31st
Each year, about 6 million people worldwide die as a result of tobacco usage. 600,000 of those victims are non-smokers.

Please note : The Gatsby Dinner Dance announced for June 28th has had to be cancelled due to insufficient time to have all arrangements in place for the event.

Coming Events
• BowelCare kits available at local pharmacies until June 1st.
• National Volunteer Week, May 13th – 19th
• Palliative Care Week, May 19th – 25th
• Biggest Morning Teas will occur on Thursday, May 23rd or on nearby dates
• Biggest Morning Tea at SH Cancer Centre, Thurs. May 23rd.
• Biggest Morning Tea at Burrawang School of Arts, Sat. May 25, 9am-12pm
• May 31st is always World No Tobacco Day.
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
  Bowral Men's Shed celebrates 10th Anniversary, at the Shed, 11.30 am, June 12.
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs, June 13th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Wearable Art Fashion Parade at Annesley, for Community Hospice, Thurs, June 13 .

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - February 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cancer Services Directory 2013
The issue of the Southern Highland News out on Wednesday February 27th will contain your copy of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2013. With articles this time specially focussing on men’s health, this 5th edition will, as always, list the services available locally to assist cancer patients and their families. The listings are updated each year so that the information is as accurate as we can make it. Thanks are due to Southern Highland News and all the Directory’s sponsors who have made the publication possible.

Jo Pearson wins “Nurse of the Year” Award
The Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong have named their “Nurse of the Year” and the award has gone to Jo Pearson, a foundation member of our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee. This year the Rotary Club devoted their vocational award to the nursing profession and the names of many fine nurses were put forward. Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, was nominated by our Committee and also by the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. At a ceremony on Tuesday, 19th February, Club president, Ray Williams, presented Jo with the perpetual trophy and an individual trophy for her to retain. The modest recipient was gracious in accepting this well-deserved award.

Patient Transport Service
One group of guys already well aware of health issues are those who turn out as volunteer drivers for the Patient Transport Service. The bus, provided by Cancer Council NSW, takes cancer patients from the Southern Highlands who require transport to the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre at Campbelltown for treatment or to see a doctor or specialist. Bookings are made either by telephoning the Cancer Council Southern Region office in Wollongong on 4223 0200 or by speaking with the staff at the Macarthur Centre. We should pay special recognition to all those drivers. It’s thanks to their readiness to give their time that this bus service has been so successful.

Prostate Support Group
The recently formed Southern Highlands Prostate Support Group held a most successful information evening on February 5th. More than 50 attended to learn more about prostate issues and were rewarded with two instructive presentations. Local physiotherapist Lucy Forbes stressed the importance of maintaining the strength of the pelvic floor muscle, while Dr. Nestor Lalak (a Bowral urologist) spoke knowledgeably about prostate problems, methods of treatment, and post-operative issues. Both speakers have strongly supported the formation of this group and were happy to answer numerous questions that were asked. For more information contact Tom Carroll on 0419482208 or email


     Pictured : Dr Nestor Lalak speaking at the information evening

“Live Well Now” Program
This valuable program of six sessions spread over two weeks provides the means to find peace while dealing with the stresses of living with an illness. Each 3½ hour session, conducted by Dr Louella Crawford, is held at the SH Private Hospital and the first commences on March 2nd. Cost is $240; bookings close February 25th. For more information or to book, contact Jo Pearson on 4862 9472.

Hospice Week events
Southern Highlands Community Hospice Committee has announced its schedule of events for Hospice Week 2013. While the "week" is officially February 25th to March 4th, the events have been spread a little wider than that to accommodate all the various activities planned. The current schedule is set out in the “News and Events” section of this website with details of the people to contact if you would like to attend any of the events or you can visit the hospice committee’s own website at

Coming Events
• Cancer Services Directory will be issued with SH News, Wed. Feb. 27th
• Teal Ribbon Day, Feb. 27th - Ovarian Cancer Australia
• SH Hospice Week is February 25th to March 4th. See details above.
• “Live Well Now” Program commences Sat. March 2nd. See above.
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thurs, March 14th at the old Bowral Hospital
• Breast Cancer Support Group dinner, March 22nd. Visit

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


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