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Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea

Hansard ID: HANSARD-1323879322-142179

Hansard session: Fifty-Eighth Parliament, First Session (58-1)

Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea

Mr MARK COURE (Oatley) (18:04:28):

For over 14 years I have been incredibly proud to host the Cancer Council Biggest Morning Tea every year. It is an opportunity to raise much‑needed funds for Cancer Council NSW. Unfortunately most people will be impacted by cancer in some way during their lifetime. For some it is losing a friend or loved one—like my mum who passed away at the young age of 42—to cancer. For others it is being diagnosed with the horrible disease. Cancer is currently the leading cause of death in Australia. From the most recent statistics available, in one year alone just under 150,000 new cases were diagnosed. That is an alarming statistic.

That is why I have been a tireless advocate for Cancer Council NSW for so long. I believe the work it does to support individuals and families impacted by cancer is second to none. This year I set out with a target to raise over $3,000 in much‑needed funding. I am proud to say that we have absolutely smashed that target, raising just under $3,500 in donations with more still coming in. It was an amazing turnout on the day with over 140 members of my community attending the morning tea at Mortdale RSL, many bringing their own tasty treats and baked goods. Even my kids and I got involved by baking chocolate cupcakes, and some of my staff helped out by baking delicious and colourful cookies. There was truly something on offer for everyone. From small businesses to school principals and community groups to councillors, it was so wonderful to see so many members of my community coming together to make a real difference. Everyone donated what they could with funds going towards supporting the Cancer Council Helpline, with over 36,000 callers receiving support and information, patient transport, subsidised accommodation services and, of course, world‑class research projects.

My community never fails to inspire me through their generosity and creativity. There were many individuals and organisations who donated prizes for the raffle, which was heartwarming to see. I particularly thank Lyndon Mitchell and the ladies from IRT Peakhurst, Linda Pritchard and the team behind the Knit2gether project, and Victor from House of Style in Hurstville. Their donations were much appreciated. In addition to the fundraising efforts, we also had the privilege of hearing from Joanne Fergusson, who has worked in the medical sector with survivors and those impacted by cancer for many years. Her story illustrates the critical role that the Cancer Council plays in providing emotional support and practical resources to patients and their families. I also thank Maddi McEnaney from the Cancer Council, who also spoke to us on the day. She has been working with us to run our Biggest Morning Tea for several years now. It is always such a pleasure to work alongside Maddi. Her presentation was a reminder of the impact that fundraising efforts have on people's lives and the difference it can make.

Just 40‑odd years ago, the survival rate for cancer was less than 50 per cent. Today nearly seven out of 10 Australians will go on to survive for five years—at the very least—after their diagnosis. Many others will go on to lead strong, healthy lives, with a survival rate as high as 90 per cent for a number of cancers. In part, that is thanks to the hard work and advocacy of the Cancer Council and the wonderful work it does. I will continue to advocate for Cancer Council NSW until we see an end to that terrible disease. I am so thankful that we continue to move ever closer to a cancer‑free future for all Australians. I encourage everyone to get involved with the Cancer Council in any way that they can. Whether that be donating or even hosting a morning tea of their own, any support is not only valuable but also necessary. I look forward to seeing our community come together again for next year's Biggest Morning Tea.

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