From left to right – Majella Gallagher (Can Assist), Dr Peter Baade (Atlas), Senator Wendy Askew, Emma Phillips (Can Assist), Dr Kerrie Mengersen (Atlas).

It was a privilege to provide feedback from our Can Assist Community at the end in January alongside representatives from Australia Cancer Atlas to the Federal Government Senate Committee Inquiry into – Equitable access to diagnosis and treatment for individuals with rare and less common cancers.

See Can Assist’s opening speech here

Can Assist – Opening Speech

To read more about the Inquiry see here

Eliza Fraser is a mature student at Narrandera High School who has been an outstanding representative for the community. In 2023, she was a vice-captain at the school and led fundraising efforts for Can Assist Narrandera. Eliza is a community-minded person who has volunteered her time to support many local events. She is an approachable and gregarious person who is a team player and an inclusive leader. Her positive attitude and caring nature have resulted in her being highly respected by students, staff, and community members.

Narrandera Garden Club has been nominated for the Organisation of the Year Award.

The Narrandera Garden Club, established in 1978, has been running for 45 years and has held its 40th Town and Country Open Garden Day in 2023. The event, which is a major fundraiser for Can Assist Narrandera, showcases six beautiful local gardens and donates over $10,000 annually. The club also hosts propagating days and holds monthly meetings at various gardens for social interaction and sharing gardening knowledge. The club’s Treasurer and Camellia Show Coordinator, Denise Di Salvia, is dedicated to the success of the event. The club also holds Friendship Day, where members from surrounding clubs come together for lunch and a guest speaker. The club’s membership spans a vast age group, ensuring that gardening knowledge and enthusiasm are passed on to new members.

The official Wagga Wagga 2024 Australia Day Award finalists have been announced and will be presented at Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre.

Can Assist long time member an honorary life member Bill Lane is nominated for the Citizen of the year Award.

Bill has been described as a selfless and dedicated individual who goes beyond volunteering his time for several successful community causes. As a survivor of prostate cancer, Bill gives his time to the Wagga Wagga Prostate Cancer Support Group and is at the forefront of awareness campaigns at annual events. Bill was recognised as a “Life Member” of Can Assist for his fundraising activities over the past 6 years. Bill was also presented with a “Paul Harris Fellowship” by the Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga for embodying their motto of “Service above Self” and being the “Face of Fundraising” in the local community. Bill is proactive in promoting raffles at various points across the city, organising and participating in barbecues at events, and bottle collection. From these three activities, Bill has successfully raised $100,000.

Despite the Covid pandemic, Bill’s fundraising activities, plus donations during the last 6 years have allowed Can Assist Wagga Wagga to distribute over half a million dollars to support over 400 people through their cancer treatment.

Mid-Western Regional Council announced the residents and organisations nominated for the 2024 Australia Day Awards.

The region’s Australia Day Ambassador, Professor Ron McCallum AO will be presenting the awards at Robertson Park, Mudgee on Friday January 26.

Can Assist Mudgee has been nominated for the Volunteer Services Award.

As we gear up to celebrate Australia Day across the Upper Hunter Shire, it’s time to recognise the exceptional individuals and groups nominated for this year’s Australia Day awards.

Can Assist Merriwa, under Marlene Rogers’ leadership, provides vital support to residents living with cancer. Through community fundraising and partnerships, they ensure that rural cancer patients have access to the same opportunities as those in urban centres.

The family of a late Wagga dad have been blown away with support after their annual fundraiser in his honour accumulated $45,000 for Can Assist with the help of a footy icon.

Matty Rake was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer in December 2020 and underwent an 18-month journey of intense chemotherapy, surgery and radiation before he died in June 2022.

Aged just 39 at the time, Matty left behind two beautiful children, Ellie, 13, and Joey, 11.

Last year, Matty’s family decided to raise funds for Can Assist Wagga as they had supported him throughout his battle.

Over three months the family accumulated more than $15,000, but this year decided to go above and beyond by holding the Matty Rake Memorial Day.

“The Matty Rake Memorial Charity Day was an opportunity for family, friends and the wider community, to get together for an enjoyable day to remember Matty, raise awareness for bowel cancer, and importantly raise much-needed funds for the local branch of Can Assist,” Matty’s sister Trina Rynehart said.

Matty’s father had been accumulating donations over six months from local businesses to be auctioned off on the night – one of the auctions a jersey.

Wagga-born Australian Rugby League great Chris Mortimer donated a Canterbury-Bankstown jersey signed by him and his three professional football brothers.

The jersey raised more than $5000 of the total $45,000 raised on the night – with the football icon making an in-flesh appearance himself.

Mrs Rynehart said she was blown away by the show of support from local businesses and the hundreds of people who attended on the day.

“Throughout Matty’s cancer journey, we came to realise the importance of local charities like Can Assist, and in particular the practical ways that they assist people battling cancer,” she said.

“Things such as fuel cards when needing to travel to Sydney offer much needed assistance when times are at their most challenging.

“Special thanks must go to those who donated auction items and raffle prizes, local businesses who provided food and refreshments on the day, and of course the approximately 200 people who came to support a special day.”

Mrs Rynehart said the show of people was a reflection of how loved Matty was by so many.

“He was a great person and a popular person,” she said.

Every year, Year 12 at Boorowa Central School raise funds to assist with the cost of their formal and to purchase a gift for the school.

The students organise various events including a colour run, bake stall and wood raffle, trivia night, candy cane sales and a guess the Easter eggs competition.

This year, Year 12 purchased a flag pole to fly the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags together for the school. With the remaining $400 in funds, they decided to make a donation to Can Assist Young-Boorowa.

Claire Johnson Year Advisor donated the funds to Mrs Kay Doemling, who accepted the funds on behalf of the Young-Boorowa Can Assist Branch.

Kay was thrilled and grateful that the students chose this local charity.

Well done Year 12!