Tag Archive for: Dubbo

Lyndal Walton, Maxine Andrews, Sandy Walker and David Walker


The Dubbo branch of CAN ASSIST (Cancer Assistance Network) conducted their annual major fundraiser on Sunday, May 5. After a rainy Saturday, Sunday morning dawned to a glorious day for the CAN ASSIST Dubbo Autumn Gardens Open Day. The four gardens were graciously opened to the public by their hardworking owners to provide an enjoyable outing for the hundreds of attendees. Each garden portrayed a different atmosphere and style with a number of special events from musical performances to guest speakers. This year attendees were fortunate to be entertained by the Three Sisters Violin Trio and guest speakers Doctor Florian Honeyball (chief medico at the Dubbo Base Hospital’s Cancer Centre) and Professor Andrew Rawson (CSU School of Vet and Agriculture Science).

The Autumn Gardens Open Day is a massive undertaking with countless hours given by a dedicated team of volunteers. CAN ASSIST member Melva Blake coordinated this year’s successful event, including the popular plant stall which sold out.


Robyn Englert, Melva Blake, Ros Lorimer and Janet Couchman


CAN ASSIST president David Walker thanks the CAN ASSIST Garden Day team as well all those individual members and non-members who offered their time and efforts in this fundraiser. Over 60 people help in all facets on the day with lots of preparation time beforehand as well. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the owners of the gardens, and also to all the attendees. All the funds raised at this event support CAN ASSIST in providing financial support to those undergoing cancer treatment in our region,” Walker said.

CAN ASSIST has also been strongly supported by local news media and major raffle sponsors including Bunnings, Dubbo Flight Centre plus several anonymous sponsors. With little time to rest, Dubbo CAN ASSIST is already planning their 2025 open day with their search for gardens. If you would like to contribute to CAN ASSIST or have a wonderful garden to share next year, please contact dubbo@canassist.org.au


Alan Clarke, Fitz McKay and Fran Ellis

May 16 2024, Dubbo Photo News

In May Dubbo Can Assist hosted Open Garden Day.  Five beautiful and charming gardens were on display. Approximately 500-600 people blocked roads around the garden addresses. There was an afternoon tea that required 80 loaves of bread and 100 bread rolls, a successful raffle and alongside other stalls, our volunteers had a striking plant stall. Garden guru, Judy Horton spoke at three gardens.


Can Assist Dubbo has a new executive.  Fran Ellis President, Rosie Gavel Snr Vic President, Jackie Walkie Vice President, Janet Ruskin Rowe Treasurer and Fitz McKay Secretary.

Because of COVID fundraising has not happened, however, we have had lots of donations. Recently We have had a good raffle sold downtown over six days which raised 2 ½ thousand dollars. We have found if we sell something with our raffle, ie plants, jams, etc. people love it and we make a lot more money.  We have an excellent lady in Melva Blake who pots plants and Jenny Slack Smith makes jam endlessly.  Also one of our members, Robin Englert has been making little baby knitted bears with our insignia attached and they are fast becoming an emblem.

Regional Australia Bank also help with their customer incentive and we received the most ever from the bank of $5500.00

The money boxes scattered around town are great money makers and advertising so look out for them when you are out and about.

The suggestion to make masks and sell them for Dubbo Can Assist seemed innocent enough. Dusty sewing machines were brought out of cupboards, by rusty workers. Cutters, snippers, ironers and sewers all worked tirelessly in a couple of hastily set up work rooms. The Outback Dragon boaters came on board, and the Covid19 decommissioned zoo volunteers hopped in to help. First the elastic ran out, then the black fabric. Who would have envisaged that !!!!!

After three weeks of sewing, extensive orders and much chat and laughter, Can Assist volunteers have passed the baton to others to continue to mask our community and keep us all safe. Many thanks to all who provided assistance, materials and by purchasing the masks.

For us slightly senior volunteers, who have practiced all health safety measures and lockdowns meticulously, this exercise has allowed us to enjoy the camaraderie with our peers. At a time when we were unable to raise funds, in the normal ways, to help our local cancer patients, we have boosted our coffers, by approximately $8,000. In total we created about 1200 masks, and we still have them available at Macquarie Homestay ( the Dubbo Base accommodation facility) and Dubbo Culinary and Homewares.