Message from Maria Shaw, National Pro Bono Manager
Welcome to the Daffodil Day edition of Pro Bono Press!
After stepping into the role of National Pro Bono Manager in July, I have seen the Pro Bono team busy coordinating community education events, training new interns and recruiting new volunteer professionals to join the panel across the country. We also celebrated one of the biggest days of the year for Cancer Council – Daffodil Day.
On Friday 26 August 2016 we painted the town yellow for Daffodil Day, banding together to raise funds towards our mission to beat cancer. Every day around 350 Australians are diagnosed with cancer, but every day people are working hard towards a world free from cancer. Cancer research is discovering better and more innovative treatments and support for people affected by cancer is constantly growing. During my first few months as National Manager of the Program, I’ve been able to touch base with many of our referrers and professionals who do such valuable work for the program. We would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate the support you offer people affected by cancer.
Not only do professionals volunteer to assist individual clients through the program, many of our volunteers also offer their expertise to present at community education events to people affected by cancer about legal and financial issues that they might experience. If you’re interested in presenting at a future event, or you would like a professional to talk at a community event you are holding, please get in touch with us.
In this edition, we touch upon our recent trip to Canberra where we met with wonderful lawyers who were keen to be involved, or continue their involvement, in the program. We also highlight the Sydney Cancer Conference, where the Pro Bono team presented a poster on the financial impact of cancer and the evaluation of the program. We take a snapshot look back on the last financial year to show you how many people affected by cancer were assisted through the program – a collaborative effort that could not be achieved without our enthusiastic referrers and our committed volunteer professionals.
Thank you for all your great work.
Maria Shaw, National Manager, Pro Bono Program
Daffodil Day – ‘For someone I know’
26 August marked one of the most important days in the Cancer Council calendar: Daffodil Day. Daffodil Day aims to raise funds for cancer research, prevention, and support programs. The daffodil represents new beginnings, and a chance for a cancer-free future. This year, Daffodil Day celebrated its 30th birthday, raising over $1 million, which will help support Cancer Council’s life-saving cancer research, prevention programs (such as Eat it to Beat it and Tackling Tobacco), advocacy, and support services (like the Cancer Council information and support line 13 11 20 and the Pro Bono Program). Thousands of people across the country have made an amazing difference to the estimated 1.1 million Australians that have either survived, or are currently living with cancer.
The country was brightened by our trademark yellow, with thousands of volunteers offering their time to sell daffodils, bears, and footballs to the community. From acappella groups to star troopers, to some familiar footy stars Jack Watts and Dylan Buckley and to Country Music singer, Catherine Britt, we were able to share this special day with all of our amazing supporters.
Cancer Council would like to thank our lovely volunteers and team members who dedicated their time and efforts to making this day as special as possible. We have heard nothing but wonderful feedback and heart-warming stories from all those involved.
Sydney Cancer Conference
Researchers, clinicians and people working towards beating cancer came together over 2 days at the Sydney Cancer Conference at Australian Technology Park on 22 and 23 September. The conference provided a national forum to showcase emerging research and areas of strength in cancer research. The Pro Bono team submitted an abstract to the conference on the evaluation of the program, which was accepted and featured as a poster during the conference.
National Manager Maria Shaw and Case Manager Michelle Smerdon represented the Pro Bono team at the conference, answering questions about the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and raising awareness of the program and support services offered by Cancer Council for people who are faced with legal, financial or workplace issues.
You can click here to view the poster: Impact of pro bono services on people affected by cancer conference poster
The Pro Bono Team travel to Canberra
On 17 and 18 August, two of the Pro Bono team members visited Canberra to expand the reach of our services and present what our program has to offer. Pro Bono Case Manager Sally Linwood and Paralegal Amy Teagle spoke to a group of eight social workers at Canberra Hospital to answer any questions they had.
Sally explains, “these sessions are always a great opportunity to meet with our referrers in person and build relationships, as well as awareness and understanding about the program and how it works.” The Pro Bono team are constantly looking at ways to expand the program’s reach and assist as many people as we can.
In addition, we also feel it is vital to build strong relationships with different professionals in each region so we have excellent volunteer professionals to match with our clients. In Canberra, Sally and Amy met with representatives from Ken Cush & Associates and Watts McCray to talk about their involvement in the program, assisting clients across Canberra with legal issues. On 20 August, two of our wonderful professionals from Sparke Helmore and Bravien Financial presented to people affected by cancer at a Legal and Financial Matters Seminar in Canberra.
The last financial year: A snapshot
The Pro Bono Program has grown significantly in recent years, with more people affected by cancer being referred for assistance with legal and financial issues, and an increasing number of professionals registering to volunteer their time to help those in need.
In the last financial year we:
Did you know?
The Cancer Council Pro Bono Program works with a variety of different volunteer professionals across the country and we have four referral services. We assist clients with a range of legal, financial, workplace and small business accounting issues. We can connect clients with more than one professional depending on their individual needs. If you have a client that you feel could benefit from additional services, please let us know and we may be able to refer them onto another professional pro bono. Please give us a call on 1300 856 199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pro Bono in the news
Cancer Council and Geographe Financial Group team up to provide free advice to cancer patients (Busselton Mail – 25 July 2016)
Cancer victim battles CBA for mortgage relief (Sydney Morning Herald – 3 September 2016)