10-year milestone unveiled

A SPECIAL ceremony at the Cancer Council's Coffs Harbour office marked 10 years of achievements locally with the unveiling of an Aboriginal print.

Inside the freshly painted office, the dedicated team of staff, volunteers and curious community members gathered for a Welcome to Country performed by Gumbaynggirr local Mark Flanders.

Guests were treated to a speech about the rich Aboriginal history of the area, with Mr Flanders focusing on the importance of respecting elders, of whom there are not many left.

The ceremony finished with a spectacular performance on the didgeridoo.

Regional manger Patty Delaney said the print was by indigenous artist Georgina Altona.

"Georgina Altona is a courageous Aboriginal woman who passed away from cancer and her prints will be put in every regional office across the state," Ms Delaney said.

Ms Delaney said the past 10 years had seen significant achievements and many important milestones for Cancer Council staff and volunteers.

Some of these achievements include support in lobbying for the development of the integrated cancer treatment centre; financial support to Rotary for patient accommodation at Shearwater Lodge; the comprehensive rollout of sun protection policies to local primary schools; the rollout of 'sun sound' at Park Beach to alert beachgoers of the need for sun protection and also smoke-free pubs and clubs in partnership with the Heart Foundation and Asthma Foundation.

"More recently the Cancer Council has been working with a cancer interagency network which includes CanTeen, Camp Quality, Shearwater Lodge, Leukaemia Foundation, Coffs Harbour Regional Cancer Services and Oncology Social Workers to share resources and information and to work towards achieving a needs assessment of oncology patients," she said.

"Supportive care has included financial assistance for cancer patients to help cancer patients pay bills; the development of partnerships with lawyers and financial planners who provide pro bono service to cancer patients for issues like drawing up their will; enduring power of attorney and early access to superannuation for those cancer patients who need additional financial assistance."

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