Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pink is big in Australia in the month of October and nowhere more so than in the city of Moonee Valley. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and on Thursday, 18 October, I had the pleasure of attending the now iconic 2012 Pink Ribbon Breakfast at Flemington racecourse. Now in its eighth year, the breakfast was inspired by the late Lydia Kauzlaric, who was elected to Moonee Valley City Council in 2003 and went on to become its first female mayor in 2005 before, sadly, succumbing to breast cancer in 2006. However, her name and legacy live on with this event, which is now the biggest fundraising breakfast for the National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia. It is a testament to all involved, including key supporters the City of Moonee Valley, Strathmore Community Bank and the fabulous organisers, principally Dianne Fincher, chair of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Victorian events committee.
Credit also goes to Moonee Valley Weekly columnist, Alan Murphy, and TV presenter, Melissa Hetherington, who both did outstanding jobs as masters of ceremonies.
The highlight of the morning was the touching and memorable speech by Essendon local, Michael Leddin, which was dedicated to his mother Maree who passed away last December after a long battle with breast cancer. Aged 24, Michael gave a speech that his late mother Maree would have been proud of, outlining his and his family’s love for their mother and her brave fight. There was barely a dry eye in the audience at the conclusion of his speech.
The breakfast raised $72 000 for breast cancer research.
On a personal note I also pay tribute to Rachael Joiner, a former adviser to the Bracks and Brumby governments and a friend to this side of the house. Rachael is continuing her brave fight with breast cancer and while still recovering from her treatments is now on the public speaking circuit as a Think Pink ambassador. Congratulations, Rachael. Keep up the fight and the good work.
Finally, thank you to my colleague and member for Keilor, Natalie Hutchins, whom I partnered last month in our very own fundraiser which raised over $1700 for the Cancer Council Victoria.