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.