NTBCV was started approximately eighteen years ago by a small group of Darwin women determined to improve services for Northern Territorians diagnosed with Breast cancer. At that time, there was no Alan Walker Cancer Care Centre (AWCCC), no Breast Care Nurses, one oncologist and no ancillary support groups to assist those diagnosed with Breast cancer. NTBCV is incorporated and is a registered charity.
Some of our Achievements to Date
In the past 18 years, NTBCV has been involved in many areas of breast cancer advocacy, including:
- creating Dragons Abreast under the incorporation of NTBCV until it took on it’s own identity in 2006.
- developing the “My Journey Kit”, now available to all women going through Breast Cancer,
- advocating for radiation oncology services in Darwin which led to the AWCCC being opened five years ago,
- as a part of the Breast Cancer Network of Australia (BCNA), we helped raise the profile of Breast cancer and assisted in getting drugs such as Herceptin on the PBS; and
- as an indirect result of NTBCV’s involvement, Darwin now has a number of Breast Care nurses, an Encore exercise programme and social support groups for breast cancer survivors.
Kerry Milson Trust Fund
In 2012, Kerry Milson sadly passed away from breast cancer. Kerry’s last wish was for NTBCV to be in a financial situation to provide assistance to women and men diagnosed with breast cancer in times of need. Through Kerry, we were able to secure a small trust fund which is available to provide limited and basic help such as gardening, transport to appointments, cleaning windows etc., on a one off basis. This fund has been added to recently through Memorial Donations given by those who have received assistance from this fund and generous donations from other community groups.
We actively encourage exercise as an effective means of reducing breast cancer reoccurrence. Since 2010, we have supported a 10,000 Steps exercise programme which challenges the participants to aim to achieve a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Commencement of the programme is timed to coincide with the Mother’s Day Classic. The programme runs for three months from May to August. Participants are provided with pedometers and encouraged by provision of prizes throughout the challenge.
NTBCV aims to promote Breast Cancer awareness, continue to advocate for the improvement of services and conditions for all Territorians diagnosed with Breast Cancer and to promote health and wellbeing through our 10,000 steps programme and our social support groups.
NTBCV advocates for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer by meeting and communicating with key stakeholders such as the Alan Walker Care Centre, Royal Darwin Hospital patient advocate and ancillary service providers as well as Cancer Council NT. Over the years NTBCV organised a number of forums, notably with Professor Neil Pillar, Adelaide Lymphoedema guru, as guest speaker. These forum were held with assistance from the Lions Club.
We operate on a voluntary basis and receive no direct operational government funding. To raise money, we rely on one off membership fees, donations, bottle and can collections and on a Trash and Treasure stall at Coolalinga Markets.
We have been successful in applying for small grants and have used the money to bring speakers to Darwin for a Breast Cancer forum in 2012 and more recently, to purchase breast models for remote clinics to help raise awareness of breast cancer among Indigenous women. In 2014 we received a grant from NT EPA to assist us with the purchase of a Pink Trailer in which to collect cans and bottles for recycling which is our main form of fundraising. In 2015 we successfully applied for a grant through the Community Benefits with this money going towards the creation and installation of a Memorial Bench in the George Brown Botanic Gardens, Heritage Garden.
Government House Luncheon
NTBCV is privileged to have Mrs Marie Hardy, Wife of the Administrator of the Northern Territory, as our Patron. For a number of years, our Patron has extended an invitation to those recently diagnosed with Breast cancer, to a luncheon at Government House. NTBCV coordinates this event, which is one of the highlights of the year and is thoroughly enjoyed by all participants.
As part of NTBCV’s aim to raise awareness of Breast Cancer in the community, we participate on behalf of Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) in the Mini Field of Women and the Baker’s Delight Pink Buns campaign, both of which are conducted yearly.
Early detection saves lives and we are always on the lookout for opportunities to get this message across. We are willing to participate on an “ad hoc basis” at any opportunity so we can promote our organisation and spread the message.
In 2017 it is our hope and aim to spread awareness amongst the many Multicultural groups around Darwin about the importance of early detection.