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Cancer Council NT eNews - December 2014

December 1, 2014


CEO Update

Welcome to the final Cancer Council Northern Territory e-newsletter for the 2014 year.  I and my staff thank all of our supporters for the generosity and goodwill you have given us again this year– there are so many ways that people work to keep this service increasing in reach and relevance to Territorians impacted by cancer.  Some of those ways have been through volunteering  on our governance board, participating in our client support, volunteering time to events and cancer programs, promoting our services through  workplaces and  of course  the  significant number of financial  donations we have received.  Each contribution adds to our strength and ability to give people reason to keep hope in their journey with cancer.

A major highlight this year for CCNT was the significant increase in cancer services in the Territory achieved by local community action driven by bush determination. The Katherine Cancer Working Group (KCWG), of which CCNT is an active member, formed to address the lack of cancer services in that region and to raise awareness of the challenges people are faced with from a cancer diagnosis.   A strong team of men and women supported by the Katherine community developed and led a campaign that resulted in nearly  two million dollars in capital and operational funding  being committed to provide cancer services from the Katherine Hospital.  Spurred on by that we continued to push for community nursing and the Department of Health delivered a promise to provide $150,000 of services for that purpose.  CCNT were provided with an office in the Government Centre which the Katherine community furnished and have raised funds to provide two years funding for a part time Information and Support position to operate from that office.  Dedicated tele-health services, specialist cancer nurses, four Chemotherapy chairs and other related services will now operate from the Katherine Hospital, reducing the impact of cancer for people in the Katherine region.   Although there will still be the need to travel to Darwin, the frequency of those trips will reduce considerably and much of the before and after treatment management  will now be undertaken locally.  I acknowledge the strength of this community and the dedication of many to achieve this. In particular Toni Tapps-Coutts, Val Dyer, Chris Dixon, Pat Witte and Mike Clutterham, supported by the other members of the KCWG group. These people need to be commended for their contribution to those impacted by cancer.

This year, Cancer Council NT have tried to reach outside our major offices of Alice Springs and Darwin whenever possible, partnering with other organisations and individuals. For example, in May cancer support and health promotion was undertaken in Borroloola at the local Show day with the assistance of the McArthur River Mine and in August we travelled to Kalkarindji and Lajamanu to deliver women’s health sessions with the support of other health professionals. We continued to participate with the Aboriginal Health Workers cancer training and worked with the Leukaemia Foundation to deliver a cancer forum in Alice Springs.  Combined with our service delivery at Alice Springs, Katherine and Darwin and our Territory wide Ostomy service delivery we are reaching out to as many Territorians as we can.

Of course, we acknowledge there is always need for more. In 2015 we will continue our advocacy work so Territorians are offered the same level of cancer services as other Australians, we will deliver more prevention information so Territorian can minimise their exposure and risk of developing cancer and we will explore innovative ways of supporting cancer survivors wherever they chose to live. 

So let’s reflect, appreciate and send our good wishes this festive season -  thinking of those that  have lost loved ones to  cancer and wishing them peace, thinking of those that are going through their treatment and those recovering, thinking of the doctors, nurses and other health professionals that support us, and thinking how fortunate we are to be part of a community and a country that is determined to make cancer a disease that soon will be  no longer feared but is preventable, treatable and manageable. 

Thank you all for your contributions, the Cancer Council looks forward to doing it all again in 2015.
Kathy Sadler
CEO, Cancer Council NT

Cancer Council NT eNews - December 2014