CANCER SUPPORT: Breast Cancer National Australia's Leonie Moore, Raelene Boyle and Linda Gibson.
CANCER SUPPORT: Breast Cancer National Australia's Leonie Moore, Raelene Boyle and Linda Gibson. Contributed.

Linda and Leonie build the breast support group

AUSTRALIANS - 17,586 women and 144 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Cancer in Australia 2017 report.

Local Breast Cancer National Australia Community Liaison Officers, Leonie Moore and Linda Gibson joined over 200 breast cancer survivors from around Australia for three days on the Sunshine Coast building their support network and skills as part of Breast Cancer Network Australia's (BCNA) 2017 National Summit.

BCNA's National Summit is a major biennial event that aims to build skills, knowledge and connections among BCNA's Community Liaison Officers and Consumer Representatives.

Community Liaison Officers raise awareness of breast cancer and support people affected by breast cancer in their local communities and play a key role as part of BCNA's 130,000 membership base.

Consumer Representatives work with breast cancer researchers, advisory committees, policy makers and service providers across Australia, representing the views of women affected by breast cancer in decision making.

While at the Summit, delegates had the opportunity to hear from breast cancer experts, be inspired by guest speakers, network with other community champions, share their own personal experiences and participate in skills-development workshops.

This year's guest speakers included BCNA ambassador, Olympian Raelene Boyle; GIVIT founder and CEO Juliette Wright and Cancer Australia's Dr Vivienne Milch.

For the first time in the organisation's history, the Summit had two males who have been personally affected by breast cancer attend as delegates.

BCNA CEO Christine Nolan said "Our vision is to create a better cancer journey for all Australians affected by breast cancer, and our Community Liaisons play a key role in achieving this vision.

"The Summit aims to give our community champions the skills and information they need to support people in their home towns and build our network to ensure everyone affected by this disease feels connected and supported,” Christine said.

"Every day this year 48 Australian women will be told they have breast cancer, making the need for support and evidence-based information more vital than ever.

"A big part of living well after breast cancer is having a strong support network, and that's what we are equipping our Summit delegates to build - for themselves and also others.”

Leonie and Linda are seeking expressions of interest from women who are interested in establishing a night time cancer support group in Rockhampton.

This group is open to all women who have had any sort of cancer directly impact on their life any time.