Meet the women championing cancer support for all - CanAct | Cancer Council NSW
Click on each woman's photo to read their inspiring story.

Championing Equity in Palliative Care

Caroline, Western Sydney

Caroline Raunjak, based in Western Sydney, understands firsthand the power of quality palliative care. When her husband faced cancer, the support they received allowed him to spend his precious final days at home, surrounded by loved ones. This experience ignited something within her, as she realised "Cancer does not discriminate and Palliative and End of life care should not be determined by postcode as everyone deserves good care." Witnessing the disparities in access to quality care set her commitment to making a difference.

From sharing her story to having tough conversations with Members of Parliament, Caroline is a powerful voice for change. Advocating for increased funding for research, improved access to support and care, and affordable cancer treatment. Caroline also volunteers at palliative care centres, provides valuable perspectives as a consumer representative, and advocates for a dedicated palliative care unit at Westmead Hospital through the "Westmead Push for Palliative Care" campaign.

Caroline's passion is truly inspiring. She's a testament to the power of one person, driven by compassion, to make a real and lasting impact. Her dedication and impactful contributions have been recognised through various awards, including the Parramatta Citizen of the Year.

Championing Cancer Support for First Nations Communities

Emma, Wagga Wagga

Emma Hickey, based in Wagga Wagga NSW, is celebrated this International Women's Day for her dedicated advocacy supporting First Nations communities facing cancer in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD).

Recently appointed as the Aboriginal Cancer Care Coordinator, Emma provides culturally appropriate support and guidance to First Nations communities throughout their cancer journey, ensuring they feel seen, heard, and understood.

Emma's approach is proactive and collaborative building strong connections with healthcare professionals and supporting an environment that promotes cultural sensitivity and understanding. Through her work, she has partnered closely with Cancer Council staff, raising awareness of cultural needs, and ensuring resources are tailored appropriately.

However, her dedication extends beyond individual support. Through advocacy, she pushes for wider access to preventative and screening programs within First Nations communities, aiming to address health disparities at a systemic level. With over a decade of healthcare experience and deep roots in the local community Emma is able to create a trusting space for individuals seeking support, allowing her to provide culturally sensitive assistance.

Emma's dedication and passion show the important role individuals play in shaping a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system within their communities. Her story highlights the importance of cultural sensitivity and collaboration in building a healthcare system that truly serves everyone.

A Champion for Cancer Support

Sinilia, Fairfield

Sinilia Radivojevic is a dedicated volunteer who has made an incredible impact on the lives of people affected by cancer, especially in the Fairfield community. Since her arrival in Australia in 1984, Sinilia has volunteered with Cancer Council NSW to strengthen support services. Starting with data entry and phone support, she quickly identified a need for language accessibility offering to provide Spanish assistance, ensuring everyone felt welcome and understood.

Through her volunteer work, Sinilia witnessed the challenges faced by cancer patients and decided to provide additional support by visiting patients, offering comfort, information, in addition to language support. Through her commitment she has helped patients navigate treatment options, access financial assistance, and clearly understand their diagnoses.

With a message of hope and strength, Sinilia encourages those facing cancer: "Never give up. New treatment options emerge constantly, and organisations like Cancer Council NSW are key to research and better cancer services."

Sinilia's dedication and passion show the power of individuals making a positive difference within their communities. Her story inspires us all, reminding us of the strength and resilience found in serving others.

Championing wellbeing in Aboriginal communities

Jess, Central Coast

This International Women's Day, we recognise Jess Cain Westway, a proud Gamillaroi woman making a significant difference in the Central Coast community of NSW. Through her work as a Cancer Navigator with Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Services, Jess understands the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer especially those who have relocated and may lack family support during this difficult time.

Jess offers tailored, personalised support and assistance to families and carers along the client journey, as well as supporting families with the end of life journey. She bridges the gap between patients and healthcare systems, ensuring everyone has access to the resources they need to navigate their treatment journey effectively.

Driven by her passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Jess is dedicated to closing the gap in healthcare disparities within her community and addressing barriers by creating culturally safe spaces for open communication and guidance.

Jess's dedication and advocacy are a true inspiration. She personifies the strength and resilience of women leading positive change in their communities, highlighting the importance of cultural sensitivity and collaboration in building a healthcare system that truly serves everyone.

Championing cancer care in the Hunter region and beyond

Dr Cath Adams, Hunter Valley

This International Women's Day, we celebrate Dr. Cath Adams, a remarkable woman who has dedicated her career to improving the lives of cancer patients and their families in the Hunter Region and beyond.

Dr. Adams is a trailblazer in psycho-oncology and played a pivotal role in establishing the first service of its kind in Newcastle in 2001. Ever since, she has used her expertise to provide valuable clinical support to patients, empowering them to become active participants in their own healthcare journey by advocating for the care they deserve.

As a leading expert in cancer care Dr. Adams work is known widely throughout Australia receiving numerous accolades for her work. Dedicated to addressing regional disparities in healthcare access she led a project supporting both GPs and women in rural and remote areas to improve cervical cancer outcomes for Aboriginal women, ensuring culturally safe and respectful care.

Dr. Adams' also volunteers as president of the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation, and she serves on the board of the Kaden Centre demonstrating her commitment to enhancing services for all cancer patients.

Dr. Cath Adams' story is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact women can have on the lives of others. Her dedication to supporting an inclusive health care system resonates deeply with the spirit of International Women's Day, inspiring us all to advocate for a just and equitable healthcare system that prioritises the physical, and the emotional well-being of patients and their families.

Tell us what you think

Test survey
What is your highest advocacy priority?


Help improve cancer care

Take our quick follow-up survey to share your unique perspective and contribute to better understanding and care for people with cancer.

Complete our survey