Ovarian Cancer Awareness Cup

21 May 2011

Thank you

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which meet, the Wurundjeri People, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.

I also acknowledge and warmly thank everyone for attending, including:

  • Mayor, Oscar Yildisz
  • Crs. Kariofyllidis, Helou and Archer
  • The CEO of Moreland, Peter Brown and Council staff
  • Family members of Neil Clinch
  • Ian Price and David Gloury
  • Inspector Dean McGowan
  • Brian Campisi and Victor Pennisi;
  • and a very special welcome to  Dorina Leader -Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. Thank you for being here and sharing your journey.

Today is a time to reflect and remember; a time to celebrate survival and hope; and a time to focus our energy on sharing the word about this disease, and sharing the load with all those who have been affected by it.

That this inaugural Mayor’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Cup is dedicated to my mother, Pam Garrett, means so much to my family.  And it is such a fitting tribute to an exceptional woman.

Firstly, it’s a battle between two heartland teams from the very places that my mother hailed from – she grew up in Pascoe Vale South and was educated at CHS, where she was given the role of head prefect in her final year.

Secondly, and most importantly, this event is about community.  It was born from community spirit and connectedness; and it strengthens that spirit and connectedness in so many ways.

The idea for the event came from the Mayor, after he attended the afternoon teal I held in February this year to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and help save lives.

Oscar was so moved by what he heard and what he saw, that before I knew it, I was sitting in the Council Chamber with a group of energetic and passionate people all working to make this Mayor’s cup a reality.

This event shows what can be achieved when we are pull together as a community.

Community was central to Mum’s spirit and beliefs.  She dedicated countless hours to creating connections with people, helping the disenfranchised feel welcome, and harnessing energy and commitment to make positive social change.

Mum’s spirit of community is alive and well in this room; in these clubs; in those who have donated their time and money; and in our local representatives here today; and I honour that spirit and am grateful for it.

Thirdly, this event is about giving.  Not just financial gifts (though that is very important) but about a generosity of time, of skills, of innovation and of love.

The money raised here will go to Ovarian Cancer Australia, which uses those funds to increase awareness of the disease. Because the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague and common, and because there is no easy diagnostic test, awareness and understanding is critical to catching the disease early, and therefore saving lives.

The money raised will also go to help OVCA support sufferers of ovarian cancer and their families.  I know first hand how important this work is, from seeing how much it helped my Mum. My mum, who was one of the most generous people I’ve known.

Finally, today is about sharing the joys of life.  A meal, some stories, hopefully some laughs, and a great game of footy. Mum loved breaking bread with others and it is fitting that we do so today in memory of her and the so many others who have been lost.

So thank you everyone, on behalf of my family, for supporting this event.

Thank you in particular to David Gloury and Ian Price – without their supreme commitment and organization this day would not have happened.

And finally thank you Mayor Oscar Yildisz.  This is your vision.  You are an exceptional leader and a fine friend.

Today we remember and we grieve.  But we also celebrate.  We celebrate our strong and vibrant community.  We celebrate the beauty that comes from generosity.  And we celebrate and give thanks for this opportunity to share a meal and conversation. All in support of such a worthy cause, and in honour of such a gorgeous woman.

Thank you

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