Presidents report

Acknowledgement of Country. May I extend a warm welcome to you all to the 2021 Annual General Meeting of the BPCAQ. I welcome those here with us, and those virtually on Teams. Zoom and Teams have been a most important way to keep in touch for meetings over the last 2 years, as has telehealth to the health sector.

Australia has had another unsettling year with continued Covid restrictions in many States. The BPCAQ was eligible for Job Keeper and Cash Boost payments for 12 months, ceasing in March 2021, which was a huge support for our organisation.

Thankfully, BPCAQ has been able to continue with our work in providing many patient’ assistance grants, nurse education opportunities, plus fund research, during the past 12 months. There has also been opportunities for fundraising events.

To highlight the wonderful work of our volunteers; I am delighted to begin with the Weengallon Patient Fund which was set up with the remaining proceeds from the Weengallon Pink Ladies Day, as a Care Fund for Patient Assistance Grants, with a small committee led by Emily Martin, along with WPLD members; Selina Bate, Sasha Crowley and Lisa Southern. The fund has been established in memory of Emma Montgomery.

In April the second and final instalment was made to IHBI at QUT, towards the Prostate Cancer research project. We give our thanks to all the subcommittees for contributing towards this project which focused on the improvement of the PSA testing.

The three-year Service Agreement for the Goondiwindi Breast and Prostate Cancer Care Nurse completed on 30th September 2021. The Goondiwindi sub-committee will fund an additional year for a 0.2 position with an agreement between Q’ld Health and the BPCAQ. Toni Jakins has decided to resign from her position and applications are currently being reviewed with interviewing in progress.

Tiffany Pulford and the Emerald subcommittee are to be congratulated on a most successful dinner held in August raising $18,797.00.

The Blackbutt Golf Club, organised by Bill and Leanne Bool and Leith O’Brien, had a successful Golf Day raising money for their district. Nick and Lorraine Aniftos have retired as the volunteers and we thank them for their many years of service to the South Burnett Region.

Fraser Coast has also been active with fundraising in their district with Penny Kilner organising Bunning’ Sausage Sizzles, quilt raffles and St Luke’s Anglican School hosting their annual Seniors High Tea in Bundaberg this month. This year they had 380 ladies attend for a most successful and happy High Tea.

The Rockhampton district has recently seen an increase in community support and donations, thanks to Helen Gudmann for promoting BPCAQ in her district. The CNSA (Cancer Nurses Society of Australia) Conference was held in June in Brisbane. Jo Oughton (Emerald) and Liz Dreske (Mackay) were funded by the Connecting Nurses fund. Pammie Ellem, a Board member and member of CNSA, was a guest speaker. A few of us caught up with Jo and Liz, plus other rural nurses, for a meal the night before the Conference. It was a great opportunity for the rural nurses, that are participating in the Connecting Nurses Project, to meet in person plus network with other cancer care nurses across Queensland.

The subcommittees are to be congratulated for their continued commitment to their communities over the past year. We thank them for allowing us to be custodians of their profits, plus keeping in touch with us, as they raise funds to give out assistance packages and support the nurses in their community.

Two of our long serving members Sandy Cassidy and Tracey Plumridge retired earlier this year. Tracey has been our only paid Admin/ Bookkeeper for 17 years, and we thank both Tracey and Sandy for their tireless work and commitment to the BPCAQ. We also thank Luke Anderson and Adrian Seiffert for their dedication and participation to the organisation over many years, as they too have retired, and have not renominated.

At the end of May we welcomed Jacqui Lowrie as the new Admin/ Bookkeeper, who has joined us and has taken up the reins with efficiency and competence in the past
5 months.

Over the past two years there has been a big shift to online and cloud-based technology, and we have been embarking on updating and upgrading software, and our procedures. This is due to both ATO requirements, and COVID lockdowns forcing us all to work from home and needing to keep up to date with technology.

On 28 June we moved to our new office under the umbrella of Health, at QUT Kelvin Grove. This has been a most important and marvellous opportunity to be linked with the Health and Education Sector.

I would like to welcome Rebecca Otto, Senior Management Assurance at Price Waterhouse Coopers, as a Board Member, and she will take on the Treasurer position.

On 7 October we held a very successful and happy fundraiser at Hillstone, St Lucia Golf Club, to raise funds for the Brisbane office.
Toby Ford was a most entertaining auctioneer for the three items offered.

We raised an impressive $14,142.00 on the night!

After 25 years we passed the motion to increase the membership to $15 per annum.

It is a great pleasure & honour for me to be the President, and I thank the volunteers on the Board for attending meetings and supporting the mission of the BPCAQ. I express my sincere thanks to the Board, and Jacqui, as we look forward to the year ahead in 2022.

Gina Fairfax