The first half of the year is already over and we want to take the time to recognise and thank our incredible community fundraisers who continue to get us closer to zero deaths from melanoma.

St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast launched a ‘Running for Girls Education Challenge’ as part of their 2021 Non Nobis Solum (‘not for ourselves alone’) program. During the month of April, 52 students from grade 7 to 12 each ran 100km. Each year the school sponsors free education for two female students at The School of St Jude’s in Tanzania.  The students exceeded their fundraising goal and MIA was chosen as an additional beneficiary as one of their students recently lost her father to melanoma.  We were so pleased that Leon and Tamra Betts, who lost their daughter Emma to melanoma aged 25, were able to receive a cheque for $4000 on behalf of MIA during a St Hilda’s assembly.  Thank you to the St Hilda’s community for your support.

Emma’s grandmother, Beryl Betts, hosted a fancy morning tea at the Aveo Durack Retirement Village. (pictured top of page) Although numbers were limited, over 100 guests enjoyed a delicious high tea with a range of home-made goodies baked by Beryl and fellow resident and retired chef, Trevor Webb.  Guests were also entertained by the talented duo, Harvey and Harvey, who generously donated their services. Beryl raised $3520 to support MIA’s vital research.

On 2 May, Karine Tobin had a stall at La Belle Vie French Market where she sold her delicious home-made baked goods.  Karine completely sold out and raised over $700 for melanoma research. Thank you, Karine!

Having lost his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father to melanoma, Rodney Anderson challenged himself to #5KaDayInMay.  A few friends and family joined Rodney along the way as he raised awareness about prevention and early detection.  By the end of the month Rodney had covered over 160km and raised $6,475!  What an incredible achievement – congratulations!

In support of one of their colleagues who has melanoma, EY Port Jackson Partners organised Walk for Gaz. On 22 May, the 25km walk started from the EY PJP offices in the CBD and ended with a celebratory sausage sizzle at the Spit Bridge.  A huge thank you to the Walk for Gaz committee who pulled this event together within weeks and raised $110,510.

On 6 June, Heather O’Donnell and her daughters, Phoebe (aged 9) and Emma (aged 6), participated in the 25th Elleker Running Festival in WA in memory of loving father, Mark O’Donnell.  Mark was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in August 2019 and sadly passed away 12 months later, aged 42.  Heather hopes that sharing Mark’s story will help save lives and raise funds for vital research.  With the support of the entire Denmark community in WA, Heather, Phoebe, and Emma have raised $9145 so far and are planning to complete more fun runs in the future.

Sue Plant decided to raise funds for MIA by shaving her head in memory of her mum who passed away last year, a friend who had to shave her head due to a melanoma, and for everyone who has had melanoma.  Sue exceeded her initial fundraising goal and raised over $900!

The Muirfield Golf Club Ladies Combined Charity Day was held on 13 May. With perfect weather conditions, a field full of golfers, and a raffle this event raise $5500.  Thank you to Lady President, Aileen Westwood, and everyone who participated and supported this event.

On 28 May the team from Tempus Wealth set out on their Coastal Walk along the Royal National Park Coastal Trek. Tempus Wealth decided to fundraise for MIA as several of their team members’ loved ones had been impacted by melanoma.  With the support from their staff, clients, friends, and family this event raised $7535.  Thank you to the Louise Southwell and the Tempus Wealth team.

Over the past 18 months some of the Lady Golfers from the Lithgow Golf Club and their family members have been impacted by melanoma.  The Lady Golfers started the 3 putts for melanoma penalty jar. The rules were simple: each three putt per hole required a 50c penalty payment with a $2 cap limit per day.  The Lithgow Golf Club has 22 playing Lady Members and the 3 putts raised $400.  Thank you to Lynn Ritchie and the Lady Golfers!

On 23 June, the Wantima Country Club held their annual Cancer Charity Golf Day.  Around 140 players competed in a round of golf and raised over $3000.  There was also a raffle and Leon Betts from the MIA Speakers’ Hub shared his story and raised awareness about sun-safety and early detection.  We appreciate the support of everyone who attended, with special thanks to Wantima Ladies Captain, Leone Sands, for all her hard work in making the day a huge success.

We had 15 people registered to run for melanoma in the Gold Coast Marathon on the 4-5 July but the physical event was cancelled due COVID-19.  A special shout out to our top three fundraisers: Emma Shaw and her dad John, Kristy Crockett, and Danielle Korn.  This would have been Emma’s first half marathon and she was planning on running it with her dad, John, in honour of her mum, Rhonda, who passed away from melanoma 3 years ago. Both Emma and John had been training since March and together they raised $3540.Kristy decided to fundraise for MIA in support of her friend, Olivia, who has melanoma.Kristy manged to double her initial goal and raised $2000.  Danielle Korn’s mother passed away from melanoma 5 years ago, aged 51. Danielle combined her goal of running a half marathon with raising $1900 for melanoma research.  Thank you to all our fundraisers and virtual runners.

We would also like to thank the friends and family who collectively raised $5833 by creating fundraising pages for loved ones lost – Remembering Mahendra, In loving memory of Robert Comito, In loving memory of Laki, Shirley Duke tribute page, Remembering David Holland, and In memory of Josh Cronin. We’re so grateful you chose to support MIA in this way.  It’s a beautiful gesture to honour the legacy of loved ones and lessen the impact of melanoma on others.

Thank you to all our community fundraisers.  You continue to amaze us with your creativity and efforts.  Every donation, big or small, helps move us closer to zero deaths from melanoma.

If you would like to organise a community fundraiser to support Melanoma Institute Australia, we’d love to hear from you. Please email Amanda at