The generosity and dedication of our Community Fundraisers, and their supporters, will undoubtedly save lives from melanoma.

Catherine Maclean – ’10 years melanoma free’ skydive

2024 marks ten years since Catherine was diagnosed with melanoma and had it removed. She was shocked when tests came back with the diagnosis, and finds it scary to think that had it been left longer, it would have continued to grow and spread. To celebrate, Catherine challenged herself to jump out of a plane on 2 January, and created a fundraising page for MIA. Catherine also decided to generously match dollar for dollar, raising over $4,300! What an incredible achievement and such a creative way to fundraise!

Cockburn Cricket Club Ladies Day – in honour of Diana Smith

In February, the Cockburn Cricket Club held a Ladies Day Community Fundraising event, in honour of their inaugural women’s team captain Diana Smith, who sadly passed away from melanoma in 2021. There were 40 ladies in attendance, and our very own Amanda Rowe – Diana’s beautiful sister & also a member of the club- spoke on behalf of MIA continuing to raise awareness about the importance of sun safety & checking your skin. The club raised over $2,000 from this amazing event. Thank you for your wonderful support.

200 Miles for Melanoma – Shannon

On 7 February, Shannon, her husband Justin, and friend Aaron set off on the Delirious West 200, renowned as being one of the top 10 hardest 200 milers in the world, and one of the must-do ultra marathons in the southern hemisphere. The 340km adventure along the world famous Bibbulmun Track, between Northcliffe and Albany, includes jaw-dropping ocean cliffs, relentless dunes & skyscraper-high forests. It’s not an event for the faint hearted!

Shannon, Justin & Aaron decided to call this challenge the 200 Miles for Melanoma event, and raised funds for MIA in honour of Shannon’s dad who passed from melanoma in 2009 at just 59 years of age. They raised $1,700 from this event, and we can’t thank them enough for enduring such gruelling conditions to help raise funds & awareness.

Erik Mather Swim

The 2,4,6 km invitational open water swim established in 1998, was renamed the Erik Mather 2,4,6km swim in 2013 by the Balmoral Beach Club in Erik’s memory after he passed away from melanoma. Over successive years in the 80’s and 90’s, Erik was the Balmoral Beach Club Captain, Club Champion and Iron Man Champion. He has left a wonderful legacy to the community through the creation of the Balmoral Beach Club Nippers, which is said to have the highest participation rate across all of the Nippers programs in NSW. This year’s event was held under some incredibly gruelling conditions, yet everyone persevered! Over $22,000 was raised from this incredible event. Thank you Monika and team!

Rise & Shine Yoga – Nicole

After having her own brush with melanoma, Nicole learnt a lot about the impact it can cause, and also the amazing progress that has been with melanoma treatment to reduce deaths. Nicole wanted to support this progress, so she held a fundraiser on Sunday 25 February, doing an early morning yoga session followed by breakfast & bubbles with a group of wonderful women! Nicole raised over $3,700 from this event, which will support our innovative, world-class research and education programs at MIA. Thank you Nicole, it’s people like you that will help us reach our goal of zero deaths this decade!

Jenny’s Brain Cancer Fundraiser

In May 2023, Jenny George was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive, incurable brain cancer. Shortly afterwards, MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer was also diagnosed with GBM. MIA is a world leader in melanoma diagnosis, treatment, and research, and is now applying treatments pioneered in melanoma to Richard’s GBM – a world first. It is hoped that this innovative, courageous approach will transform the way in which brain cancer is treated globally, giving hope to Jenny and other patients. A fundraising event in Jenny’s honour was held at the Northbridge Golf Club.

Due to the exceptional response to the fundraising to date, funds raised at this event can fund a Pathology Fellowship at MIA. The Pathology Fellowship provides a talented mid-career clinician/researcher with the opportunity to work directly with Professor Scolyer – the world’s leading melanoma pathologist – and to benefit from his mentoring and supervision. As part of the team in MIA’s Translational Research Laboratory at USyd, the new Pathology Fellow will also work alongside other MIA specialists, and eventually design and run their own research projects. In the past, such projects have resulted in some of MIA’s most important research and treatment breakthroughs. Jenny’s fundraiser is currently sitting at $300,000, with active donations still coming through! Thanks to incredible people like Jenny and the community around her, we can continue our vital work in advancing medial research and improving the lives of countless individuals.

2024 Sun Run – Belinda Swinnerton

This year Belinda Swinnerton competed in the 2024 Sun Run, raising funds for MIA. Belinda wanted to give back and help support others impacted by melanoma, as she said MIA has had such a huge impact on her family’s life with her dad undergoing treatment for Stage IV metastatic melanoma. The Sun Run is a 7km or 10km fun run along the spectacular Northern Beaches coastline from Dee Why Beach to Manly Beach.

Morgan Mansell – Check4Spots day

Morgan Mansell tragically lost her life to melanoma at just 25 years of age. In honour of Morgan’s birthday, on January 30, her parents Peter and Julie ask for participation in ‘Check4Spots Day’. They want to remind everyone to know the skin they are in, to grab a partner or friend and look for any unusual spots, particularly in those hard to see areas such as the back and scalp. Each year, Peter & Julie have donated $500 to MIA in honour of beautiful Morgan. Thank you, Peter & Julie, for continuing to support MIA & spread awareness about sun safety & the importance of checking your skin regularly.

In Memory 

We’ve had a number of beautiful In Memory pages created this month, and extend our condolences to family members & friends who have lost their loved ones.

The recent In Memory tributes include Celebrating John Whatt, In Memory of Carole Nairn,  In Loving Memory of Dianne Wood, In Memory of John Earls, Remembering Lisa Simpson, Remembering Michelle Freeman, Remembering Elaine George, and In Memory of Susie Close.

We thank you for your selfless contributions during such a difficult time.

If you would like to organise a community fundraiser to support Melanoma Institute Australia, we’d love to hear from you. Please see our website, using link below, or email Peta on