The Byron Breast Cancer Support Group (BBCSG) was founded in January 2004, by Barb Pinter who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. On return to Byron after treatment in Brisbane Barbara was seeking the kind of support she had received during her treatment and recovery in Brisbane and Bundanoon. The group draws on the work of Petrea King and The Quest for Life Foundation.
With training from Petrea King, the Cancer Council NSW and Breast Cancer Network Australia, our peer support group meetings (initially weekly and presently each month) are professionally facilitated by a trained Support Group Facilitator who has experienced breast cancer.
The BBCSG provides monthly peer support group meetings which are held on the third Wednesday of each month at the Byron Senior Citizens Hall, 37 Marvell St Byron Bay from 12:30 til 2:30pm. The meetings provide: a safe and comfortable space for people to engage in peer support and relaxation / meditation exercises; afternoon tea; guest speakers on topics of interest to participants (including laughter and art therapy, naturopathy, Breast Care Nurse, Lymphedema Physiotherapist, Feldenkrais, meditation, qi gong, and many more); resource library and meditation using CDs, rugs and cushions; information brochures for people to link up with related services.
A monthly peer support eNewsletter is circulated to all interested. The group is also involved in hosting and participating in awareness and fund raising at community events such as Byron Breast Cancer Day and Mini-Field of Women, the local markets and the Byron Lighthouse Run each year. We have hosted a public Lecture and Workshop in Byron by Petrea King and have run a Living Well with Breast Cancer Meditation Course over 8 weeks. We screen the WOW (World Of Women) Film Festival annually and participate in the Byron Shire Relays for Life each time it is run.
In 2004, foundation work was done by women in the group to establish a Dragons Abreast Group locally and to bring the YWCA Encore Program to the Byron-Ballina area. (YWCA Encore now runs first term in Ballina and fourth term in Byron each year, phone: 1800 305 150).
All those affected by breast cancer are welcome to attend meetings. Membership is $5 per annum.
The BBBCSG is run by a combination of women who have had breast cancer, a volunteer management committee, and since January 2011 we employ a Coordinator-Facilitator for one day per week and have access to the Byron Community Centre one day per week for administration purposes. Management Committee meetings are bi monthly.
Our Management Committee:
President: Alexandra Spyratos (Artist)
Vice President: Jim Beatson (Project Officer)
Secretary: Barb Pinter (Registered Nurse / Group Facilitator-Coordinator)
Treasurer: Paulette Bryant (Financial Administrator)
Ordinary Member: Kim Hussey (Social Worker)
Ordinary Member: David Sweet (Lawyer)
Here are a couple of quotes from women who have attended the group.
"The single most important part of my recovery was the (Byron Breast Cancer Support) Group. The exchange of knowledge and concerns was so reassuring. After diagnosis and treatment it is so important to have people to identify with. It was fantastic to be somewhere and able to talk freely, openly and exclusively about the journey we are on. I also know I could contact some of the group members if I really need to and we are all there for each other." Joy
"Friendly faces when you need them. Personal stories, good information, empathy and 'time out' in a non-judgemental, safe support group space." Lindy
That those affected by breast cancer are empowered, attain optimal health and wellbeing and live life to the fullest.
- To reach all those affected by breast cancer in our region and to connect them with the BBBCSG and related services.
- To provide monthly peer support group meetings in the Byron Shire and extended services where possible.
- To engage the community in raising awareness of breast cancer issues and the needs of the local group.
- To promote wellbeing, breast cancer prevention, early detection and the BBBCSG at every opportunity.
- To raise sufficient funds to run and sustain the organisation.
- To acknowledge that through connection with each other we can go from strength to strength.
For more information please contact Coordinator-Facilitator Barb Pinter, on 6680 8893 or email email@example.com