Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) was founded by a group of breast cancer survivors who were passionately committed to making a difference for those women who would follow. They wanted to empower women to become active participants in their own health care and recovery.
BCNA believes that the experiences of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should be represented wherever decisions about breast cancer treatment, care or services are made.
How you can participate
There are four ways you can get involved, each with a different level of commitment:
- Submit a story to be included in The Beacon magazine
- Join the Review & Survey Group
- Become a Community Liaison
- Become a Consumer Representative
We are currently seeking articles and ideas of 200–300 words (about half a page) on the theme ‘creating change’ for the Spring 2013 edition of The Beacon:
- After your diagnosis did you help to improve things for women in your community who will be diagnosed in the future? It could be a small change – for example, a request for more comfortable chairs in the oncology clinic, or a bigger project that had some impact. Or perhaps you feel you benefited from the ideas or work of someone who came before you.
To submit a story for consideration, email email@example.com by the end of June 2013. Please also include a high-resolution digital photo, or post your photo to us, and we will return it to you.
Research has helped to dramatically improve outcomes for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
BCNA's Review & Survey Group is a group of our members who have volunteered to participate in various research projects, and help us stay in touch with what matters to our members.
Researchers approach BCNA wanting to reach women who have had breast cancer. We contact members of the Review & Survey Group once we have established that the research is high quality, relevant to women and has tangible outcomes.
Members of Review & Survey Group are invited to participate in surveys, resource reviews, focus groups, clinical trials, and other types of research.
Women in the group have recently been invited to:
- Test the effectiveness of a new exercise bra designed for women who have had a mastectomy
- Trial whether a 12-week exercise program helps women diagnosed with breast cancer manage fatigue
- Complete a survey to help BCNA better understand the out-of-pocket costs of bone mineral density (DEXA) tests
- Attend an interview to help researchers better understand women's experiences of 'chemobrain'
If you choose to join the Review & Survey Group, BCNA will send you emails outlining opportunities to participate in current research. There is no obligation to take part - you can decide which opportunities you want to be involved in.
'My experiences benefit others, and are therefore not lost. Some of the studies also reaffirm just how well I've handled the whole experience. I really am doing ok, and sometimes it's good to stop and realise that.' - Karen
'After breast cancer I wanted to do something more, but raising children and working means I don't have a lot of time. Review & Survey Group has given me this chance and it's easy. I decide what I want to do and I can do it in my own time.' - Sarah
- Register to join BCNA's Review & Survey Group now!
- Information for researchers who want to reach women through Review & Survey Group
Community Liaisons speak about their own personal experience with breast cancer and represent BCNA in their local communities. Activities may include:
- speaking at a community fundraising event
- being the face of a local media story
- staffing a BCNA information table
- visiting our sponsors to let them know how much we appreciate their support
- liaising with local health professionals.
These activities will usually occur during the week, so spare time is useful to ensure your involvement. Community Liaisons are also required to provide feedback about their involvement to the Community Programs team.
'I find it so rewarding being a Community Liaison. Raising awareness of breast cancer in my community is important to me. I'm now connected with an amazing network of women around Australia who I met during the training - it's inspiring meeting others who want to give back as much as they can. BCNA has also been great in providing support when I've needed help preparing for an activity.'
Trained and supported by BCNA
To represent BCNA effectively, and feel confident in your role, a two-day training program is offered to help you understand BCNA and how best to present your story. Ongoing support is provided by the Community Programs team to keep you up-to-date and help you prepare for various involvements.
- To apply to become a Community Liaison download and complete the Community Liaison application form.
- To provide feedback to BCNA on your activities, please complete the Community Liaison feedback form.
Consumer Representatives are part of our internationally recognised Seat at the Table program. They represent BCNA in a wide range of forums including national, state and local committees, working parties and conferences. They also provide critical reviews of resources being developed for women with breast cancer.
Women who are currently trained as Community Liaisons may be invited to participate in further training to become BCNA Consumer Representatives.
If you would like to involve a Consumer Representative in your project, refer to the Consumer Representatives page.
- Download the overview of involvement document (below) which provides examples of the type of work for each position
- Judy's story is an example of how much she enjoys being involved with others.