Speak out

Community Liaisons in training to represent BCNA across Australia

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:

  1. Submit a story to be included in The Beacon magazine
  2. Join the Review & Survey Group
  3. Become a Community Liaison
  4. Become a Consumer Representative

1. Submit a story to be included in The Beacon magazine

We are currently seeking articles and ideas of 200–300 words (about half a page) about the impact of a diagnosis on the people around you for the Autumn 2015 edition of The Beacon. We often hear from women who are concerned about how their diagnosis has affected their partner, family and others around them. We invite you or those close to you to share your stories.

To submit a story for consideration, email beacon@bcna.org.au by the end of December 2014. Please also include a high-resolution digital photo, or post your photo to us, and we will return it to you.

2. Join the Review & Survey Group

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 an 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


3. Become a Community Liaison

Community Liaisons speak about their 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 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 their role, a two-day training program is offered to help Community Liaisons understand BCNA and how best to present their story. Ongoing support is provided by the Community Programs team to keep Community Liaisons up-to-date and help them prepare for various activities.

Cultural Diversity Community Liaison

We are seeking bi-lingual women from Italian, Greek, Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic communities who have a personal experience of breast cancer, who may be interested in this role.

These women will help strengthen our links with their cultural communities and help BCNA deliver appropriate resources and programs that support women with breast cancer from diverse cultural backgrounds.

  • For more information about the Cultural Diversity Community Liaison role download the program details.
  • To express your interest in becoming a Cultural Diversity Community Liaison please contact Anna Higgs at BCNA on 1800 500 258 or email ahiggs@bcna.org.au.

4. Consumer Representatives

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.



Our online network

If you would like to share your experiences with others, then you might like to join our online network.

The online network gives you the ability to find individuals and groups of people in similar situations, regardless of location, who you might like to connect with.

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