Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Welcome to Government House this evening during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

As joint patrons it is a pleasure for Rod and me to welcome you to Government House for the first time in my term as Governor.

As you know, we are still in the mourning period following the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

While there have been changes to the Government House program, it was important to Rod and me that we continue, wherever possible, to host scheduled events which acknowledge those people and organisations who serve our community with great distinction.

Dedication to service was, of course, a hallmark of Her Majesty’s reign.

As the parents of four children, now adults, Rod and I can only imagine how devastating a diagnosis of cancer would be not only to a child but their parents, siblings, relatives and friends.

During dark times, your Association provides a shining light, offering a range of support services to children with cancer and their families.

Here in South Australia, families can rely on their child receiving outstanding medical treatment, but they also benefit greatly from services provided by your Association.

It is both sobering and reassuring to know that so far in 2022, 51 children newly diagnosed with cancer were referred to the Association, with more than 400 families currently receiving your support.

The Childhood Cancer Association has come a long way in its 40 years of operation.

I acknowledge those who were involved in its earliest days, particularly Dr Michael Rice, who played a crucial role in its creation and is with us this evening.

Today, your Association offers a comprehensive range of 30 professional services.

In particular I commend your provision of one on one counselling by specialist psychologists, which is free and available to the child and their whole family - the only service provider in Australia with this kind of service.

The counselling support is available from diagnosis right through to survivorship, or sadly, bereavement.

Survivorship is actually when this service is most in demand, when children and their families must address the long-term effects of treatment.

The outstanding work of the Childhood Cancer Association would not be possible without the generous assistance of its many supporters.

I would like to acknowledge the large number of volunteers who work with the Association, some of whom are with us this evening.

The roles they undertake, from administration to event support and other activities, are crucial in enabling the organisation to provide its wide range of services.

I acknowledge the many donors – including individuals, businesses, community groups and more – for their generous financial support.

I thank the Association’s Ambassadors who raise awareness of the organisation’s important work in our community.

And I thank the Board and staff for their vision, passion and hard work.

Friends,

Congratulations to your Association on reaching its 40th anniversary.

For the light, hope and support that you all bring to children with cancer and their communities, Rod and I say a heartfelt thank you, and we wish the Association all the very best for the future.