Cancer patients to benefit from Olive McMahon Lodge renovations

Significant renovations at Cancer Council Queensland’s Olive McMahon Lodge will commence next month to update and improve the quality of accommodation available for regional cancer patients.

The upgrade, which will include the removal and reinstatement of the Toowoomba lodge’s roof and a full renovation of all rooms, has been made possible through a $5 million building grant from Queensland Health that provided funding for improvements for not only Olive McMahon Lodge, but two other Cancer Council Queensland accommodation facilities.

An artist impression of the communal kitchen breakfast bar at Olive McMahon Lodge following renovations.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the upgrade would make a vital difference in the lives of regional Queenslanders affected by cancer.

“Our aim is to maintain a standard of accommodation that provides guests with a comfortable and homely setting where they can rest and recover during treatment,” Ms McMillan said.

“The roof refit and work to all the rooms will be extensive and the grant has allowed us to commission new plasterboard internals, tiling and plumbing fixtures for bathrooms, purpose-built cabinets and kitchen areas, as well as fresh carpet and an uplifting paint scheme.

“Weather permitting, we expect these refurbishments to be finalised by the end of the year.”

For the duration of the renovations Cancer Council Queensland will operate an office out of the St Patrick Cathedral Centre on Neil Street. The temporary office will open on July 1, 2019.

Accommodation bookings for Olive McMahon Lodge and Transport to Treatment bookings are expected to re-open on January 1, 2020.

Ms McMillan said the charity has communicated with health professionals about the closure and encouraged cancer patients in need of support, including assistance with accommodation or transport, to speak with their Health Professional team or reach out via the 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support Line.

An artist impression of the Olive McMahon Lodge renovations.

These upgrades will give cancer patients and their families a comfortable facility to stay in – with some guests requiring more than eight weeks of accommodation during their treatment,” Ms McMillan said.

“Cancer Council Queensland provided 3700 nights’ accommodation in Olive McMahon Lodge last year, supporting 595 regional families through their treatment away from home.

“Equally important, patients at the lodge have access to support services and practical assistance, such as transport and peer support, underpinning quality of life.”

Cancer Council Queensland operates six accommodation lodges state-wide in Brisbane, Cairns, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Townsville, offering a potential 100,000 bed nights each year for Queenslanders travelling for treatment.

In South West Queensland around 2120 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

For more about Cancer Council Queensland, visit or call 13 11 20.


For more information or interviews, journalists can contact:

Lisa Maynard, Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
(07) 3634 5171, 0488 015 702 or

For more information, members of the public can call 13 11 20.