Volunteer Voice August

Update from Chris McMillian

It is now 5 months since I commenced as CEO and I have to say the role is everything I expected it to be!

From events such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to wonderful volunteer led community events like Relay For Life, I feel CCQ is so blessed to have so many supporters.

It was quite an amazing statistic to quote to people when it was National Volunteer Week a couple of months ago to say that staff were out-numbered six to one by volunteers – which only goes to show we really could not raise the funds or deliver the range of services across Queensland without our incredible volunteers!

I would like to share with you a real highlight which was the introduction of a new service called Transport to Treatment! This service was launched in Cairns as a pilot program on June 20. I am pleased to say that since then we have provided just over 200 trips for patients to their treatment centres which has been facilitated by a group of 13 volunteer drivers who have driven almost 2,000kms. It is now my aim to find a supporter to provide a dedicated vehicle for this service, as the pilot has certainly proved it is a vital service to local Cairns people.

Transport to Treatment is such a simple way that we can assist patients to travel to their treatment in a stress free and cost free manner – more of these services will be gradually rolled out as resources permit.

I look forward to sharing more snippets of CCQ activities in the coming months.

Chris McMillan,
Chief Executive Officer

Relaxation workshop

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is demanding not only on those diagnosed, but also for their family and friends. Routines are interrupted and people often say they feel like they are on a roller coaster ride of appointments, tests and treatment schedules.

For many people who have received a cancer diagnosis, finding strategies to help with relaxation can be helpful for coping with the challenges they are facing.

To help those who have had a diagnosis of cancer introduce relaxation into their daily life, we have organised a series of Learning to Relax workshops across the state.

The two hour workshops help participants understand and explore their individual stress responses and then introduce a range of exercises to bring about the relaxation response. Participants are supported in developing a personal plan to incorporate regular periods of relaxation in their daily routines.

Upcoming workshops

Gold Coast
Cancer Council Queensland, 1 Short Street, Southport
August 30, 10am – 12pm

North Queensland
Cancer Council Queensland, 24 Warburton Street, Townsville
September 5, 10am – 12pm

Little Haven Palliative Care, 14 Henry Street, Gympie
September 28, 10am – 12pm

Far North Queensland
Cancer Council Queensland, 169 Aumuller Street, Cairns
October 12, 9am – 11am

Find out more and register


Raise funds for CCQ by volunteering at the 2017 Mountain Bike World Championships

Would you like to be a part of the 2017 UCI World Mountain Bike Championships, while also helping to raise funds for CCQ?

From September 5-10, the picturesque surrounds of Cairns will play host to over 300 riders from 35 countries competing in the cross country (XCO) and downhill (DHI) disciplines.

To assist in the operation of this event, volunteers are needed for a variety of roles – from ticket sales and athlete registration to media and VIP assistance, there’s a role to suit everyone.

A $20 donation will be made to CCQ for every shift covered, with the possibility of bonus donations if 50 shifts or more are covered by people nominating CCQ as their charity of choice.

Volunteers applications are now open. Being a part of this event promises to be an exciting and rewarding experience, and as a volunteer, you’ll receive some great freebies while helping to raise funds for CCQ.

Find out more at  or  click here register as a volunteer and select “Cancer Council” when you register.

Upcoming events

Red Dirt Relay For Life
Hughenden State School, Hughenden
September 2-3

Sunshine Coast Walk for Women’s Cancers
Alex Surf Club, Alexandra Headland
September 2, 8am

Townsville Relay For Life
Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
September 16-17

Cairns Walk for Women’s Cancers
Esplanade Western Lawn, Cairns City
September 17, 8am

Toowoomba’s Largest Girls’ Night In
Toowoomba Christian College, Toowoomba
October 6

Burdekin Relay For Life
Burdekin Rugby League, Ayr
October 7-8

South Burnett Relay For Life
Kingaroy Showgrounds, Kingaroy
October 7-8

Roma Relay For Life
Cities Football Grounds, Roma
October 7-8

Cassowary Coast Relay For life
Pease Park, Innisfail
October 7- 8

Gladstone Pink Breakfast
Yaralla Sports Club, Gladstone
October 20

Brisbane Corporate and Community Relay For Life
QSAC (QEII Stadium), Nathan
October 21-22

Tablelands Relay For Life
Atherton Showgrounds, Atherton
October 28

Gympie Relay For Life
Gympie Soccer Fields, Gympie
October 28-29

Border Rivers Relay For Life
Gilbert Oval, Goondiwindi
October 28-29

National Student Volunteer Week

The 2017 National Student Volunteer Week was held from August 14 – 20.

This annual celebration aims to challenge and celebrate young people who are striving to make a change through volunteering, and encourage innovative student engagement to help students realise the difference they can make through volunteering.

The week provided an opportunity for CCQ to strengthen our ties with schools and universities to build the next generation of volunteers.

We regularly engage with universities, attending information stalls and providing updates about volunteer opportunities. Student placements are currently in the following departments:

  • Public Health
  • Volunteer and Community Engagement
  • People and Safety
  • Fundraising
  • Media

Their contributions to the organisation are vast, and we are grateful for all they do.

Volunteering allows students to connect with their community, while enhancing learning experiences and assisting with personal and professional development and career aspirations.

Thank you to all our student volunteers – your donation of time, enthusiasm, intellect, and new ideas is vital to CCQ!

Research article: Clarifying the controversial role of fructose in liver cancer

Principle researcher:
Dr Lionel Hebbard

Co-chief investigators:
Professor Jacob George

Associate Professor:
Liang Qiao

Project location:
Molecular and Cell Biology, James Cook University

Project outline:
Liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for 1800 deaths each year in Australia, and its incidence is expected to triple by 2030. Mortality from this disease is unacceptably high, with five-year survival below 16 per cent. It is estimated that at least a third of future liver cancer cases will be due to fatty liver disease, but how obesity and a fatty liver promote cancer growth is unknown.

High carbohydrate intake and especially increased fructose consumption is a major component of the western diet, believed to drive HCC formation. Fructose has distinct and divergent metabolism compared to glucose. Through cellular assays and mouse models we will test how fructose can promote tumour cell growth. By identifying these changes we will use specific inhibitors to reduce tumour growth and allow the development of new therapies to treat this devastating disease.

Moreover, being overweight or obese is associated with low levels of serum adiponectin, and this is a driver of HCC growth. We have found that adiponectin modulates HCC growth in the presence of fructose. Thus, our principle objectives are to examine the role of fructose and adiponectin in: (i) metabolic signalling and HCC cell survival, and (ii) the genetic regulation of liver cancer growth. This will be achieved by using HCC cell lines and tumour models, with specific antagonism of tumour metabolism, and testing the function of genes that adiponectin regulates in HCC growth. We expect that the project will yield novel findings on liver tumour biology, a field that is in its infancy in Australia.

Ultimately, we expect to set the stage for the development of novel therapeutic strategies, while HCC has a dismal prognosis, and fatty liver disease-related liver cancer occurs in people with significant other metabolic co-morbidities (diabetes and cardiovascular disease) that limits surgical treatment options.

Project goals:

  • To determine the differences of glucose and fructose metabolism in in vitro and invivo models of liver cancer.
  • To ascertain how adiponectin influences glucose and fructose metabolism.
  • Target specific metabolic pathways in vitro and in vivo to limit liver cancer growth.

Current opportunities

We are excited to be currently seeking volunteers for the following roles:

Bundaberg – Cancer Connect, hospital based, wig and turban and branch volunteers.
Fraser Coast – Cancer Connect and hospital based volunteers.
Toowoomba – Repair and maintenance volunteer.
Townsville – Gardener and repair and maintenance volunteers.

Upcoming roles

Keep an eye out and share with your friends the following roles which will be live on our page from September 4.

Brisbane – Cancer Connect, hospital based, community activity, lodge support volunteers and our new and exciting Transport to Treatment service.
Sunshine Coast – Cancer Connect and hospital based volunteers.
Gold Coast – Community activity volunteers.
Toowoomba – Cancer Connect and hospital based volunteers.