BACKGROUNDER EMBARGOED: WED, NOVEMBER 25, 2015
About Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is the peak national body for Australians affected by breast cancer. Comprising more than 100,000 members and 300 member groups, over 90 per cent of BCNA members have been diagnosed with breast cancer, while the remaining 10 per cent have been indirectly affected by breast cancer, through experience with family members or friends.
Profits generated from the sale of For Benefit Medicines (FBM) breast cancer medicines will be used to support BCNA in its ongoing mission to raise awareness and support people with breast cancer in Australia.
HISTORY OF BCNA
Founded in 1998 by breast cancer survivor, Lyn Swinburne, BCNA was established to create awareness of the impact of breast cancer experienced on a personal level, and to build a support network for people to openly discuss the disease with each other, and the broader community.
BCNA was officially unveiled at the inaugural Field of Women display – a visual display of breast cancer statistics – on the lawns of Parliament House in October 1998. The launch followed public meetings in every State and Territory of Australia at which 300 women gathered to discuss issues affecting women with breast cancer. The meetings resulted in an action plan, entitled Making a Difference Report, that was launched at the BCNA unveiling.
In recognition of her substantial contribution to breast cancer patient advocacy in Australia, Lyn Swinburne was one of three Australians invited to sign the Charter of Paris Against Cancer document at the Elysee Palace, France, in 2000. She was also awarded an Order of Australia medal for her contribution to breast cancer awareness, among other numerous accolades.
Lyn retired as CEO of BCNA in 2011. Her successor, Maxine Morand, served as CEO from 2011 – 2014. Christine Nolan assumed the CEO role in February, 2015.
Represented by the Pink Lady silhouette, BCNA works to ensure Australians affected by breast cancer can access the best support, treatment, care and information tailored to their needs.
BCNA acts as a support body for Australians living with breast cancer, and a source of information regarding breast cancer treatments and care.
In addition, BCNA also acts as an advocacy body for Australians living with, or at risk of breast cancer, to ensure their voice is heard, while helping to connect Australians affected by the disease, through the provision of a supportive and understanding environment.
BCNA strategic goals for 2014 – 2016 include:
Developing and implementing health promotion programs that support wellbeing and survivorship, including exercise and nutrition;
Focusing on supporting the complex and specific needs of women with secondary breast cancer;
Broadening their research agenda to better engage with, and inform on issues of importance and relevance to Australians affected by breast cancer; and
Supporting women with low English proficiency from five culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with resources.
To learn more about BCNA visit
Kirsten Bruce, 0401 717 566; Ruby Archis, 0413 834 906;
Mark Henderson, 0431 465 004
1. Cancer Australia. Breast Cancer Statistics. Available at: [Last accessed July 2015].
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