About Us

The group has been established in 2018 by uterine cancer survivor, Phillipa Challis OAM, to operate as the Geelong Region Cancerians supporting the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Phillipa believes raising awareness of its symptoms as well as raising funds for research into new treatments will increase the survival rate for those diagnosed, citing uterine cancer as being the fifth most common cancer diagnosis for women in Australia.


Phillipa Challis OAM


Helene Bender OAM


Michelle Challis


Tim Birchall


Deb Fribbins

Deb Fribbins

Committee Member

Mitchell Saffin

Mitchell Saffin

Committee Member

Maureen O'Keeffe

Maureen O'Keeffe

Committee Member

Gavin Seidel

Co-opted Member

Andy Pobjoy

Andy Pobjoy

Co-opted Member

The Geelong Region Cancerians Founding Committee, 2018
L-R: Luke Outerbridge, Michelle Challis, Deb Fribbins, Helene Bender OAM, Phillipa Challis OAM, Beryl McMillan OAM, Alison McLeod, Tim Birchall, Gavin Seidel


Annual Giving 2020

Working together we can help beat cancer

Through to December 2020
(Closing 5pm on Monday 7th December)

The Geelong Region Cancerians was launched April 2018 in response to the desire of our Founder Phillipa Challis OAM to give back to the community after becoming a Uterine Cancer survivor in 2017.

Her aim to raise awareness of cancer detection while raising funds that support research for uterine cancer and all other cancers has become our mission.  The vision for the future of the Geelong Region Cancerians also includes the education and dissemination of information about the warning signs of Uterine Cancer and other cancers. 

Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) was selected as the organisation that would receive the results of our fundraising efforts, and it was from them that we obtained the following information –

Each year, about 2,500 Australian women are diagnosed with Uterine Cancer, also known as cancer of the womb. The majority of these women are over 50. In Australia it is the fifth most common cancer diagnosed in women and also the most commonly diagnosed gynecological cancer.

As Australians experience 12 times the global incidence of Melanoma, and it is the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 40, a diagnostic centre set to revolutionise the early detection of Melanoma will be established with a $9.9 million ACRF grant. The rollout of 15 three dimensional total body imaging systems across Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales will significantly enhance the capability and capacity of clinicians and researchers to detect and understand melanoma.

Our involvement with ACRF is history making as Geelong is the first regional city in Victoria to have been formed and be affiliated with them.  Their message that ‘together we can outsmart cancer’ is one we have embraced.

ACRF is the only charity in Australia dedicated to ending all forms of cancer by exclusively funding cutting-edge technologies, state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that researchers and clinical teams need to fast-track discoveries and new treatments.

Since its formation in 1984 ACRF has provided $159.8 million in 75 grants to 42 institutes, hospitals and universities around Australia. Of these ACRF Grants $44.7 million has been provided to research institutes, hospitals and universities in Victoria.

ACRF have recently funded a grant of $3.5 Million, awarded to Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI). This is the third grant provided from ACRF to the Institute and it will be used to establish The ACRF Child Cancer Liquid Biopsy Program. Each year in Australia over 950 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer. This program will focus on those children diagnosed with high-risk cancers.


You are invited to https://www.givenow.com.au/geelongregioncancerians to support and share our aim, mission and vision in the knowledge that the achievements of the Geelong Region Cancerians will be immeasurable for those in Geelong and the wider community having to deal with uterine and other cancers.

We have presented ACRF with $33,000.00 in 18 months of fundraising. Thank you everyone for your contribution that allowed us to financially support cancer awareness and research.

“Thank you so much for making this funding available for Australian researchers so we can provide something really meaningful for Australians with cancer and for their family and friends. I know how much this means to every patient that I treat and this is the only way that we can go forward together.”

— Professor Clare Scott MB BS PhD Melbourne FRACP (medical oncology)

As we know, during COVID-19 face-to-face fundraising events are not an option; Geelong Region Cancerians has launched our ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN 2020 to raise awareness and funds that support research for Uterine Cancer and other cancers supporting ACRF.

Please help us achieve the desired outcomes by donating to our ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN 2020

Final call for contributions — our 2020 campaign is closing at 5pm on Monday 7th December.


Or EFT using our bank details:

Name: Geelong Region Cancerians of Aust Cancer Research Foundation
BSB: 633 000
Account Number: 162 560 007

Please note your Surname and Annual Giving as the transaction description, and please notify our secretary by email at info@geelongregioncancerians.com.au of your EFT transaction.

In advance – thank you for making a difference

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Every donation helps! We’d especially like to thank Lake Imaging, Gforce and Mindwerx for their donations contributing to our 2020 Annual Giving campaign.

Lake Imaging logo

Gforce logo

Mindwerx logo (240px)

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Our 2020 Annual Giving campaign has featured in the local news:

Our annual giving story in the Geelong Independent — if you missed the printed edition on 24 July 2020, you can read the article on their website: https://geelongindy.com.au/news/24-07-2020/boost-for-cancerians/

A snapshot of our story in the Geelong Independent on 24 July 2020

Pictured are Lake Imaging Geelong’s Nikki Herman and Annette Bongiorno. Photo credit: Geelong Independent / Louisa Jones.

GRC Chair Helene Bender OAM was recently interviewed by Mitchell Dye on Pulse FM 94.7’s “Mitchell’s Front Page” program. Listen to the interview here (or click the graphic below):

Mitchell's Front Page interview with Helene Bender OAM on The Pulse 94.7FM

Past Events

GRC Online Silent Auction 2020

2020 Online Silent Auction

9th to 20th November 2020

FIFTEEN fabulous items were generously donated for our 2020 Online Silent Auction. Bidding was open from Monday 9th November until Friday, 20th November 2020.

2020 Grand Final Week Celebration

Just like the Grand Final having a change of venue, our friends at the Piano Bar are also receptive to change. The Geelong Region Cancerians Grand Final Week Celebration is on again, and is being held in the Piano Bar marquee at the Geelong Racing Club this year.

Date: Sunday 18th October 2020
Time: 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Cost: (SOLD OUT) $38 per person, includes grazing platters from SteamPocket catering, drinks at bar price, fabulous musical entertainment and a football panel discussing who will win the Brownlow Medal and which team will be 2020 Premiers.

Dwayne Russell, a former Geelong Cats player and media personality, together with Tom King, a broadcaster, commentator and the editor for football at Geelong’s home of footy: K-Rock, will openly discuss the 2020 season and give their prediction.

Grand Final Week Celebration

There will be a raffle on the day with excellent prizes to be won. All money raised from this event will be donated to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for ongoing and new cancer research. Working Together We Can Help Beat Cancer.

This event is being generously hosted by Piano Bar owner Andy Pobjoy, who is also a Geelong Region Cancerians committee member.

Wear your footy colours with pride even if your team isn’t playing that one night in October!

AFL club guernseys

Silver Circles Fundraiser

Since the opportunity to gather for a large fundraising event is not possible due to COVID-19 social distancing, the Geelong Region Cancerians came up with a novel way to raise funds — SILVER CIRCLES.

The Silver Circles fundraiser is based on the Super 66 numbers drawn each Saturday night for 10 weeks from September 5 2020, with only 100 tickets available.

Silver Circles how it works

Each ticket has 30 chances over the 10 weeks. The PRIZES each week are 1st ($50), 2nd ($30) and 3rd ($20). If you buy multiple tickets you have multiple chances each week as winning tickets go back into the draw. Tickets are $20 each.

The Geelong Region Cancerians thanks everyone who has supported us with this fundraiser. Participation helps Geelong Region Cancerians raise awareness and funds that support research for uterine cancer and all other cancers supporting Australian Cancer Research Foundation a registered charity with ACNC.

2020 Routleys Pie Drive

Due to COVID-19 social distancing our annual Trivia Night fundraiser became our Routleys Pie Drive.

Routleys family-owned bakery - the best Wholesale Bakery in Geelong

All of the sales profits from the range of Routleys most popular products offered in our Pie Drive will be included in our annual donation to Australian Cancer Research Foundation for cancer research.

Routleys family-owned bakery is the best wholesale bakery in Geelong, and has been making Pies & Cakes for over 60 years. They have perfected their delicious recipes over a long time.

Thank you for your support.

Geelong Region Cancerians pie drive clipart

Bunnings Waurn Ponds BBQ 

Saturday 11 January 2020

Thank you to the customers and families at Bunnings Waurn Ponds who took the time to support our BBQ. It was also great to see some of our supporters visit us too and buy a sausage or two.

Please see our Archived Events page for our past events prior to the ones shown above.


Annual Giving Campaign

To give to our 2020 Annual Giving campaign, please refer above to the Events section of our page or click this button:


This is a final call for contributions: our 2020 Annual Giving Campaign closes on Monday 7th December at 5pm.

Donations to support research would be greatly appreciated

Name: Geelong Region Cancerians
BSB: 633 000 Account Number: 162 560 007

Please notify our secretary by email at info@geelongregioncancerians.com.au of your EFT transaction.

Donation Canisters

Out and about and wish to donate? Our collection canisters can be found at the following locations. We thank each of these businesses for showing their immense support for the Geelong Region Cancerians

Australia Post
110 Shannon Avenue, Manifold Heights

Blue Illusion
2/184 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Bakers Delight Geelong West
159 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Bumble Bee Eatery
1/63 Vines Road, Hamlyn Heights

Community Care Chemist
1/84 Pakington Street, Geelong West

Community Care Chemist
71-75 Separation Street, North Geelong

Curves Drysdale
8/21 Clifton Springs Road, Drysdale

Lake Imaging
East Court, 313 Ryrie Street, Geelong

Lucy Locket’s 261 Café
261 Myers Street, Geelong East

1A Minerva Road, Herne Hill

P & G Café
20 Bellerine Street, Geelong

Piano Bar
26 Malop Street, Geelong

The Bungalow Restaurant
32 High Street, Drysdale

Westcoast Hair & Beauty Supplies
53 West Fyans Street, Newtown

Contact Us

Geelong Region Cancerians
PO Box 860 Geelong 3220


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