Changemakers – Tracy Bevan
Monday, 25th June 2012 at 10:43 am
Tracy Bevan, Foundation Ambassador and Director of the McGrath Foundation, is profiled in Changemakers – a regular column which examines inspiring people and their careers in the Not for Profit sector.
The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity in Australia, which raises money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and provides education to increase breast awareness in young women.
What drew you to the Not for Profit sector?
I fell into the Not for Profit sector because of the love I have for my best friend, Jane McGrath. Jane understood firsthand the difficulties women and their families face when experiencing breast cancer and together, Jane, Glenn and I were inspired to make a difference to the lives of other Australian families experiencing breast cancer. We felt extremely blessed to call Australia home and given Glenn’s ties with rural New South Wales, we set out on a mission to raise money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia, as well as increase breast awareness in young Australian women.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
June is a very important time for the McGrath Foundation, with this year marking the fourth anniversary of Jane’s passing, a time when we reflect on what the McGrath Foundation has achieved to continue Jane’s legacy.
We’re so proud to say that when Jane passed in 2008, we had just four McGrath Breast Care Nurses, but today, we have 73 McGrath Breast Care Nurses working in communities right across Australia who have helped support over 12,000 Australian families through their breast cancer experience.
June also marks our involvement as the charity beneficiary of the Harvey Norman Women In League round thanks to our friends at Rugby League’s One Community. Not only will some of the NRL stars be sporting their pink jerseys that round, we’ll also be encouraging grassroots footy clubs to follow in their pink footsteps by purchasing McGrath Foundation Pink Footy Socks and holding a pink match through Pull On Your Socks (please hyperlink to http://pullonyoursocks.gofundraise.com.au/).
Later in the year, we’ll be launching our education initiative to educate young women to be breast aware, the second element of Jane’s legacy.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
I feel so proud being able to see Jane’s legacy continue thanks to the great work from the McGrath Foundation team and the support we receive from the Australian public, businesses and the Australian Government. Each year, we’re able to help more and more families because of our growing network of McGrath Breast Care Nurses and we have over 1,300 community and business events including Pink Stumps Day held nationally to help us fundraise and continue our mission – it’s truly amazing!
I consider my greatest achievement to be…
Our greatest achievement so far has been the placement of our 73 McGrath Breast Care Nurses. We’re almost halfway to reaching our goal of 150 McGrath Breast Care Nurses to ensure that every Australian woman and their family experiencing breast cancer has access to the support of a breast care nurse, no matter where they live or their financial situation.
I’m always being asked…
I’m always being asked what I think Jane would say about everything the McGrath Foundation has been able to achieve and I think she would be deeply touched by the public’s support and immensely proud of how far the Foundation has come.
What does a typical day for you involve?
I take great pleasure in travelling around Australia to attend community and business events and to meet some of the incredible people who are working hard to fundraise on our behalf. It allows me to share the McGrath Foundation story and thank people for supporting us. I also work closely with our Foundation Friends to identify ways they can help us create some buzz around our events and initiatives.
What (or who) inspires you?
Everyday Australians inspire me every single day. Having lived in Australia the past 17 years I’ve realised no matter how tough the circumstance, Aussies always come together, support each other and have the ability to achieve what they want to.