|Motto||"Together we can make a difference"|
|Headquarters||St Leonards, New South Wales|
|Mission||Supporting families experiencing breast cancer|
The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity in Australia, which raises money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia and increase breast health awareness. The charity was founded by Australian cricket player, Glenn McGrath and his English-born wife, Jane McGrath, in 2005, following Jane’s initial diagnosis and recovery from breast cancer. Jane died on 22 June 2008 at the age of 42.
It started with Jane and Glenn McGrath’s very public experience with breast cancer, and has become one of Australia’s most recognised and respected charities, the McGrath Foundation.
Some years after her initial diagnosis, Jane’s cancer returned. This time, she had a breast care nurse, who both empowered and comforted her, and the entire family. This experience set the mission for the Foundation, which has become an enduring commitment to support thousands of women and men every day, no matter where they live – for free.
Since 2005, the McGrath Foundation has placed 117 McGrath Breast Cancer Nurses in communities across Australia, and has supported more than 50,000 families. The majority of all McGrath Breast Care Nurses are in rural and regional areas. People experiencing breast cancer can directly contact their nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse, whose support is then provided completely free of charge. The McGrath Foundation needs to raise approximately $390,000 to place each McGrath Breast Care Nurse in the community for a three-year period.
In 2008, the Australian Government pledged $12.6 million to the McGrath Foundation to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in 44 communities through to June 2013. This commitment was furthered in 2013 with the announcement of a $18.5 million grant to continue funding 44 existing McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities nationally as well as the placement of up to an additional 10 full-time equivalent McGrath Breast Care Nurse positions. This was extended for a further four years, in November 2016, confirming the positions of 57 Government-funded McGrath Breast Care Nurses until 2021.
A board of directors oversees the organisation. The full board meets quarterly to approve strategic plans and budgets, as well as nurse funding and placement. Petra Buchanan is CEO of the organisation, leading a team of passionate people working on behalf of one of Australia’s leading breast cancer charities.
Breast Care Nurses and Qualifications
The first goal of the McGrath Foundation is to place specialist McGrath Breast Care Nurses wherever they are needed in Australia.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses are highly-qualified nurses specifically train to supported families experiencing breast cancer. The role of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse is varied, and broad. From the time of diagnosis through to referrals and follow up, McGrath Breast Care Nurses play an important role in the psychosocial, emotional and physical wellbeing of patients and their families.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses usually have a background in oncology, breast care or women’s health and sometimes even psychology. They also require a postgraduate qualification in breast care nursing or cancer nursing, which can be studied at the Australian College of Nursing and La Trobe University. The McGrath Foundation offers four annual scholarships through the Australian College of Nursing.
The second aim of the McGrath Foundation is to promote breast health understanding among all Australians. At only 31 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Jane McGrath was passionate about empowering people under 40 to take control of their health by being breast aware.
To encourage people to have greater breast health understanding (comprising awareness, knowledge, confidence and behaviour), the McGrath Foundation has developed a breast awareness initiative called Curve Lurve.
In 2008 the McGrath Foundation partnered with Community First Credit Union and developed the McGrath Pink Visa to raise money for McGrath Breast Care Nurses. The McGrath Foundation has a strong corporate partnership programme, and is aligned to several well-known brands that provide fundraising and awareness support.
The McGrath Foundation used to have a relationship with the greyhound racing industry despite the growing awareness and opposition to an industry which breeds greyhounds for racing and where the majority are killed as they are unsuitable for racing. After the allegations were made in the media, the McGrath Foundation ceased the relationship.
The McGrath Foundation also faced criticism in 2010 for polling 1200 people regarding Glenn McGrath's relationship with Sara Leonardi, in which the poll asked about Leonardi's presence with McGrath at the Ashes and whether it shows disrespect. The Foundation also questioned people on whether McGrath's relationship with Leonardi changed their opinion of the charity.
McGrath Foundation initiatives
The McGrath Foundation hosts a variety of events and community fundraising initiatives each year to support its vision.
Sydney Pink Test – Each January, the Sydney Cricket Ground turns into a sea of pink on day three of the Sydney Pink Test in honour of Jane McGrath. The Sydney Pink Test has become the iconic centrepiece of the Cricket Australia and McGrath Foundation partnership, through the community action program Cricket Cares.
Pink Stumps Day – Pink Stumps Day allows people to bring the spirit of the Pink Test into their own community by providing clubs, businesses and schools the opportunity to show off their cricket skills and fundraise for the McGrath Foundation. Pink Stumps Day is held in February each year.
Pull On Your Socks – An initiative targeted at encouraging people to purchase pink McGrath Foundation sports or everyday socks and host a fundraiser in support of the McGrath Foundation.
McGrath Foundation High Tea – Jane McGrath and best friend Tracy Bevan, Ambassador and Director of the McGrath Foundation, hosted a high tea as one of the Foundation’s first fundraising initiatives. The McGrath Foundation continues to host high teas in Sydney and Melbourne as a way to connect with supporters and raise funds to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia.
Ambassadors and supporters
Tracy Bevan was best friend to Jane McGrath and is the official ambassador, as well as a director, of the McGrath Foundation. The McGrath Foundation has had many Australian entertainers and sporting personalities supporting their cause as “Foundation Friends,” including:
Adam Gilchrist, former Australian cricketer
Adam Harvey, country music singer
Andrew Reid, Bondi Lifeguard & star of Bondi Rescue
Billy & Nicole Slater, Melbourne Storm NRL Player, artist & photographer
Ellyse Perry, Australian women's cricketer & soccer player
Erin Molan, TV personality
Julie Goodwin, MasterChef winner
Lucy Durack, entertainer
Michael & Kyly Clarke, former Australian cricket captain, model & presenter
Shane Watson & Lee Watson, former Australian cricketer, presenter & reporter
Wendell Sailor, former rugby league & rugby union player
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- Brown, Alex (22 June 2008). "Jane McGrath dies". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- McGrath Breast Care Nurses
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- "Sydney Test to go even pinker". Sydney: Cricket Australia. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
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- "The McGrath Foundation welcomes Federal Government commitment to continue to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses" (Press release). McGrath Foundation. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- "McGrath Foundation > Our Mission > Our Nurses > Frequently Asked Questions". www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- "Become a McGrath Breast Care Nurse". www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
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- McGrath Foundation statement on Greyhound Racing, accessed 29.9.15,