McGrath Foundation

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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 people, with a particular emphasis on young women. The charity was originally 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.[1] Jane died on 22 June 2008 at the age of 42.[2] In 2015, the McGrath Foundation is celebrating its tenth anniversary.


After her treatment for secondary cancer,[1] Jane had access to a breast care nurse for the first time and became aware of the impact that one can have on a patient’s physical and mental wellbeing during and after treatment.[1]

This experience led to the development of the Foundation’s core mission; to ensure every Australian family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse no matter where they live or their financial situation.[3]

McGrath Breast Care Nurses help families in Australia through breast cancer by providing invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment. Since 2005, the McGrath Foundation has placed 105 McGrath Breast Cancer Nurses in communities across Australia, who have supported more than 36,000 Australian families.[4] The majority of all McGrath Breast Care Nurses are in rural and regional areas. People experiencing breast cancer can self refer to their nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse, whose support is then provided completely free of charge. The McGrath Foundation needs to raise approximately $380,000 to place each McGrath Breast Care Nurse in the community for a three-year period.[5]

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.[6]

The Australian Government furthered this commitment in 2013, announcing an $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.[7]

Organisational structure[edit]

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.[8]

Breast Care nursing qualifications[edit]

The first tertiary-based distance education program for breast care nurses was pioneered by LaTrobe University in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria in 1997.[9]

McGrath Breast Care Nurses require a postgraduate qualification in breast care nursing or cancer nursing, which can be studied at the Australian College of Nursing[10] and La Trobe University.[11] The McGrath Foundation offers four annual scholarships through the Australian College of Nursing.[12]

Breast awareness[edit]

The second aim of the McGrath Foundation is to promote breast awareness in young women. At only 31 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Jane felt passionately about empowering people under 40 to take control of their health by being breast aware.[13]

To encourage Australian women to become breast aware, 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 which raises money for 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.[14]


The McGrath Foundation has previously had a relationship with the greyhound racing industry despite the growing awareness and opposition to an industry which breeds large numbers of 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.[15] The McGrath Foundation announced to their supporters on Facebook in 2011 that they consulted the RSPCA. Not long after The RSPCA Victoria made a statement that they was no such consultation and they would never condone greyhound racing. In 2013 The McGrath Foundation was removed from the Humane Charities list.

McGrath Foundation initiatives[edit]

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 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.[16]

Pink Stumps Day – Pink Stumps Day allows people to take 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.[17]

Pull On Your Socks – A winter fundraising initiative targeted at sporting clubs and individuals, Pull On Your Socks raises funds for the McGrath Foundation through the purchase of McGrath Foundation pink socks in the sporting community.[18]

Signature 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.[19]

Get-TeaGether – This initiative allows the Australian community to take the magic of the Signature High Tea into their own home, through hosting a high tea event to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation.[20]

Ambassadors and supporters[edit]

Tracy Bevan was best friend to Jane McGrath and is the official ambassador, as well as director, of the McGrath Foundation.[8] The McGrath Foundation has many Australian entertainers and sporting personalities supporting their cause as “Foundation Friends,[21]” including:

Adam Gilchrist, former Australian cricketer

Adam Harvey, country music singer

Andrew Reid, Bondi Lifeguard & star of Bondi Rescue

Billie & Nicole Slater, Melbourne Storm NRL Player, artist & photographer

Ellyse Perry, Australian women's cricketer & soccer player

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


External links[edit]