Sally Crossing

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Sally Crossing

Sally Fletcher

Died(2016-12-26)December 26, 2016
Known forFounder of the Breast Cancer Advocacy Group New South Wales

Sally Crossing AM (1946-2016[1]) was a consumer health advocate[2] and founder of the Breast Cancer Action Group.[3] She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995.[3]

Early life[edit]

Sally Crossing (Fletcher) was born in Melbourne in 1946, and grew up in Melbourne, then England, and from age 8 lived in Sydney.[2] She attended North Sydney Girls High School and Abbotsleigh.[4] She studied economics at the University of Sydney.[2] Her paid career was in banking and government both in Australia and overseas.[5]

She married Peter Crossing and had two children.[2]

Cancer experience[edit]

In 1995, at the age of 49, Crossing was diagnosed with early breast cancer and was treated with surgery and radiotherapy.[2][3] She was again diagnosed with cancer in 2004/2005, and this time it was metastatic.[2] She had a mastectomy and liver surgery.[2] As of 2015 Crossing lives with chronic metastatic cancer.[6] She died on 28 December 2016.[1]


In 1997 she left her paid career and established Breast Cancer Action Group New South Wales, modelled on the Victoria equivalent established in 1994.[2] The group compiled the Directory of Breast Cancer Treatment and Services, NSW.[2][5]

In 2000 she led the establishment of the Cancer Voices movement in Australia, and chairs Cancer Voices NSW.[2] She is Convenor of Cancer Voices Australia and the Australian Cancer Consumer Network the latter established in 2014. As of 2005, Crossing was on the board of The Cancer Council NSW and the Consumers' Health Forum of Australia.[5] In 2014 she was appointed to the Board of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and to the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council. In 2010 she was pivotal in the establishment of Health Consumers New South Wales, which she chaired.[2]


In 2001 Crossing received the inaugural NSW Consumer Advocate Award, for establishing the Directory of Breast Cancer Treatment and Services, NSW.[5]

In 2005 Crossing was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for "services to the community through health consumer advocacy".[2]

In 2014 Crossing accepted an honorary doctorate of Health Sciences from the University of Sydney, which was conferred on 28 November 2014.[7] for "“extraordinary leadership and contributions to supporting those with cancer from diagnosis, though treatment, care support and survivorship, in both advocacy and research”.


  1. ^ a b "VALE Sally Crossing 1946 -2016". 2017-01-11. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Moore, Kate. "Crossing, Sally". The Encyclopedia of Women & Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia. Australian Women's Archives Project 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Corderoy, Amy (2 February 2013). "A battle transformed". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. ^ Elix, Jane (24 October 2011). "Sally Crossing". Jane Elix's Blog. Wordpress. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Sally Crossing". Alumnae Stories. The Women's College, University of Sydney. 2005. Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  6. ^ Crossing, Sally (17 June 2015). "Cancer screening 'harm' a worthwhile risk". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Honorary award". Senate. The University of Sydney. 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.