Hobsons Bay stood with thousands of women and helped turn the MCG pink on Sunday, in what has become an annual tradition for Australians impacted by breast cancer, at Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)’s Field of Women 2018.
Now in its fifth year, Field of Women attracted more than 12,000 women, men and children who stood together in the shape of BCNA’s Pink Lady at the MCG, prior to the Round 21 AFL match between Melbourne and the Sydney Swans.
This year, BCNA celebrates twenty years as a 120,000 strong network that provides support to 18,235 newly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, which includes 148 men, as well as provide support to those who have battled or are still battling breast cancer today.
Participants in the Field of Women all stood for different reasons, whether it was to celebrate survival, to find the courage to keep going, to remember someone they had lost, or to show our support and simply say ‘no one needs to be alone’.
Notable guests included VFLW player Daisy Pearce, whose Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Singer Bonnie Anderson performed “Stand By You” by The Pretenders as a gymnast was hanging from a giant helium balloon and was lowered into the stadium.
Member for Altona Jill Hennessy was captivated by the performance and said even though the crowd was suitably dressed in pink ponchos, she was glad they were not required for any unfortunate weather event.
“It was such a beautiful and moving Field of Women. We were captivated by the brave performer and were very grateful to the lovely and clever Jane Bunn who personally ensured that the weather gods smiled kindly upon us today,” Ms Hennessy said.
The Minister for Health and Ambulance Services also managed to speak with this year’s Field of Women ambassador Jo Francis, before the breast cancer survivor took to the stage to share her story with the crowd of thousands.
“Jo is a loving, funny and extraordinary woman. She has had breast cancer twice, confronted the challenge of having kids between each diagnosis and got involved with Breast Cancer Network Australia after her Mum got breast cancer,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Jo was our key speaker today. Her generosity in sharing her story, vulnerability and hope is an act of kindness we should all feel humbled by. Her family were out in loving force today as she wowed us all.”
Williamstown Football Club board member Michelle Redfern was also standing on the field at the MCG and said she was thrilled to join thousands of women for such a moving event that supports everyone affected by breast cancer.
“I was thrilled to be part of the Field of Women. Being on the hallowed turf and honouring all those women and their families who have battled, or are still battling, breast cancer was completely moving,” Ms Redfern said.
Following the Field of Women event, the round 21 AFL match between Melbourne and the Sydney Swans took place, with football players wearing a special jumper with the iconic pink lady, which symbolises strength, understanding, passion and resilience.
For more information on Breast Cancer Network Australia and Field of Women, including how you can get involved and support them, visit the BCNA website. You can also text ‘pink’ to 0437 371 371 to donate to BCNA.