Tassie town goes gold for childhood cancer awareness month

Melinda’s golden vision raises awareness in a rural township

Oatlands in Tasmania is a generous, community-spirited town with around 600 residents. It’s the busiest township within the rural region of Southern Midland’s Council. The close-knit community often show their support for awareness campaigns by fundraising for a good cause. 

Melinda Coad and her family live 25kms from Oatlands. Melinda’s eight-year-old Daughter Lydia is having treatment for Ewing Sarcoma and together they often travel to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. 

“A couple of years back when Lydia and I were returning home from a trip to Melbourne, I noticed that the town had been lit up in colours to support and bring awareness to adult cancer types. I remember thinking that I’d never seen anything like that done for children’s cancer awareness. 

‘’I mentioned it during a casual conversation in the post office and the lady serving me said she would support the idea if I organised something. She pointed me in the right direction of who to speak to in the community’’, Melinda said. 

Lydia relapsed in the meantime and they returned to Melbourne for treatment. Melinda’s golden dream was put on hold.

Follow the Rainbow

“We were going through a tough time on our last trip to Melbourne in February before Covid19. Then we met up with Kate (Marketing and Communications Manager) and the Foundation team for Moomba Festival Parade float. Lydia and I had the best time.” 

Shortly after the Moomba Parade Lydia and Melinda’s interstate trips to the Royal Children’s Hospital for treatment was stopped due to COVID-19 restrictions.  With reduced access to many of the cancer specialists and services available in bigger cities, the opportunity to more bring awareness to childhood cancer drove Melinda to action.

In August this year, she realised that Childhood Cancer Awareness Month was fast approaching and it was time to start rallying to the township. 

‘’It was really important to me to raise awareness for children’s cancer in September and that any money raised had to go to children’s cancer research. It is so underfunded, and that plays heavily on my heart.”

There are so many deserving causes but for me it is a no brainer that the Foundation needed this money to go towards research’’ Melinda shared. 

Teamwork makes the dream work  

‘’Between the amazing Kate at the Foundation, the wonderful Kelly and Michelle at Southern Midlands Council and myself, we put our heads together and came up with a plan to contact all the individuals and businesses along High Street, the main street in the town’’, Melinda said. 

Michelle works closely with the High Street Traders of the township of Oatlands and had presented the childhood cancer awareness campaign concept and posters to them late last month. 

Michelle and Melinda hit the streets together to speak to businesses about the plan and deliver fundraising jars to the businesses who already agreed to participate.  

‘’The support from the locals, like Wooden Spoon Coffee LoungeRoxy IGA and Oatlands Pharmacy fills my heart to the brim. Without them, this would still just be a daydream I had’’. 

You can also support Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by creating your own fundraiser here.


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