Letter from the CEO

It seems fitting for my first message in The Beacon as BCNA’s new CEO to come to you as we debut our refreshed magazine.

I am delighted to have been appointed to lead an organisation that means so much to me.

When I began at BCNA in 2006, we had fewer than 20,000 members. Since then, our membership has grown by more than 100,000.

I am so proud to be leading this organisation in 2018, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary.

As we approached this milestone, we considered not only how far we have come, but also our continuing relevance to members.

As we reflected, we asked our readers what they did and didn’t like about The Beacon, what they wanted to see more of and what was missing the mark.

The refreshed Beacon will continue to provide the high-quality content readers have come to expect, but in a way that better suits women and men living with and beyond breast cancer today.

When we speak to people living with metastatic breast cancer they tell us they feel overlooked or invisible and their disease is largely misunderstood. To address this, the refreshed Beacon will better represent all of our members by including content about metastatic breast cancer. This replaces our supplement The Inside Story.

Please let us know what you think of combining The Beacon and The Inside Story.

You may have read that The Beacon was to be renamed. This announcement prompted some of our readers to share what the name The Beacon meant to them.

We were really pleased to receive feedback from our members about an issue that mattered to them. After all, in the very first edition of The Beacon, our founder, Lyn Swinburne, asked readers to speak up when decisions were being made, so that services best met the needs of those affected by breast cancer.

In response to this feedback, the name The Beacon will remain.

For those who have wondered where the name came from, Lyn wrote in the first edition, ‘We hope that this newsletter will reflect the symbolism of a beacon – enlightening and showing the way’.

I would like to acknowledge our outgoing CEO, Christine Nolan. Christine has retired so she can spend more time with her family. As some of you may know, her daughter Caitlin was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer in 2015.

We thank Christine for her contribution to the organisation over the past three years. She has much to be proud of. Her recommendation to conduct the State of the Nation has really helped us connect with our members in every state and territory to focus on what is important to them. I cannot wait for us to launch the report in June and then implement the recommendations.

I’d also like to acknowledge and thank Lyn and Raels (Raelene Boyle), who have inspired and mentored me for the past 12 years. They were instrumental in rallying women to put the spotlight on breast cancer and the challenges they faced. I will build on the legacy of our powerful national voice by ensuring BCNA remains responsive and relevant to your needs.

I have already met many of you at our forums, consultations and fundraising events. For those I am yet to meet, I hope to do so at one of the 20th anniversary celebrations we have planned for this year, such as our forums, luncheons, survivorship conference and Field of Women.

We have worked hard to achieve much over our 20 years, and together we will do more – I know this is achievable through the power of our collective network.

Kirsten Pilatti
Chief Executive Officer

Christine Nolan and Kirsten Pilatti

Christine Nolan and Kirsten Pilatti

Issue 82
Autumn 2018