Media Release: BankVic awards the 2016 Community Hero winner

Tuesday 12 July 2016

BankVic announces Sue Contarino as the winner of BankVic’s 2016 Community Hero $10,000 Award.

BankVic CEO Stephen Capello presented the award to Sue at a surprise presentation at Wonga Park Primary today in front of Rick Nugent, Assistant Commissioner of Victoria Police (Eastern Region), Katrina Parker, Director of Fundraising at Ovarian Cancer Australia and the children and staff at Wonga Park Primary where Sue’s daughter attends.

“Sue Contarino was chosen as the winner of the BankVic Community hero award for her brave and inspiring deeds. Suffering from late stage ovarian cancer, Sue rose above great adversity to raise funds and awareness towards research to develop early detection testing for Ovarian Cancer with the aim that no other woman would have to go through what her and her family have gone through.” Stephen Capello, BankVic CEO said.

“Sue dedicated her time to organising the ‘Walk with Me” event, a 42 km walk from Lilydale to Warburton. Not only did Sue raise $12,500 but she stunned doctors and her family and friends by walking the event herself. ‘Walk with me’ has now extended to an annual event thanks to Sue’s dedication.” Stephen said.

The BankVic Community hero award was launched to commemorate BankVic’s march to reach 100,000 members in 2016 and to thank members for their support over the past 42 years. BankVic members who consist of police, health, emergency and public service employees were encouraged to nominate someone in their community who goes above and beyond their daily lives to positively contribute to a healthier and stronger community.

“This initiative has highlighted some outstanding contributions. We have been overwhelmed by the sheer quality and quantity of the nominations. We were so proud to hear stories about our members who have displayed acts of notable courage and generosity, performed brave and inspiring deeds, empowered others and performed heroic acts. This award is about acknowledging those members in our community.” John Mugavin, BankVic Chairman said.

BankVic received 144 nominations in total, which were shortlisted to 12 finalists. With the assistance of an esteemed judging panel consisting of leaders from the sectors BankVic serve including Chief Police Commissioner Graham Ashton, the winner and two runners up were decided.

“BankVic exists to strengthen the communities in which we serve. Our aim is for our members and their communities to be mutually enriched financially, socially and environmentally.“ Said Stephen.

About the Award

BankVic launched the Community Hero initiative in March 2016 in the lead up to reaching 100,000 members. The award was initiated to commemorate this milestone and to thank member for their support over the last 42 years. Members were encouraged to nominate someone in their community who goes above and beyond their daily lives to positively contribute to a healthier and stronger community.

This initiative has highlighted some outstanding contributions. We were overwhelmed by sheer quality and quantity of the nominations. We received 144 nominations in total, which were shortlisted to 12 finalists. With the assistance of an esteemed judging panel consisting of leaders from the sectors BankVic serve after including Chief Police Commissioner Graham Ashton, the winner and two runners up were determined. The judging panel voted on the winner after assessing candidates on how they well they displayed community hero attributes of generosity and courage, performing brave and inspiring deeds, empowering others and performing heroic acts.

BankVic will now announce and present the award to the 2016 Community Hero Award winner Sue Contarino of Wonga Park.

About the Winner

In November 2013, Sue was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer – just a day before her 17 year old nephew unexpectedly passed away. This was a difficult time in their lives, however due to the urgent nature of Sue’s condition the surgery went ahead as scheduled. This was followed by two rounds of chemotherapy through 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, her oncologist diagnosed her condition as terminal, with a short life expectancy. Sue did not want to let this diagnosis define her and has continued to fight it while also attempting to get onto a clinical trial as soon as possible.

No woman should have to go through what their family have gone through, and for this reason she organised the event “Walk with Me” a 42km walk from Lilydale to Warburton along the Warburton Trail to raise much needed funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia (OAC). Sue shocked everyone, including her doctors, by walking the entire distance in 8 hours and 17 minutes. Through her fundraising, she raised over $12,500 for Ovarian Cancer Australia.

The event also gave her the opportunity to educate other women on the importance of early detection and diagnosis. She has requested that all money raised go towards research to develop an early detection test, supporting women battling Ovarian Cancer and raising awareness in symptoms that often mask themselves as common aches and pains that women experience in their lifetime. If these symptoms are not treated early enough, it leads to a late diagnosis.

“Walk with Me” started off as a once-off event, however due to its success, it is now an annual event which is generating interest all over the state. As a result, it will continue to be held on the last Sunday of February each year. Sue continues to defy the odds and lives by the saying “Faith, Hope and Love”.

http://www.walkwithme4oca.com/

BSB: 704 230

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