I joined the Bowel Cancer Australia Board for both professional and personal reasons.
I started my career as a physiotherapist and then joined consulting firm, Ernst & Young, as a graduate just over 20 years ago, where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant and built my career as a Risk professional, advising clients on how to create trust and value through strong governance and risk management.
Over the past few years, I’ve stepped into a managing partner role, where I am responsible for EY’s Oceania Business Consulting practice - a team of over 1,000 people.
I’m committed to bringing my experience as a healthcare practitioner, Risk professional and managing partner to Bowel Cancer Australia’s board and executive, to help the charity achieve its vision of having an everlasting impact on our health future - where no Australian dies from bowel cancer and all those diagnosed receive the support they need.
But I also have personal reasons for wanting to contribute to Bowel Cancer Australia. I have Lynch Syndrome and am a bowel cancer survivor.
When I was 27 years old, I noticed a lump in my abdomen, which was the trigger for my diagnosis.
This was several months after having experienced stomach cramps that led me to see my GP, where I was diagnosed with “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”.
I was young, newly married, and extremely fit, regularly competing in half marathons. So, although this was a shock, I had an inkling that all was not right.
My mother had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in her 40s and her father had passed away from cancer in his early 50s.
Thankfully, I recovered fully from a hemicolectomy and so I didn't require further chemo or radiotherapy, but I began a strict regime of surveillance.
In my late 40s, after I had my 2 beautiful children, genetic testing revealed I had Lynch Syndrome.
To prevent my risk of developing the hard to detect ovarian cancer, I had a hysterectomy / oophorectomy.
I now see a healthy diet and keeping fit as part of my medical prescription and I’m happy to say I’ve been cancer-free now for nearly 25 years.
So, my personal story drives my passion to share my experience and particularly to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults, where the incidence of bowel cancer has increased by 186% over the past three decades.
Among those aged 25–29, bowel cancer is the most common cause of cancer death and, together with brain cancer, it is responsible for the greatest number of cancer deaths for those aged 30–34.
I want people to trust their bodies when things don’t feel right, be aware of their family history, and know that you're #Never2Young for bowel cancer.