An Extraordinary Woman

Mary McGowan is an extraordinary woman who works tirelessly to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children with cancer through her extensive support networks, fundraising and awareness, as a Director on the Children's Cancer Foundation's Board and as Community Liaison Manager, Children's Cancer Centre at The Royal Children's Hospital.

Mary is the recipient of the 2016 Graham Woodrup Memorial Award – a recognition award presented to someone who displays “exceptional effort and inspiration to others in the course of his/her team’s involvement in Woody’s Murray to Moyne Cycle Relay." 

Since taking over as Team Manager some 17 odd years ago, under Mary’s guidance the Cytotoxic Cyclists has gone from strength to strength. Year after year, she has helped rally doctors, nurses and other staff from two Victorian children’s hospitals as riders and fundraisers, encouraged patients, families and their friends to join as riders and support staff to together raise money for a cause close to everyone’s heart. Mary refers to it as a M.A.D weekend – as together they are Making A Difference.

Mary not only unites those who attend this annual event, but also local business and individuals. Some examples include encouraging the staff and parents on the ward to bake for the riders, asking friends to sell raffle tickets to cover the cost of food and petrol and most importantly arranging local businesses to sponsor the Cytotoxic Cyclists through the donation of buses, vans, walkie-talkies and rider and supporter jersey design and production.

Mary is always putting others first - you would never know she has overcome her own personal battle with cancer. Her positive outlook and encouragement makes all the riders, support crew and general public dig deep and rally for the Children’s Cancer Foundation. With Mary’s support, the Cytotoxic Cyclists team has raised over $400,000 for the Foundation. Without Mary’s invaluable contribution, the Cytotoxic Cyclists would not have participated in its 20th Murray to Moyne.

Mary McGowan accepts the 2016 Graham Woodrup Memorial Award. Photo courtesy of Red Book Photography.
Mary McGowan receives the Woodrup Award 2016