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Yarra Valley Water’s WaterCare initiative helping people with cancer to thrive

Yarra Valley Water has launched a pilot initiative to raise awareness of its WaterCare initiative by partnering with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre) and providing wellness packs to patients.

The award-winning WaterCare initiative contributes towards the overall wellbeing of the community by providing advice and assistance for customers when paying their water bills.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said the organisation wanted to reach customers within the community and offer further care during an often challenging and difficult time.

“Cancer is a leading cause of disease in Australia and has a substantial impact on individuals, families and the community,” Mr McCafferty said.

“We’re providing gift packs for patients to promote hydration for health with a reusable water bottle and information about our WaterCare program. This helps people understand the assistance we can offer as their water provider, beyond the exceptional support provided at the ONJ centre.”

Cara Davey, Head of Partnerships at Austin Health, welcomed the new partnership with Yarra Valley Water.

"Yarra Valley Water’s contribution towards wellness activities at the ONJ Centre has been welcomed by all staff and patients. By promoting their WaterCare initiative through our Centre our patients and their families have access to their wonderful supportive care resources."

The program provides 3,500 wellness packs for patients and visitors to the ONJ Centre based alongside the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg.

Penny Sanderson, Divisional Manager, Integrated Cancer Services at the ONJ Centre, said the packs were already proving to be very popular.

“They have been running out like hot cakes!” Penny said.

“In addition, Yarra Valley Water is supporting patients and their families by offering support by providing solutions to pay their water bill which will relieve some of the financial stress at what can be an incredibly difficult time.”

In conjunction with the pilot, Yarra Valley Water is engaging ONJ Centre staff, donating reusable water bottles and information about WaterCare.

Yarra Valley Water’s donation to the ONJ Centre has contributed to the delivery of wellness therapies to patients undergoing treatment at the ONJ Centre.

Key facts and stats: 

  • In 2020 34,712 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer – that’s 95 new diagnoses everyday – 1 person every 15 minutes (1)
  • It is estimated that at least 10,000 Yarra Valley Water customers are diagnosed with cancer each year
  • 1 in 6 people report that the cost of treatment had significant impacts on their life, with some drawing down on superannuation as a result ².
  • Over 30% of people report that no one had discussed the possibility of significant out of pocket expenses ².
  • Almost 300,000 Australians are foregoing radiology every year because of the cost ³.

1.  Victorian Cancer Registry. Cancer in Victoria 2020.Cancer Council Victoria. Melbourne, Victoria. 2021.

2. Consumers Health Forum of Australia. Out of Pocket Pain, Research Report. April 2018

3.  Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association. 2019 – 2020 Budget Submission. Safeguarding primary scare by making quality radiology more affordable. January 2019.