A conversation with Sara, Practical Support Program Manager

Tuesday 13 March, 2018

How long have you worked at Cancer Council Victoria and how did you get involved in practical support?

I started working at Cancer Council Victoria in 2014. This role appealed to me as it involved all aspects of my previous supportive care roles that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also recognised that there was an increase in the need for practical support once a person was diagnosed with cancer and there was value I could add to this area.

What does practical support mean?

Practical support includes financial and legal issues as well as other aspects, such as returning to work.

Describe a typical day at Cancer Council Victoria.

No two days are the same. My role involves providing phone support directly to those with a cancer diagnosis or their families, liaising with health professionals across the state and preparing presentations for community groups.

I work with a variety of professionals in different careers such as; lawyers, financial planners, financial counsellors and other volunteers.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

Being able to use my financial planning qualification and share the skills I have gained towards a program which supports people affected by cancer. Making a connection between my knowledge of cancer and supportive care and my prior education allows me to assist clients.

I also enjoy the variation of the role. I can bring together my knowledge of cancer and supportive care and my financial planning qualifications to assist clients who are anxious and overwhelmed.

Are there any new initiatives for your programs in 2018?

In 2018 we are looking to bring our current programs together to develop a program of ‘Financial Resilience’.

This will provide education to both people with a cancer diagnosis and health professionals. We are hoping to increase financial understanding and literacy with a view to being able to develop long term strategies to manage the financial burden of cancer from diagnosis to life after treatment.   

To find out more about the programs Sara manages, click here.

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