Vicki Jellie, appointed Australia’s Local Hero 2017, is a fine example of so many good things the least of which is Vicki’s dogged determination to improve life for other families in her local district, long after her beloved husband Peter died from cancer.
Vicki started Peter’s Project in 2009 and boy what a project it is. The relentless fundraising through community events raised a massive $5 million. The project convinced both State and Federal governments to commit a combined $25 million to establish a specialist cancer centre in Warrnambool.
Image: Vicki Jellie speaking at the opening of South West Regional Cancer Centre
Radiation therapy wasn’t available in the district before 2016. Patients had to drive and stay in Melbourne or Geelong, even travelling as far as Adelaide for treatment. This meant lengthy time away from families and work during their illnesses.
Wind forward to when Epworth HealthCare was chosen to design, build and operate the South West Regional Cancer Centre, (SWRCC). Building works proceeded smoothly towards an early opening which took place in July 2016.
About South West Regional Cancer Centre
SWRCC is part of Victoria’s public health network and operated by Epworth HealthCare.
Staff provide professional and caring services, including chemotherapy treatment rooms operated by South West Health (Warrnambool Base Hospital). Peter’s Project Community Support Centre offers a welcoming, bright community space.
Vicki Jellie, the unsung cancer widow turned Australia Day Local Hero keeping families together The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January 2017
Vicki Jellie named Australia’s Local Hero ABC news, 25 January 207
Peter’s Project founder Vicki Jellie crowned Local Hero at Australian of the Year Awards The Standard, 25 January 2017
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Warrnambool Standard, Fairfax Media, & ABC news