The Mother’s Day Classic walk or run for breast cancer research was established in 1998 – it started from modest beginnings as a walk in the park and has grown into a major national community event.
The founding organisers are Mavis Robertson, Former National Chair of Women in Super and Louise Davidson, National Chair, Mother’s Day Classic. The idea for the Mother’s Day Classic came from Mavis Robertson when she saw a similar event overseas. She came back from her trip and spoke to Women in Super about organising an event in Australia.
In 1998 after witnessing a breast cancer walk while on a visit overseas she returned and announced to co-founder Louise Davidson that the Women in Super network should consider launching a fun run/walk to raise money for breast cancer. At the time, industry superannuation funds, especially those with large female memberships, were seeing that breast cancer featured strongly in the highest group of diseases for accessing death and disability benefits.
Louise Davidson had lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of 52. Louise had cared and supported her mother through her two-year battle with breast cancer. So when Mavis spoke about the event and raising money for breast cancer research, Louise knew that Women in Super could take the idea and make it a reality.
Mavis galvanised the WIS network with some simple logic, she felt there was no point in advocating for women’s retirement outcomes if they were dying prematurely from breast cancer. Women in Super determined that breast cancer research would be of the greatest assistance for their fund members.
There were also very few national independent organisations that provided access to breast cancer research.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1994, is 100% community funded and the only national body that funds life-changing breast cancer research with money raised entirely by the Australian public.
With no experience but lots of enthusiasm and dedication, a Women in Super driven volunteer Mother’s Day Classic committee was established in Melbourne and Sydney and the first event was held in both cities in 1998.
Every dollar raised at the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic goes to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to fund life-changing breast cancer research. By funding research, we can make a real difference to those diagnosed with breast cancer – now and in the future. Over the past 21 years, we have raised $35.3 million for breast cancer research which equates to funding 64 research projects and more than 250 Australian scientists. Over the past 25 years with the help of the Mother’s Day Classic, the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer has improved from 76% to 91% today – research is making a difference.
The first Mother’s Day Classic with 3,000 participants in Melbourne and Sydney.
Reached 10,000 participants in only two cities.
2004 - 2006
Brisbane, Adelaide & Hobart join the Mother’s Day Classic and Australia wide participation grows to 30,000.
Ten year anniversary of the Mother’s Day Classic.
Mother’s Day Classic introduces events in Western Sydney, Canberra and Perth.
For the first time, local towns organise regional events. 50,000 people around Australia walked or ran for breast cancer research.Mother’s Day Classic raises over $800,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation research programs.
Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC Governor – General of the Commonwealth of Australia becomes Patron of the Mother’s Day Classic.
First Gold Coast event is held.
Mother’s Day Classic has record fundraising year, raising more than $1.3 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation research programs.
100,000 participants walked or ran in ten cities and 23 regional locations raising $2.1 million for breast cancer research.
Mother’s Day Classic becomes a truly national event with Darwin coming on board and 42 towns hosting a regional event.
A record $4 million is raised.
63 regional towns host an event, bringing a total of 74 events across Australia.
A record 105 MDC events held across Australia in every state and territory.
$3.1 million raised taking the total donated to breast cancer research to $27.4 million.
$3 million raised taking the total donated to breast cancer research to $30.4 million.
$2.8 million raised taking the total donated to breast cancer research to $33.2 million.
An event held at a research station in Antartica!
$2.1 million raised taking the total donated to breast cancer research to $35.3 million.