UPDATE | McGrath Foundation reveals why it won't provide nurse to Tamworth after Tamworth Chamber of Commerce cancels Glen McGrath

McGrath Foundation reveals its decision

The McGrath Foundation has written an open letter to Tamworth after community backlash to its decision not to provide a breast care nurse for the city.

It comes after The Leader revealed on Wednesday that Serendipity had questioned why a regional centre like Tamworth does not have a full time breast care nurse, whether it be from the likes of the McGrath foundation or federally funded. 

On Friday, a McGrath spokesperson said community stakeholders had “declined” an offer for a part-time breast care nurse, but refused to name which stakeholders it was.

Decision explained: The open letter from the McGrath Foundation.

Decision explained: The open letter from the McGrath Foundation.

Serendipity Tamworth has been fundraising to secure a full-time breast care nurse but said Tamworth had raised thousands of dollars for the McGrath Foundation and “then that money leaves the region”.

Decision explained: The open letter from the McGrath Foundation.

Decision explained: The open letter from the McGrath Foundation.

The Leader questioned the Foundation’s president Glenn McGrath on January 27 in Tamworth during his visit to the country music festival.

He confirmed during the interview that Tamworth was not in line to receive a nurse “in the immediate future”.

In the wake of the news no breast care nurse would be placed in Tamworth, the Tamworth Business Chamber cancelled a guest appearance by Mr McGrath at its February meeting.

A McGrath Foundation spokesperson has admitted on Friday afternoon the organisation was approached for comment by The Leader, after president Glenn McGrath spoke in Tamworth in January.

More to come.

Change of plans: The Tamworth Business Chamber has opted to cancel Glenn McGrath as guest speaker of their upcoming event as the city continues to battle for a full time breast care nurse. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Change of plans: The Tamworth Business Chamber has opted to cancel Glenn McGrath as guest speaker of their upcoming event as the city continues to battle for a full time breast care nurse. Photo: Gareth Gardner

McGrath talk off

THE Tamworth Business Chamber has cancelled Glenn McGrath as the guest speaker at their February 15 event after it was confirmed the Test great’s foundation would not provide the area with a breast care nurse in the near future.

The announcement that Tamworth was not in line for a nurse caught the community off guard, as it has held major fundraising drives for the foundation. 

Business chamber president, Jye Segboer, said the decision was made after community feedback following an article in Wednesday’s Leader.

In the article Serendipity, the local volunteer committee for breast cancer, questioned if local donations to the McGrath Foundation would be better spent through a charity helping local people.

“The Tamworth Business Chamber has made the decision to cancel this event in response to the surprising decision by the McGrath Foundation to not include Tamworth on the list for a breast care nurse,” Mr Segboer said. 

“At the time of engaging Glenn McGrath as guest speaker, the Tamworth Business Chamber considered his sporting achievements, his association with Tamworth through the Tamworth Country Music Festival, his regional background and his achievements with the McGrath Foundation representative of the event’s theme ‘Leading and Inspiring the Team’.” 

On a mission: Serendipity's Liney Manning and Trina Constable will stop at nothing to get Tamworth a full time breast care nurse. Photo: Peter Hardin 010217PHB030

On a mission: Serendipity's Liney Manning and Trina Constable will stop at nothing to get Tamworth a full time breast care nurse. Photo: Peter Hardin 010217PHB030

The Chamber and several other organisations, including Serendipity, had anticipated the former fast bowler would announce the region was in line for a breast care nurse, either when he was here during the festival, or when he returned for the chamber event.

That hope was dashed when Mr McGrath confirmed that Tamworth was not in line to receive a nurse “in the immediate future” during his appearance at the festival.

“We were disheartened when we read that this was not going to take place,” Mr Segboer said.

“After contacting the foundation and being told that it was not going to be the case, we wanted to make a statement of support from the people in our region.” 

The chamber has also thrown their support behind the Serendipity committee in their fight to secure the services of a full time breast care nurse.

“The chamber is happy to support the Serendipity committee in its initiative,” Mr Segboer said.

“I’m calling for support from our business members to assist Serendipity in their cause for a full time breast care nurse.”

Serendipity vice president Trina Constable was pleased with the chamber’s decision and hopes that it might lead to finally achieving an outcome they have been fighting for for more than five years.

“We thank Tamworth Business Chamber for continuing to support the Serendipity Committee and, indeed, local breast cancer patients,” Ms Constable said.

“We look forward to working together to ensure that Tamworth, and the region, has access to the best possible services and facilities, regardless of where they originate from.”

The chamber has already announced a new guest speaker for the February 15 event in World Cup winning martial artist and cancer survivor Nadine Champion.

“Nadine’s moving and intensely emotional experience about her journey through both her martial arts career and her struggle with cancer will leave you delighted and inspired,” Mr Segboer said.

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