A Little About the Group
Living with a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer can be a confronting and isolating experience. Connecting with other women who understand the experience has for many people has been a comfort and support.
The Toowoomba & Darling Downs Advanced Breast Cancer Group is focused on sharing information and lived wisdom of coping with advanced cancer – women supporting women.
Facilitated by a psychologist & breast care nurse, the group is responsive to the interests and needs of its members. Listen or contribute to discussions, the choice is yours.
Held the Second Wednesday of each month
at Inbound Restaurant, Toowoomba Railway Station
Complimentary coffee and cake provided
Contact your breast care nurse for a referral to the group,
they would be happy to answer any questions & support
your inclusion within the group.
Breast Care Nurses
Breast Care Nurse, St Andrews Hospital Toowoomba
Gaye completed her Certificate of Registration at the Toowoomba Base Hospital in 1987. After working extensively as a facilitator with Deacon University in Geelong further completed a Ba of Nursing in 2001. It became obvious Gaye’s interests and passions were in Women’s Health and she completed a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health at The University of Newcastle in 2003.
Gaye worked with TAFE Toowoomba as a facilitator with the EEN course, along with predominately surgical positions throughout the Eastern states, finally coming to St Andrews Toowoomba Hospital in 2008 in a surgical admissions role.
In 2012 a part time position became available in the Diagnostic Breast Clinic as a breast nurse and this prompted the further studies of the Graduate Certificate in Nursing (breast care) completed in 2014 and the position of Specialised Breast Care Nurse at St Andrews Toowoomba Hospital from that time until now a role she loves and takes much pride and joy in.
Gaye is Vice President of Blush Cancer Care Inc. and is very passionate about providing the best possible breast cancer support and care to the ladies and men in the Downs and surrounds.
Gaye is married to Bob they have three beautiful children and 4 equally delightful grandchildren. Gaye loves to travel, the beach, golf and reading.
Breast Care Nurse, St Vincents Hospital Toowoomba
Bronwyn graduated from USQ with a Bachelor of Nursing in 1993. She has worked at St Vincent’s Private Hospital for over 26 years. She has over 23 years’ experience working in Theatre where she has largely been involved in breast surgery.
In 2011, at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, she became the Breast Care Nurse. Bronwyn is a Registered Nurse with specialist training in Breast Care. In 2014 she completed her Graduate Certificate in Breast Care Nursing at Latrobe University.
She is also a member of the multidisciplinary team that discusses and provides care to breast cancer patients. Other members of the team include Surgeons, Medical and Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists and Breast Care Nurses.
Bronwyn has been on the management committee of Blush since the founding Blush Ball in 2012.
Bronwyn is passionate about providing quality patient care which supports people through their breast cancer experience.
Penelope Flowers is a clinical psychologist who followed her passion of helping people in to the field of psychology. She completed her undergraduate in psychology externally while raising a family and completed her Master of Psychology (Clinical) at the University of Southern Queensland in 2016.
Since that time Penelope has enjoyed working in private practice supporting people to discover what is important to them and helping them take steps towards it. Penelope has witnessed first-hand the power of people with a shared experience supporting each other. This experience fuels her passion and commitment to the Blush Advanced Cancer Support Group.
Penelope’s role within the group is to facilitate the connection and exchange of ideas between group members in a supportive, warm and positive manner.
Registered Nurse & Breast Care Nurse
St Andrews Hospital Toowoomba
Mary Kelsey was born and grew up in Ireland. She trained at St James Hospital In Dublin and first registered as an RN in 1980. After her initial training, Mary studied Mental Health Nursing and spent the next 5 years working in this area both in Ireland and in Australia. In 1986 Mary emigrated to Australia, and settled in Toowoomba.
At that stage Mary decided to return to General Nursing and also completed a certificate in Midwifery. In 2001 Mary completed a Ba Nursing and in 2003 was very fortunate to win a College of Nursing Australia scholarship which enabled her to complete post graduate studies in Cancer Nursing.
Mary semi retired in 2018 having worked in Cancer Care for 18 years. Her career highlights have been in Cancer Care having been the first Nurse Manager of the Radiation Oncology Centre in Toowoomba, when it opened in 2007.
The same year, she became the Nurse Unit Manager of the Day Oncology Unit at St Andrews. She continued to work in this role until she retired in 2018.
Mary is now enjoying working casually as a Breast Care Nurse at St Andrews, a role which she loves. She also work nine hours a fortnight with Breast Surgeon Dr Eric Donaldson, a role she also loves. The roles of Breast Care Nurse and RN with Dr Donaldson overlap and compliment each other. Mary has always had a special interest in the psychosocial well-being of the patients in her care.
Outside of work Mary is married to Peter and has three wonderful children. Mary loves travelling, catching up with family, gardening and walking and being outdoors and active.
Mary is proud to be a member of the Blush Committee. Through her work roles and as a member of this committee, she continues to make a difference to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
We have another bio coming soon – stay tuned!