While friendship catapulted Linda Quinn (pictured left) into fundraising for Cherish, there is another reason she’s stuck with it for years. As Cherish prepares to celebrate its tenth birthday, we spoke with this dedicated Cherish Board Member about her passion for finding kinder treatments for women with gynaecological cancer.
“I’m a civil and environmental engineer, and for most of my life, I lived in Canberra, working in State and Federal Government. It was a rich and rewarding career in an environment where you’re encouraged to keep learning,” Linda said. “I extended my studies into law and urban and regional planning, and now I run my own business, mainly consulting in the road-building industry.
“Fundraising was outside of my comfort zone, but I’ve got six children, and I’m used to being busy. I started fundraising for their school. I had no event experience, but I had plenty of project management experience, and I was determined to raise money. And we did. We held successful gala events with fashion shows, raffles, auctions and art shows.
“In Queensland, I started helping one of my greatest friends, Nikki Frame (pictured right), to fundraise. We got chatting about the school fundraising I was doing, and I decided Cherish needed my time and energy more,” Linda said.
Nikki and Linda started to run gala events together. “We make a great team because we bring different strengths to the partnership,” Linda said. “Nikki is the front person – the one comfortable speaking in front of an audience and networking with the whole room. I’m not one for the limelight. I prefer using my skills behind the scenes.
“Over the years, I’ve had many wonderful Cherish experiences, like trekking to Base Camp with Nikki in 2019. But I have to say the pivotal moment for me was the first Cherish fundraising lunch we organised. We invited Kristen Larsen to speak. When she stood at the podium and told her story, the whole room was knocked sideways. Every person in that room was deeply affected. Everyone there understood, at that moment, why and how important it is to support gynaecological cancer research. Here was a vibrant, strong and beautiful young woman dying of ovarian cancer. That experience changed the course of my life. It keeps me firmly committed to Cherish.”
When Cherish approached Linda to join the Board, she didn’t hesitate. Recently, Linda also became part of Cherish’s financial committee. “I think it’s important we have financially savvy people involved in maximising Cherish’s fundraising and allocating funding to projects that will have the most impact.
“My friendship with Nikki opened my eyes to Cherish and the incredible research work it supports. But it’s more than friendship and the connection with like-minded people that keeps me here,” Linda said.
“I’ve done my research about gynaecological cancer. I studied the Australian Government statistics and was shocked that this cancer is one of the four deadliest, and one in three women will not survive. Why don’t we learn about this at school? Why don’t women and girls have better knowledge of this disease? Why don’t we have more information about minimising our risk so that women don’t find themselves a statistic?
‘This disease does not just affect the woman or girl who has it – it impacts their family and friends too,” Linda said. “If we can improve the lives of women and girls with cancer, we improve the lives of all the people who surround her. That’s why I’m here. While I’m confident we are moving forward in research and awareness, there is a long way to go, and I’m passionate about driving progress towards Cherish’s goals.”