The Victoria Bathurst is calling out for community involvement in the composition of a mural next week to show support for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
From 11am to 3pm on Monday, October 7, members of the community will be invited [via a gold coin donation] to contribute a painted heart towards a mural in the venue's 'backyard' area, with all proceeds to go towards creating job opportunities for breast cancer nurses through the McGrath Foundation.
The event will serve as one of the key fundraising initiatives for Bathurst's Pink Up Your Town program, which will see community members, organisations and businesses provide a visual show of support for people experiencing breast cancer.
Local artist Meg Allan has designed the mural with an idea to symbolise the bravery of those affected by breast cancer.
"I want this mural to represent the strength and courage of people who have been affected by breast cancer, as well as celebrate the lives of those who have sadly succumbed to the illness," Ms Allan said.
"The hearts will symbolise the love shown towards sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and good friends who have fought, or who are currently fighting cancer."
Inspirations Paint has kindly donated the paint for the project, with staff member Erica Traves stepping in last Thursday to apply the pink background for the mural.
Ms Allan said anyone is welcome to come and pick up a paintbrush, whether they're battling cancer themselves or wish to acknowledge a loved one.
"Around 16,000 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and we want this mural to be a sign of solidarity against the illness," she said.
Bathurst councillor [and breast cancer survivor] Jacqui Rudge said the initiative will highlight the improving nature of breast cancer treatment services in the region.
"When I had breast cancer in 2006, it required me to stay in Sydney for seven weeks to receive treatment, and it was hard to be away from family during such a crucial time in my life," Cr Rudge said.
"It's now possible to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy here in Bathurst, and the breast care nurses do an amazing job."
Cr Rudge is looking forward to adding her own heart to the mural, and has called for women in the Bathurst community to get their breasts checked if something is not right.
"I know a mammogram isn't the most pleasant thing to go through, but radiotherapy and chemotherapy are a lot worse," she said.
Bathurst's Pink Up Your Town program will be launched today at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre from 10.30am.