Girl's Night Out

Fighting The Hidden Cost Of Cancer

The GNO Supportive Care Fund

The Echuca-Moama Girls Night Out (GNO) charity was founded in 2008 by a small collective of women who have each experienced first-hand the impact of cancer upon loved ones.

The GNO movement connects, embraces and engages the sisterhood of our community to shape a strong and vibrant network of women who are there for each other in times of need.

Our treasured past-committee member Michelle Noelker was the inspiration behind the crusade and her legacy continues to guide our way.

Michelle lost her brave battle with cancer on September 30, 2010. She was 38-years-old.

100% of proceeds raised through our events go directly to the GNO Oncology Department Supportive Care Program, which was established in partnership with Echuca Regional Health to provide meaningful assistance to local cancer patients.

The program is managed by the oncology service at Echuca Regional Health and provides financial assistance for supportive care including counselling sessions, (including therapy for children affected by a cancer diagnosis), oncology massage to treat pain and other side effects of cancer surgery, wigs, alternative therapies, lymphodeama garments, rent payments, fuel cards, accommodation, home care and child care.

Since 2008, GNO events have raised more than $400,000 for the supportive care program and more than 650 local families have received support from the fund to help cover the hidden cost of their cancer treatment.

All those accessing the program are supported by the absolutely amazing specialist cancer nursing team at ERH who work closely with patients and families to assess needs and coordinate care related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In addition to raising funds for the oncology department, GNO also helped secure vital funding from the McGrath Foundation for a dedicated McGrath Breast Care Nurse who commenced work at ERH in 2012.

Our breast care nurse has been a shining light for so many local women undergoing treatment for breast cancer – providing extraordinarily intimate support, improving their continuity of care and minimising the stress and trauma of their breast cancer experience.

The GNO sisterhood are incredibly passionate about the work they are doing to try to lighten the load for those walking the cancer path and we thank you so wholeheartedly for embracing GNO with open arms.

If you would like to make a donation to the GNO Oncology Department Supportive Care Program please contact us* for details.

Fundraising Tally
Total: $ 406,000AUD

Since 2008, the GNO charity has raised $406,000. This figure includes proceeds raised at GNO fundraising events and additional donations from the community.


For more information follow GNO on Facebook or Instagram

Thanks to our Major Sponsor - Moama Bowling Club


Since 2008, MBC has been by our side, contributing to GNO events through direct sponsorship and hosting our functions in their stunning facilities year in, year out. They’ve kicked in an enormous $69,000 to the cause and their ongoing financial commitment is an incredible act of corporate citizenship. GNO is extremely grateful to have the absolute backing of MBC in this grassroots initiative which is having a meaningful impact on the everyday lives of so many people. Looking to become a sponsor? Email us below.

Meet the GNO Fundraising Committee

  • Leonie Canham – Chair & Communications (GNO founder)

    Back in 2008 we hatched a grand plan to create a charity that would provide extra care and financial support to those in our community living with cancer.
    But most importantly, we wanted that charity to shape a strong and vibrant sisterhood of women who are there for each other in times of need.
    Since that moment, the GNO movement has taken on a life force of its own, and it has been a truly humbling experience to be part of a mission that is making such a meaningful difference to the lives of so many.
    For me personally, I set out on this passage to help heal my own scars at losing my beautiful dad to prostate cancer when I was 23. He was 45 when we received the crushing blow that he had 12 months to live, and while I’ve adapted to life without him in the years since, I’ve never recovered.
    But through GNO, I’ve been able to take small, important steps towards healing, and I’ve been able to do it alongside the most compassionate, loving girlfriends on the GNO committee who have each been on their own personal journeys of recovery after losing precious loved ones to cancer, or through battling the disease themselves.
    It is the most profound experience to be part of a crusade bigger than yourself – GNO has given me purpose, perspective and a gratitude for life that has changed me from the inside out.


  • Belinda Jones-Bird – Treasurer & Database (GNO founder)

    Starting GNO in 2008 was both incredibly daunting and exciting.
    Never in my wildest dreams did I consider that, together, we could raise a quarter of amillion dollars in ten years. After our first successful event, I felt a strong sense of responsibility to the community to ensure the money raised would be put to great use.
    GNO has been successful in doing this, which is proven by the ongoing community support, both financial, and by the amazing women who continue to show up to our events.
    The oncology nurses at Echuca Regional Hospital are an incredible group of women. We receive such kind and beautiful stories of love and appreciation for the financial support that helps lighten the load and ease a little of the stress suffered by the families fighting the cancer battle. Many patients and families want to give back in some way and this makes my heart smile. What an incredible community we live in.
    Cancer affects us all in many different ways. My Mum was stolen from us at the age of 53. The mere mention of her, at times, makes me well up - but that’s okay, I miss her. She was hugely supported and loved by family and her close girlfriends. I still feel that warmth from them today. I certainly feel cheated some days but I choose to spend most of my days with my head held high and my heart open and grateful for the 27 years I had her in my life.
    I may close my eyes but I will never close my heart. GNO has taught me this and I feel extremely blessed to be involved with this charity. My Mum would be so proud of me, and sometimes that’s all I need.

  • Liz Smith – Secretary & Event Ticket Sales

    In 2007, my husband and I packed our city bags and headed to Echuca to live.
    We didn’t really know many people in the area. We weren’t married at the time and children were a few years off. It didn’t take us long to work out that we had made the right decision. Beyond the beautiful bush and majestic river, Echuca/Moama has a community that continues to rally and support those in need. The community is so very generous.
    Like many, I have lost someone special to cancer. I was just 15 years old when my mum passed away at home. I am forever grateful that we were all standing by her bedside when she died. Me, my sister, my brother and my Dad. I lost so much that day, but over the years I have gained so much. Since then, I have become a best friend, a wife and a mother. It’s because of these things that I now reflect on my mum with all different kinds sadness and appreciation. It’s because of these things that I understand the importance of
    friendships, family and community.
    So, when I heard about GNO I was delighted and sad all in one. Delighted because it gave me the opportunity to work with a wonderful bunch of women who were doing amazing things to support local families. Sadness because it made me think of my mum and how much I miss her.
    I am truly grateful to be a part of GNO. I am proud about what we have achieved.
    I am excited about what the future holds.

  • Mel Sands – Sponsorship & Logistics

    After attending my first GNO event in 2013, I was both moved and blown away by the amount of money a room full of women on a mission can raise and I instantly wanted to be a bigger part of that. I became a member of the GNO committee in 2014.
    My husband Brett and I are born and bred here in Echuca Moama. We are both very passionate about our town and giving back to the community that has given so much to us. I feel proud that our children see us involved in community projects that are so close to our hearts.
    I love that every cent we raise goes straight back into our community to help lighten the load for locals battling cancer. Everyone knows someone who has been through or is fighting the cancer battle. For me it was my Grandma. We were extremely close and I was with her for most of her treatments and in her final hours of life. I know she would be so proud of what I am part of. When people tell me their family members or themselves have benefited from the GNO fund I feel a great sense of pride not only for myself but for the women of our community - without them we wouldn’t have been able to raise more than $250,000. Being part of GNO has given me purpose, passion, invaluable friendships and a drive to continue on a path that is making a difference to so many people’s lives.


  • Katie Eldridge – Sponsorship & Promotion

    In 2015, at just 32 - with a two year old son and four month old baby daughter, my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
    While this was obviously a very difficult time in my life, it was also incredibly inspiring and has given me a greater appreciation for life.
    The kindness and generosity we were shown from family, friends and the entire community was unbelievable and I will be eternally grateful. I was also lucky enough to be a recipient of the GNO Supportive Care Fund and cared for by the wonderful oncology team at ERH and I can honestly say knowing I was surrounded by so many people who cared is what got me through my darkest days.
    At the end of my treatment in 2016, I decided to join the GNO committee because I wanted to give back to the amazing community who have given so much to me.
    I know the physical, emotional and financial strain a cancer diagnosis can put on a family and I want everyone to feel the same warm embrace of love that I did in their time of need.
    A cancer journey can be marked by loss but the GNO has helped to give me purpose and allowed me to focus on what we can give to lighten the load for others battling this cruel disease. I am constantly in awe of what our generous community can achieve and proud to be part of something that, I know first hand, is making a difference in people's lives.



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Girl's Night Out

Fighting the hidden cost of Cancer
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