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2023 Mother’s Day Classic donates $2.5 million to breast cancer research and support expands to women with ovarian cancer in 2024

Mother's Day Classic 5 mins read

Australia’s most loved national fun run and walk, the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC), today announced a donation of $2.5 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) for research to help achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer.

It takes the total donated by the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation (MDCF) to NBCF over the past 26 years to $44 million. 

“This year 65,000 Australians in 73 locations across the country started their Mother’s Day with purpose, walking or running to support and honour those touched by breast cancer.” said Mother’s Day Classic CEO, Zara Lawless.

“The outpouring of support and generosity from participants and donors was inspirational, and the donation is a culmination of the hope, joy, strength and passion that embodies the Mother’s Day Classic.”

In 2023, the Mother’s Day Classic recorded incredible growth, with participation up 30 per cent on 2022 and the donation to NBCF up 70 per cent, the largest donation since 2017.

In 2024, the Mother’s Day Classic will expand its reach and impact by offering participants the opportunity to take part and fundraise in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

Ms Lawless said: “The five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer has increased from 84 per cent to 92 per cent since the Mother’s Day Classic started in 1998. Through events like the Mother’s Day Classic the public support of medical research and the rates of survival have improved, recognising that there is still more to be done to achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer.”

However, Ms Lawless said treatment advances in ovarian cancer have been limited, and treatment approaches have barely changed in 30 years.

“The five-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 49 per cent, with 1,054 deaths every year, and there remains no early detection test. This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further in 2024 and invite our participants to run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

“We want to accelerate progress towards the day where every woman diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer will be given the assurance that they can survive.’’

The National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation both welcomed the initiative, and acknowledged that research is the key to improving outcomes for women and saving lives.

Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO, said: “The National Breast Cancer Foundation has been a proud partner of the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic for 26 years, and in this time MDCF and the community have donated $44 million to support game-changing breast cancer research.

“As a completely community-funded organisation, and with over 3,200 people dying of breast cancer every year, we rely on the continued support of our community to reach our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.

“We look forward to being part of the MDC event again in 2024, along with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.”  

Robin Penty, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation CEO, said: “The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation has a mission to make sure the place where all human life begins – the ovaries – is no longer a place where women’s lives end.

“This exciting new partnership with the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation will lead to a step-change in fundraising and awareness of the need for medical research into Australia’s most lethal reproductive cancer, and help all women and girls pay closer attention to their reproductive health as well.

“On behalf of all those affected by ovarian cancer, and their families, we’re delighted to join this significant and much-admired national event on a very important day for mothers in our calendar.

“We acknowledge and celebrate the great success of NBCF and MDCF in improving survival rates for breast cancer through research over the last two decades. We can’t wait to walk shoulder to shoulder with these great advocates next May.” 

In 2024, Mother’s Day Classic participants will have the option of taking part in support of and fundraising for breast cancer research, ovarian cancer research, or both.

“We wish to thank every single participant over the past 26 years, and we hope that more Australians will join us on Mother’s Day in future, so that one day a diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer will not fill women and their families with dread,” Ms Lawless added.

“Together we can reduce the uncertainty of whether they can be treated and will survive, by supporting one another and raising funds for medical research.”

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, the 27th Mother’s Day Classic will once again inspire and unite the community and deliver another extraordinary result for both breast cancer and ovarian cancer research.





Hashtags: #mothersdayclassic #mdc2024



Founded by: Women in Super is an industry body that advocates for superannuation policies to improve women’s economic security. WIS is also a national member organisation consisting of women working within the superannuation and related financial services industries, who, in 1998 established the Mother’s Day Classic, to raise money in the hopes that finding a cure for breast cancer would mean more women would live long enough to access their superannuation. In 2024, WIS, is proud to support the Mother’s Day Classic in expanding its impact to include ovarian cancer research.

NBCF:  The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is Australia's leading not-for-profit organisation funding world-class breast cancer research towards our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer. Since our inception in 1994, NBCF has invested $216M into 622 world-class research projects across Australia. In this time, death rates from breast cancer in Australia have reduced by 43%. We've seen remarkable results, but the job is not done. At NBCF, we’re determined to create a better tomorrow. We know research matters, and it is central and critical to improving breast cancer outcomes. That’s why we fund the very best breast cancer research in Australia by awarding grants via an open national, competitive and rigorous peer review process.

OCRF: The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) is Australia’s leading independent body dedicated to funding ovarian cancer research.  With the support of our fundraising, philanthropic and corporate communities, we are Australia’s pre-eminent charitable foundation dedicated to raising funds for the most innovative research with the most significant long-term impact. Our goals are to raise the current 5-year survival rate from 49% to greater than 90%, and to provide hope, advocacy, agency and engagement for our community of survivors and families.

Proud Major Partner – ME Bank

ME Bank believes that money can do good. That’s why ME’s been a proud sponsor of the Mother’s Day Classic since 2005, donating over $2 million to breast cancer research through product and staff initiatives. In 2024, our 20th year as major sponsor of the Mother’s Day Classic, we’ll be joining the fight for ovarian cancer too. It’s another way we can help do good for more good causes. Find out more about our partnership at

Key Facts:

Proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation for breast and ovarian cancer research.


There is still so much work that needs to be done to ensure that women can live free of breast and ovarian cancer in the future.


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in Australia and sadly, 9 Australians die from it every single day.  That tally rises to 12 with the inclusion of the most lethal reproductive cancer, ovarian cancer. One death is too many.

In the 26-year history of the Mother’s Day Classic, $44 million has been donated to fund game-changing breast cancer research.

In 2024, we are going further and inviting MDC participants to run or walk and accelerate progress towards the day that no Australian families suffer the devastation of losing another woman to breast or ovarian cancer.

Contact details:

Michelle Stamper
Stamping Ground
m: 0413 117 711


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