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Mother's Day Classic 5 mins read
Thousands of Australians will put their foot down for breast and ovarian cancer this Mother's Day

Stepping up for breast and ovarian cancer research


Organisers of Australia’s most loved national fun run and walk, the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC), today called for more to be done to increase funding for research to improve survival rates for breast and ovarian cancer.

At the official launch of the 2024 Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic in Melbourne, MDC CEO Zara Lawless made a commitment to increasing money for medical research, to elevate women’s health, prevent deaths from breast cancer, and improve the survival outcomes for ovarian cancer.

The MDC is the biggest donor to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, having raised $44 million over the past 26 years. In that time the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer has increased from 84 per cent to 92 per cent.

For the first time, this year’s annual event, in which more than 70,000 participants will walk or run nationwide on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, will also raise money for ovarian cancer research, partnering with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer, which claims the life of a woman every eight hours in Australia.

Ms Lawless said: “Through events like the Mother’s Day Classic and the public support of medical research, the rates of survival for those diagnosed with breast cancer have improved dramatically.

“We know that the job isn’t done yet, and we remain committed to achieving the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer. From this day forward we are also determined to make a difference to the outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.”

The five-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 49 per cent, with 1,054 deaths every year.

“Tragically over the last 30 years, treatment advances for ovarian cancer have been limited, there is no method of early detection, and recurrence rates are very high.  Just as the Mother’s Day Classic founders said in 1998, this is not good enough, so we say it’s not good enough today. Only research can change this.

“This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further and expand its reach and impact so participants can run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

We want to accelerate progress toward the day when every woman diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer will be given the assurance that they can survive.”

For the 2024 Mother’s Day Classic, 70,000-plus people will start their day by walking or running at one of more than 70 locations across the country to support and honour those touched by breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

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

Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO, said: “we can be very proud of the progress made to reduce deaths from Breast cancer, but the job is not done. Research is central and critical to improving breast cancer outcomes. Receiving a significant contribution every year from the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation, for 26 years, has been instrumental in funding research and helping the National Breast Cancer Foundation make progress towards our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.”

Robin Penty, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation CEO, said: “The OCRF celebrates the success of the Mother’s Day Classic and its ongoing commitment to improving women’s cancer survival rates through funding life-changing research.
“We’re proud of the OCRF’s growing impact in raising awareness and critical funding for ovarian cancer research and we can’t wait to walk shoulder to shoulder in support of women’s health this May.”

Registrations are now open for the 27th Mother’s Day Classic at Participants can save up to 33% with VIP pricing, plus ‘Kids Go Free in Feb’. T’s and C’s Apply.

For further information please contact:

Michelle Stamper

Stamping Ground

0413 117 711


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.

Proceeds from the Mother’s Day Classic go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation in accordance with the selection of MDC event participants. 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 gynaecological 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.





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 funder of ovarian cancer research.  With the support of philanthropic, corporate and community supporters, the OCRF’s mission is to fund the most innovative research with the greatest impact upon survival and quality of life for anyone experiencing an ovarian cancer diagnosis. The OCRF distributes research grants through a rigorous international peer review process, supporting Australian-led research in four priority areas: Early detection; Improved treatments; Reducing recurrence; Prevention and cure. Our goals are step-change in funds raised and research undertaken; to increase the 5-year survival rate from 49% to greater than 90%; and to provide hope, advocacy, agency, and engagement for our community of patients, supporters 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

Contact details:

For further information please contact:

Michelle Stamper

Stamping Ground

0413 117 711


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