Bill Walker's Legacy of Giving

25 Mar 2024

Throughout his life, William (Bill) Walker was committed to supporting others, both in his role as a firefighter and as a community volunteer and now, thanks to a donation made on behalf of his estate, by Sunraysia Cancer Resources (SCR), his legacy will endure for generations to come.

Sunraysia Cancer Resources was an unexpected, shared beneficiary of Bill’s estate, after his only surviving child passed away, and the Organisation spent a great deal of time considering how best to honour him and his gift.

“Bill’s family had been significantly affected by cancer with both his wife and son having the disease and we know that through his bequest, he wanted to help other families and support our work,” SCR Chairman, Jenny Gledhill explains.

So, when the Mildura Health Foundation was launched in 2023, to raise funds for the development of the Dr. Julie Zrna Centre, an accommodation hub for people receiving radiation treatment at the Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre, SCR immediately thought it was a project Bill would have been proud to support.

“We were keen to make a donation to the Foundation on behalf of Bill because we felt it was exactly what he would have wanted – his money to be used for a purpose – caring for people living with cancer,” SCR Manager, Rochelle Collinson says.

“People living in isolated areas often don’t get treatment because they can’t manage the logistics and costs of travel and accommodation. The radiation bunker at the Icon Centre has meant many people in Mildura no longer have to travel for treatment and building on this, the accommodation hub will help people in outlying areas such as Broken Hill, Balranald, and the rural districts in-between, to access affordable options for critical health care much closer to home.”

Karen Woolfe, a member of the board of Mildura Health Foundation says the donation from SCR, on Bill’s behalf, will help create a hub for holistic cancer support, encouraging more patients to have treatment here, and enticing more specialists to provide services locally.

“It’s all part of developing quality wrap-around healthcare; creating support networks and offering more options and better outcomes for our community, which is all too often impacted by cancer.

“The Mildura Health Foundation is deeply grateful for the contribution made in memory of Bill and upon completion, a unit will be named after him, as a lasting tribute to his generosity both during his lifetime and beyond.”

The Mildura Health Foundation, registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, has a fundraising goal of $5 million. All donations are tax deductible and will go directly to the construction and operation of ten self-contained apartments at 202-206 Thirteenth Street, within walking distance of Mildura Health Private Hospital and Mildura Health Icon Cancer Centre. The Foundation hopes this accommodation can be offered with no out-of-pocket expenses for the patients who use it.

With the building site cleared, and plans approved, the Foundation anticipates that the first stage of the project will begin during the first half of this year.

Community projects such as this can only happen because people like Bill Walker, and organisations like SCR, support them.

Jenny Gledhill’s message to you is clear - ‘please donate now or consider a bequest in your will’ - because one day it might be you, or someone you know, who needs the services the Mildura Health Foundation is developing.

“Every one of us can make a difference.”