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Meet Dr Helen Gooden - Westfield Local Heroes 2021

Innovating for women’s health

ANZGOG & Survivors Teaching Students
Informed. Dedicated. Passionate

Dr Helen Gooden has given life-saving knowledge about the hidden symptoms of ovarian cancer to thousands of future doctors and nurses since she introduced the Survivors Teaching Students program to Australia.

Helen is the national manager of the program and works tirelessly with 150 brave ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers who share their diagnosis stories with students at 14 universities across Australia.

Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer because the symptoms are often missed. But Helen and the volunteers are doing all in their power to change that.

After hearing the survivor stories, many students are adamant they will consider gynaecological cancer every time a women patient displays the symptoms they have heard about.

“The program opens conversations about women's reproductive cancers that are taking four times as many lives per year than the road toll,” says Helen.

Since its launch in 2017, the program has reached 5000 students.

Helen is honoured to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “I am humbled to work with my amazing volunteers and enormously proud of the work they do, sharing their stories, their pain, vulnerability and often loss,” she says.

“This nomination is for each and every one of them and to honour those we have lost and will continue to lose each year.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Survivors Teaching Students will use its funds to develop a podcast series to raise awareness in the broader community about gynaecological cancers.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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