Yamba cancer survivor Pauline Plant is the Clarence Valley's Citizen of the Year.
Yamba cancer survivor Pauline Plant is the Clarence Valley's Citizen of the Year.

Cancer survivor wins top award

IT'S been seven years since cancer support volunteer Pauline Plant began her own battle with breast cancer.

The Yamba grandmother underwent treatment and spent five years in remission before discovering a year ago the cancer had spread to her bones.

She is still being treated for that illness, but yesterday Mrs Plant was glowing with happiness as she accepted her Australia Day award as 2009's Clarence Valley Citizen of the Year.

Wiping back tears, the 69-year-old cut a small figure on stage at the Grafton Community Centre, but afterwards showed the tenacious spirit that has driven her community work.

“Life has to go on,” she said.

“Life's too short to sit in the corner and feel sorry for yourself, so I think “good I've got another day” and feel good about it. And if I can help other people, then that's what I do.”

What is extraordinary about Mrs Plant is what she has done to relieve the suffering of other people going through cancer.

While recovering from treatment in 2003, she established the Yamba Breast Cancer Support Group, later extending it to include all forms of cancer.

Since then Mrs Plant and her group have been a pillar of support to countless people. Projects she organised included the making of underarm cushions for woman recovering from breast cancer surgery and turbans for those undergoing chemotherapy.

In 2006, she developed and raised funding for the Breast Cancer Awareness Program, aiming to raise awareness of breast cancer in the community.

Mrs Plant has since taken the program to high schools and women's groups throughout the Clarence Valley.

In spite of her recent illness, Mrs Plant continues to collect bags of roadside and beach rubbish on her daily walk through Yamba, and recently organised the knitting of hundreds of vests and booties for premature babies.

Mrs Plant said she had not expected to receive the award and was “very excited” to win, while her husband Tony said he was “very proud” of his wife and her achievements.

award winners

Citizen of the Year

Pauline Plant

Young Citizen of the Year

Elly Smith

Sports Achievement

Brian Hyatt

Youth Sports Achievement

Garnet Williams

Community Organisation

Maclean Lower Clarence Hospital Auxiliary

Creative, Visual and Performing Arts

Sister Anne Gallagher

Youth Creative, Visual and Performing Arts

Joseph Gallagher

Good Neighbour

Joy Phelps



COMING TOGETHER: A Day for Sasha next month

COMING TOGETHER: A Day for Sasha next month

The Day for Sasha event is raising funds for Sasha Berry's recovery

Crucial night cricket clash called off

Crucial night cricket clash called off

Clarence River curator 99% sure clash will not go ahead.

Report says North Coast dairy farmers holding steady

Report says North Coast dairy farmers holding steady

Domestic market holds firm for local milk suppliers

Local Partners