Cancer survivor and Peter Mac volunteer Meg Rynderman has received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to people living with cancer, and to the community.
Meg is a long-term contributor to Peter Mac as a volunteer, patient advocate and committee member for the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre (ACSC).
Some of the most highly accessed and valued patient resources provided by the ACSC have been built around Meg’s story of recovering from hodgkins lymphoma (diagnosed 28 years ago, recurred twice) and breast cancer (diagnosed 17 years ago).
Meg has “put a face to cancer survivorship” and her contributions have helped to improve the post-treatment supports and experience of many thousands of cancer patients.
“The journey that cancer patients take now is very different to the one I had - it has improved and is still improving,” Meg says.
“If I’ve made a difference in any way I’m very grateful to have been able to do that.”
Meg has served on Peter Mac's Cancer Survivorship Advisory Committee and the Careplan Project Steering Committee, and was inaugural Co-ordinator of Peter Mac’s Wellbeing Centre (2016-17).
Her ongoing work includes presenting as part of ACSC programs, on-boarding new staff, and writing the stories of other survivors for the ACSC's “Survivors Stories Project”.
Meg said she feels “honoured and humbled” by the Australia Day honour, which also recognises her long-term volunteering contributions to the Cancer Council and Melbourne’s Bialik College.
“Nobody, and certainly not me, volunteers for recognition or acclaim - you do it because there is a part of you that feels there is a gap to be filled,” she says.
“There are so many people who do amazing work and I’m just one of many, many people who work in the community for other people.”