Kathleen Mazzella OAM
Gynaecological health awareness champion
WAState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2018
Facing a radical gynaecological cancer diagnosis at the age of 39, Kathleen Mazzella was convinced she was alone. In her search to find someone else facing the same experience, Kath placed an ad in Woman’s Day, receiving 38 responses from women all over Australia who felt the same sense of isolation and embarrassment. Determined to connect and empower other women, and to reduce the stigma and squeamishness around women’s health, Kath established the Perth-based Gynaecological Awareness Information Network. Since then, Kath has become a voice for the millions of Australian women managing polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids, menopause, sexually transmitted infections, hysterectomies and more. At the core of her work is a straight-talking message: embarrassment around gynaecological issues risks lives. Kath breaks down the social stigma by sharing her journey and challenges, and promoting a positive preventative message. Twenty-two years after her initial diagnosis, Kath has not only survived, but thrived and dedicated her life to ensuring no other woman and families suffers in silence through her International Gynaecological Awareness Day campaign.