After her husband Peter died of cancer in 2008, Vicki Jellie found his plans for a local cancer fundraiser. His dream had been to bring radiotherapy services to the South West of Victoria. Peter’s dream became Vicki’s passion. In 2009, Vicki initiated “Peter's Project” – a community group dedicated to fighting for improved cancer services. Despite being told that a cancer centre in Warrnambool would never happen, Vicki relentlessly lobbied governments, uniting the community and raising funds. By May 2014, Vicki secured $30 million combined funding from State and Federal governments and the community, meaning a cancer centre could be achieved. In July 2016 Vicki and her community celebrated the opening of the new South West Regional Cancer Centre, offering radiotherapy treatment for regional patients. Vicki has selflessly demonstrated why volunteers are the core of our nation’s community and her persistence has proven that ‘Nothing is Impossible.’ Vicki’s legacy will continue to support “all the Peters” facing their cancer battles for generations to come.
20 YEARS OF AUSTRALIA'S LOCAL HERO AWARD
"Becoming the 2017 Local Hero was a humbling surprise and honour. I probably didn’t realise the impact the award would have and the interest from all around Australia. The Award allowed my entire community in South West Victoria to celebrate what we had all accomplished by defying the odds and building something that we were all so proud of. Not just the cancer centre itself, but a community spirit that was unbreakable.
"The South West Regional Cancer Centre has treated and supported thousands of patients and their families. This makes me so very proud. And I am still the Director of the Peters Project Foundation. The generosity of our community has allowed us to continue to fund specialised cancer equipment and many other cancer-associated needs in the community."