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MTAA Super CEO revs up Mother’s Day Classic fundraising




“Stalking helps” – unlikely words to come from the mouth of a respected chief executive, but for MTAA Super’s Leeanne Turner this is the secret of her success as a fundraiser for the Mother’s Day Classic.

Over the past two years she has raised about $20,000 for the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic, Australia’s biggest breast cancer research event.

MTAA Super has been a strong supporter of Mother’s Day Classic since its early days, providing volunteers, teams and committee support.

Many MTAA Super staff were there each Mother’s Day, but Turner wasn’t able to attend in person as she’d travel interstate to visit her own mum, Norma, whose birthday usually falls on the same day.

“A few years ago, I was reflecting on the people I knew affected by the disease or lost to breast cancer, including my brother’s partner,” Turner said.

“I had also just started running again. And I decided to participate in the Mother’s Day Classic’s boardroom challenge (now the corporate challenge) to raise funds for research.

“Everything was pointing to me needing to be more involved with the event on Mother’s Day.

“I phoned my Mum and said ‘I’ve got to do this Mum.’” It was her 75th birthday and I promised we’d celebrate it in style in Canberra if she came over so that I could participate on the day. Of course she agreed, and we did celebrate her birthday in style. We’ve done it each year since – she comes with me to the Canberra Mother’s Day Classic and after I run we go somewhere nice to celebrate her special day and Mother’s Day together.”

Turner’s fundraising effort was kick-started by a challenge from her MTAA Super board chair, John Brumby, which saw her up the ante from the 5km to the 10km event, and this extra “skin in the game” gave her a good reason to ask donors for larger contributions.

In 2014, Leeanne was the top fundraiser for the event in the ACT, and sixth highest fundraiser nationally.

She jokingly attributes her fundraising skills to “being a bit of a stalker” and advises fundraisers to “encourage, encourage, encourage” because “every little bit counts”.

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    “Really, everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Making a contribution, large or small, towards research is a positive way the community can help solve this health issue.”

    The Mother’s Day Classic is held on Sunday May 8 with events held in more than 100 locations, from capital cities to remote towns, all around Australia.

    Registrations are OPEN NOW at

    “This year we have set a new target to provide $4 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation to fund life-changing breast cancer research.”

    “The more we raise, the faster a cure can be found – this year if every participant raises just $50, we’ll reach our target of $4 million to fund research,” said Mother’s Day Classic chief executive Sharon Morris.

    “Our support helps the National Breast Cancer Foundation [NBCF] with the ultimate goal of no more deaths from breast cancer. NBCF funds life-changing research including better diagnosis and treatment options and improved quality of life after treatment.

    “Mother’s Day Classic participants can be confident that 100 percent of fundraising from the event goes straight to NBCF – there’s not many charity events that can say that.”

    Overall, the Mother’s Day Classic community has raised $27.4 million and funded more than 30 projects, making us the largest fundraiser for breast cancer research in Australia.