World Cancer Day 4th February – Celebrating Pauline Farquhar

Cancer Society

Kia ora everyone,

As some of you may know, Thursday the 4th of February is International Cancer Day.

As part of our national initiative of celebrating ANZASW Social Workers I would like to celebrate the wonderful work ANZASW member Pauline Farquhar from the Cancer Society does as leader of the Central Districts Supportive Care Team (

The Cancer Society is broken up into 6 divisions plus national office. Pauline oversees the delivery of services for the Central District Supportive Care Team, a team of 9 staff with Social Work and Nursing backgrounds plus a number of Field officers. Central districts is a vast area geographically covering the Manawatu, Wanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Gisborne areas and can be quite rural which adds its own specific challenges.

Her role consists of supervising the Supportive Care Team, administrative reporting, staying ‘grounded’ with her own set of clients, involved on the steering group overseeing the roll out of 20 Social Workers across the country – made possible with the funding allocated to improve the Faster Cancer Treatment programme from the 2014 budget – and making sure the Central Districts Supportive Care Team delivers within the Psycho Social Care Framework.

PaulinePauline has been a social worker for 22 years with 8 of those years at the Cancer Society and absolutely loves her job so much so she doesn’t dread Monday morning when she gets ready for another week and doesn’t see it as ‘having to go to work’.

Prior to working at the Cancer Society Pauline worked for a local NGO in the youth sexual offending sector and found herself burnt out. Deciding she needed a break to reassess her life she resigned and decided to have some time doing things for herself. After a ‘week rearranging the linen cupboard twice’ a role at the Cancer Society was advertised and she applied.

Pauline has been at the forefront of organisational change for the Central District Supportive Care Team being instrumental in adding process and structure to how the Supportive Care team delivers to their clients.

Pauline considers the best part of her job is the people she works with and to know she has added some value to someone’s life dealing with cancer and considers her role a real privilege.

On World Cancer Day the Cancer Society in Hawkes Bay has invited patients and family to a morning tea with a gathering of health professionals in the afternoon discussing what the point of difference the Cancer Society in Hawkes Bay provides and how far we have come in the area of cancer.

It was a real pleasure talking to Pauline and I would like to thank her for spending the time in talking about what she does in her social work role day to day.