Bendigo's Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged hosts Afternoon Teal in honour of Maureen Brown

It was time for a change. And if Jaynette Robins was going to cut her long, blonde hair, she thought it should be for a good cause.

Jaynette’s friend and former colleague, the late Maureen Brown, inspired today’s fundraising event at Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged.

The afternoon tea was in aid of Ovarian Cancer Australia. 

A cut above the rest

Cancer claimed Maureen Brown at the age of 52.

Her husband, Peter Brown, and daughter Catherine said she was brave and selfless until the end.

Even a diagnosis of ovarian cancer didn’t stop her from doing the work she loved, with the people she loved, for as long as she possibly could.

But the cancer was well advanced by the time Maureen was diagnosed, two years ago.

Peter said few people lived with the condition for more than five years.

Today, Maureen’s former colleagues and clients marked Teal Ribbon Day in her memory with an afternoon tea.

Mercy Health Bethlehem staffer Jaynette Robins sacrificed her hair to make wigs. 

She aimed to raise $500 for Ovarian Cancer Australia by having her hair cut.

Maureen’s husband, Peter Brown, took on the role of hairdresser for the day.

Maureen had been part of the Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged staff since 2000.

She died on January 3, days after attending an event in her honour at the Golden Square facility. 

Former colleague and friend, Colleen Singe, said Maureen’s fight against ovarian cancer had raised awareness of the condition among the staff and residents.

“I didn’t realise the symptoms,” Colleen said.

“You’re not going to go to the doctor because you’re tired, are you?”

Common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, increased frequency or urgency of urination, and feeling full after eating a small amount of food.

As the Ovarian Cancer Australia website notes, the symptoms are often associated with less serious and more common women’s health issues.

Peter was hopeful today’s event would help raise awareness of ovarian cancer, as well as remembering his wife.

“Maureen would have loved this,” he said as he looked out to the teal-coloured tables laden with sweets and treats, and surrounded by residents and staffers.

For more information about ovarian cancer, visit

To support Jaynette’s fundraiser, visit