18 May 2020
This May, the students from Flinders Medical Students’ Society (FMSS) are putting the kettle on and connecting online by hosting a virtual Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.
Every year in May, thousands of South Australians gather family, friends, and loved ones to host a Biggest Morning Tea and raise vital funds for Cancer Council SA; however, this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, hosts have had to move their morning teas online.
The students are joining thousands of Australians across the country who are hosting a virtual Biggest Morning Tea, using it as a way to socialise and connect with each other during times of social distancing.
“It is so important to look after our well-being during medical school, especially now, with many of us spending so much time isolated from one another. Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea seemed like the perfect event for us to support not only our own health and well-being, but also that of those directly affected by cancer,” said Tiani Pakos, FMSS Director for Health and Well-being.
FMSS Committee Member Jesse Walsh agrees.
“We’re a really social group, with many of our events throughout the year aimed at supporting students and encouraging them to give back. Like everyone, COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate and connect, including learning from home instead of in the hospital.”
Jesse says that for the students, supporting Cancer Council SA was the obvious choice, with many of them experiencing the impacts of cancer firsthand.
“A lot of us have had close family or friends impacted by cancer and know how important organisations like Cancer Council are in providing information and support. For me personally, I’ve had five family members diagnosed with cancer,” she said.
The FMSS Virtual Morning Tea on Sunday 31 May will be held online via Zoom, with prizes and competitions, along with guest speakers organised by FMSS Engagement Director, Eleanor Horsburgh.
All the money raised will go towards supporting Cancer Council SA’s vital programs and services, such as Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project, a research collaboration between Cancer Council SA, SAHMRI and the universities (including Flinders University) which funds some of the state’s best and brightest cancer researchers.
“As Flinders University is situated in Flinders Medical Centre, it gives us privileged access to cancer researchers, such as Dr Lauren Thurgood who will be our guest speaker for the event” says Eleanor.
Dr Thurgood was a receipt of the Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project in 2018, with the project focussing on nutrient uptake in blood cancers and whether altering the ability of cells to utilise nutrients could offer new therapeutic options for these patients.
“Knowing that the money we raise will fund Flinders University cancer researchers makes the event even more special to all of us,” Jesse said.
For more information and to support the Flinders Medical Society Morning Tea visit https://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/fundraisers/fmss/flinders-medical-student-society--s-morning-tea
To register host your own virtual morning tea visit www.biggestmornnigtea.com.au. The official day to host a Morning Tea is Thursday 28 May however you can register to host an event any time throughout May or June.
Every host who registers will receive a free digital host kit with everything they need to make their virtual morning tea a success.