Matavai presents $10,000 to the Samoa Cancer Society

The Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts group is returning home to Sydney, but not before visiting the Samoa Cancer Society bearing a gift.

This month is Pinktober, dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and breaking down stigma and barriers which prevent people from getting their symptoms check and their illnesses treated.

Honouring the cause is Sydney-based Matavai, who performed for a fundraising crowd of 400 at a concert on Tuesday night.

While their presence at the concert was a major draw for the audience to spend $125 on a seat or $1.000 for a table of eight, the dancers, parent supporters and organisers went one step further.

Matavai Founder and Director, Maryjane McKibbin Schwenke, said she hoped the donation would help the Cancer Society better equip themselves in their work with cancer patients.

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“We try to teach at Matavai that it is better to give than to receive,” she said.

“Many kids here have family members who have suffered from cancer, and so supporting this cause is close to our hearts.

“This cheque is a message that you are not alone in Samoa in this fight, and we are standing together.”

The group is made up of children and adults who are migrants from the Pacific to Australia. Ms McKibbin Schwenke said she hopes the group will go on to support other Pacific Island cancer societies as well. 

Samoa Cancer Society Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Verona Parker was slightly teary as she accepted the cheque on behalf of the Society.

“Bravo, Matavai family and thank you for your contribution,” she said.

“You face a big challenge in Australia keeping our culture alive in a big country, and you are living proof that it can be done.”

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