Helping make a difference


Getting diagnosed with a life-threatening illness can be compared with free-falling without a safety net. In a split second your life is spinning out of control and it is unstoppable. Sadly, we all know of someone who has found himself or herself in such a life-altering situation. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer. In 2017, it is estimated that 17,586 women and 144 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, an average of 48 people every day.

One woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer was Jane McGrath. Unusually she was barely 31 years old at the time. After marrying celebrated Australian cricket fast bowler Glenn in 1999 and based on her experience with the aftermath of the disease, they established the McGrath Foundation to raise money for Sydney’s St George Cancer clinic. Now, Jane had seen a thing or two about resilience in sport, and when in 2003 the cancer returned she perceived herself less as a victim the second time around.

She realised that many people face trauma in their lives and she promised to ‘rise to the challenge’. And that she did. This time around Jane experienced first-hand the warm embrace of support of a breast care nurse, and saw the benefit of her own ‘pink angel’ not only for herself but for Glenn and their children. Her pipe dream was that every family in Australia experiencing breast cancer should have the support of an ‘angel’ and the McGrath Foundation began to focus on offering care and support to those who need it, and to celebrate ‘life’ because life is there to be lived. Jane was terrified that girls were growing up thinking breast cancer wouldn’t touch them, because she knew from experience that it does.

Uncompromising, she surrounded herself with positive energy and never lost hope, she became a warrior and worked harder that even Glenn could imagine. So it was with great shock and sadness that Australia learned that Jane McGrath had died on 22 June 2008 aged just 42.

Since then the McGrath Foundation has evolved into a breast cancer education and support charity aimed at making sure every person suffering from breast cancer has access to a specialised breast care nurse, regardless of where they live or their financial situation. The McGrath Foundation carries on not only Jane’s vision, but her sense of fun, generosity of spirit and love for life and after ten years it was time that the renewed focus and spirit of the Foundation was reflected in its identity.

McGrath and the Hulsbosch team both agreed that the Foundation needed a more recognisable logo to raise awareness in order to take the Foundation’s message into the future. It was necessary to develop a blueprint that would show the way to communicate with people and with the organisations that support McGrath Foundation’s vision such as; corporate partners, government, community fundraisers, donors, media, and of course the care nurses themselves. This strategic blueprint then would provide the parameters to develop an identity.

Together with the Foundation the Hulsbosch team set out to define the brand values, as they are crucial to the success of achieving Jane’s vision. The core beliefs of friendship, wellbeing, innovation and integrity infused every aspect of the Foundation and were to underpin the brand’s image of fun, passion and empowerment. Like Jane, the brand image needed to demonstrate that, with love and respect, you get things done.

With its work cut out the Hulsbosch team designed a logo that is true to the brand essence: ‘life is to be lived’ and its promise of providing care, support and expertise. The Foundation’s previous design was very heavily focused on cricket. However the new design is a looping, deep pink embracing design that is a suggestion of the familiar cancer ribbon and a heart. The bold graphic of the ‘life force’ is symbolic of the continuing experience of all those touched by breast cancer and the optimism that is synonymous with the Foundation itself.

As Glenn McGrath, Foundation Chairman and Cricket Legend, stated in 2017; ‘The new logo represents the warm embrace of the care and support provided by McGrath Breast Care Nurses, and also reflects the energy and vitality of supporters, and friends of the McGrath Foundation’. The new branding evolves Jane McGrath’s favourite colour pink from the Foundation’s traditional pink: ‘It is a moodier hot pink, paired with the richness of aubergine and secondary colours red, purple, soft blue and soft pink bringing versatility and expressiveness to the McGrath Foundation look and feel’.

‘Great brands stand out not because they try too hard or are too clever, but because they are authentic and provide a product or service that is clearly communicated to their target audience. Doing this well is extremely hard. For those of us that love connecting brands and audiences, this is the fun stuff that gets you up every day and makes you brim with ideas’. Since the rebrand the Foundation has been on an upward trajectory. The Foundation has achieved double-digit revenue growth and negotiated the renewal of the Federal Government’s financial commitment ($20.5 million) for four more years.

In 2017 the McGrath Foundation has over 100 breastcare nurses working across Australia, representing nearly 40 per cent of the national breast care nursing community. Said Jane McGrath in 2008; ‘The time is here for me to leave this life. I have fought the good fight to the end, I have done my best in this race, I have run the full distance and I have kept the faith’. It is Hulsbosch’s fervent wish that they have reflected Jane’s hopes and dreams and that the new logo goes a long way to making a difference.

‘I am especially proud of re-branding the organisation and increasing the brand awareness and ranking of the Foundation in “AMR’s Charity Reputation Index”, from ninth to seventh place nationally, and the consistent ranking in the top five of the “GiveEasy Innovation Index”’

Petra Buchanan
CEO, McGrath Foundation