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Support programs for women with breast cancer

The Mater Private Breast Cancer Centre provides a range of free support programs designed to enhance the lives of women with breast cancer. These programs include lifestyle enhancement seminars, exercise programs, a unique yoga and meditation series and support groups designed to support women and their families.
To book or make an enquiry about any of the programs listed below please email or call 07 3163 1166.

Lifestyle enhancement seminars

Seminars which provide practical everyday advice on how to manage overall health and wellbeing. Groups are conducted by qualified experts in the field of breast cancer.  

Date Time Session Presenter
Saturday 16 April  10 am - 12noon  Reducing cancer risk through nutrition, exercise and sunshine Dr David Wilkinson, Breast and Endocrine Specialist
Saturday 30 April 10 am - 12noon
The Who, What,
Where and How of Lymphoedema
Ann Hyatt, Occupational Therapist
Saturday 21 May  10 am - 12noon A Taste of Mindfulness (Part 1) Debbie Lacey, Occupational Therapist
Saturday 28 May  10 am - 12noon A Taste of Mindfulness (Part 2) Debbie Lacey, Occupational Therapist
Saturday 11 June  10 am - 12noon 'Let's Talk' - Intimacy, sexuality, relationships, getting back to normal Ann Hardy, Social Worker
Saturday 20 August  10 am - 12noon Concerns about cognition;attention, memory and fatigue Merrilyn Tefey, Occupational Therapist
Saturday 29 October  10 am - 12noon Nutrition for thriving after breast cancer Janet Schloss, Nutritionist

Where: Conference Room, Level 1 Mater Medical Centre, 293 Vulture Street, South Brisbane
When: Saturdays 10 am to 12 noon

*Free validated parking available. Morning tea provided.

 Program is available to those who have undergone treatment at any hospital.

For bookings or enquiries please email

Yoga, meditation and more

This program is designed to help prepare the body and mind to face new challenges within a safe and supportive women’s group. 

Facilitated by an experienced yoga and art therapist you will be introduced to tools of meditative movement and mindful creative process to nurture yourself through physical and emotional changes, alleviate anxiety and cultivate the skills for living each moment fully.

Learn to use simple props, like the chair, in movement sequences that are easily adaptable to a home practice and can help promote deep, restful sleep and a tension free body.

Where:  Cultivate Calm Yoga, 963 Stanley Street East, East Brisbane

Turning In - Yoga and Creative self-enquiry:

This group experience focuses on integrating aspects of mind and body within a supportive and sacred women’s space. Participants will learn healing yoga practices and creative art therapies for self-enquiry, expression and meditation.

No experience required. Bookings essential.

Tuesdays 12 pm - 2.30 pm

Term Dates:

  • 19 July to 4 August (4 week term)
  • 16 August to 13 September (5 week term)
  • 4 October to 9 November (6 week term) 


Reconnect - Franklin Method and Pilates:

Pilates exercises incorporate techniques using thera-band and ball apparatus to help recover sensory motor control, strength, precision and coordination. The sessions aim to enhance overall well-being with specific focus on the pelvis, spine, shoulder and knee.

Open to beginners, drop in class - no bookings required.

Thursdays 12 pm - 2.30 pm

Term Dates:

  • 21 July to 11 August - Discover your pelvic power
  • 18 August to 15 September - Celebrate your superior spine
  • 6 October to 20 October - Release your neck and shoulders
  • 27 October to 10 November - Know thy knee

Numbers are strictly limited. 

For bookings or enquiries please email



Renae Stevens is a registered Art and Yoga Therapist local to West End, Brisbane. Her special interest is in working with women. As a therapist who applies the pyscho-somatic tools of art and yoga, Renae has a deep appreciation for the importance of sensory integration, play, self-regulation, connection and creativity as aspects of health and well-being. Renae has researched the  effects of combining both art and yoga therapy for reducing symptoms of trauma and found positive results, and she continues to be inspired by the power of these practices for healing mind and body.


Support groups

These support groups provide the opportunity for women who have undergone the challenges of breast cancer to come together in a relaxed and private setting and discuss a range of important topics. Groups are facilitated by psychiatrist Dr Nina Petroff and run over a 6 week period.

Two groups are currently available:

Mothers' Group – for women with children (under 18yo) to share their experiences and challenges of undergoing treatment for breast cancer whilst parenting. The program is run during the school term.

Broad themes covered in the program:

  • The impact of diagnosis and treatment (on both children and parents)
  • Communicating with children and understanding their individual coping styles
  • Knowing when and how to get help 
  • Relationships and Body image and Self Esteem
  • End of treatment issues, coping with uncertainty
  • Where to from here? Looking forward

Young Women’s Group – for women who have not yet had children and may be either single or partnered. This group provides the opportunity for women to share their experiences and challenges of undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The program is flexible and tailored to meet the needs of the individual group.

Broad themes covered in the program:

  • The impact of diagnosis and treatment
  • Communication and self care
  • Knowing when and how to get help for anxiety or depression. 
  • Relationships, Body image and Self Esteem  
  • End of treatment issues, Coping with Uncertainty
  • Where to from here? Looking forward


Dates and venue details available upon application.

Numbers are strictly limited. 

For bookings or enquiries please email


Dr Nina Petroff
Dr Petroff is a Consultant Psychiatrist working in private practice in Brisbane, based at Axis Clinic, New Farm.

A graduate of the University of Queensland Medical School, she completed her specialist training in Adult Psychiatry in Sydney.

Dr Petroff has a broad clinical experience in Early Intervention and Youth Mental Health Services in the public system in both Queensland and New South Wales. Her main areas of interest are mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders.


Healthy Women Exercise Program

This group is run by a dedicated team of Physiotherapists who have developed a program to target the physical and emotional wellbeing of women with breast cancer. Featuring education and exercise components, the program is conducted over a 6-week period with 2 x 1-hour sessions each week. 

Exercise components include:

  • Pilates and core-stability
  • Gym Circuit
  • Cardio
  • Balance and movement control

Education components include:

  • The importance of exercise after breast cancer
  • Osteoporosis and exercise - injury prevention
  • Continence and exercise 

Where: Active Rehabilitation Phyio Annerley, 20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba

When: Tuesday and Thursday 11 am to 12 noon

Start dates: (6 week course)

  • Term 1:  19 April 2016
  • Term 2:  31 May 2016
  • Term 3:  12 July 2016
  • Term 4:  23 August 2016
  • Term 5:  4 October 2016
  • Term 6:  15 November 2016

*Numbers are strictly limited.  Program is available to those who have undergone treatment at Mater Public or Private Hospitals.

For bookings or enquiries please email


Alexandra Diggles
B.Phty.(Hons), Grad Dip.(Rehab), M.Public Health, APAM
Alex joined the Active Rehabilitation Physiotherapy team in 2005 and has become a valued member of the Management Team as well as coordinator of hospital patient services.  As a clinician, Alex has had prominent roles in cardiorespiratory, oncology and intensive care physiotherapy.  She also works as one of Active’s Clinical Educators, providing clinical placements for final year physiotherapy students from the University of Queensland.
Alex has a particular interest in physiotherapy for women’s health throughout the lifespan. She has undertaken additional training in treatment of continence and pelvic floor rehabilitation. She has an interest in treatment of chronic pelvic pain and provides physiotherapy for women following breast cancer surgery and during oncology treatment.

Fiona McKinnon

Clinical Educator


Fiona graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland in 1981. She has extensive experience in the acute and rehabilitation hospital environment having worked for numerous years in public and private hospitals in Brisbane, Melbourne, Townsville and country Victoria. Her experience has included the areas of intensive care, medical, surgical, orthopaedics, oncology, ante- and post-natal physiotherapy and paediatrics in the acute hospital setting.   She has also worked as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in the areas of amputee, neurological and orthopaedic rehabilitation. Fiona has had roles as a senior physiotherapist mentoring junior physiotherapists and also as co-ordinator and supervisor of physiotherapy students in rehabilitation.

Louise Agnew


Louise graduated with first class honours in her Bachelor of Physiotherapy from The University of Queensland in 2013. Her honours project provided some insights into the factors affecting workability in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorder. Her research paper was published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2015. Louise achieved a Dean's Commendation for consistently high achievement for each semester of her undergraduate degree. 

Following graduation, Louise commenced work in a physiotherapy private practice. Her experience included a diverse caseload of orthopaedic, chronic pain, geriatric and musculoskeletal patients. Louise is an enthusiast of exercise-based therapy and enjoys incorporating Pilates mat and stretch techniques into her treatments.


Mater Private Hospital Redland programs

Mater Private Hospital Redland has specific support programs offering emotional, practical, educational and social support for women affected by breast cancer.

The Creative Express
Join the Creative Express group helping you to relax, laugh and enjoy yourself through colour, texture and design.
Ongoing program – Saturday 8.30 am to 1 pm (dates available upon enquiry)


Yoga with Mater chicks in pink
The gentle yoga classes have been designed to assist with all stages of recovery.  Come and join our supportive community at Mater Private Hospital Redland
Ongoing program – Weekly Wednesday 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm and Thursdays 8 am to 9 am

For Mater Private Hospital Redland bookings or enquiries please contact:
P 0435 656 675
Mater Private Hospital Redland
16 Weippin Street, Cleveland

Breast Cancer Support

chicks in pink

Show your support and help breast cancer patients by donating to chicks in pink.