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Olive McMahon Lodge - Toowoomba
The Olive McMahon Lodge provides a home away from home for regional cancer patients who travel to Toowoomba for cancer treatment. It improves access to cancer screening, detection, treatment, and support services.
The opening of the Lodge in 2011 was the culmination of many years of work by Cancer Council Queensland and its supporters.
The total cost to purchase and refurbish the facility was roughly $3 million. Ongoing costs are approximately $500,000 each year.
Lodge Capacity and Features
Thank you to our Supporters
Cancer Council Queensland is proud to honour the memory of Olive McMahon and thanks her family for their support and dedication to the project. The Queensland government provided a $3 million grant from the three-year $15 million Regional Patient Accommodation Scheme.
This project was made possible by the combined Rotary Clubs of Toowoomba, The John Villiers Trust and Heritage Building Society.
Thanks also go to the tremendous efforts of many other individuals, organisations, businesses and of course our hard working Volunteer Branches in South West Queensland.
About Olive McMahon
“Surviving cancer rapidly helps clarify one’s priorities! Who wants to waste a moment of bonus time?!”
Olive McMahon 1923-2010.
Born in Roma in 1923, Olive McMahon had a lifelong passion for education and music. Her academic studies and professional dedication established her reputation as an early childhood education pioneer in Queensland.
Her early education was at East Toowoomba State School, followed by Fairholme College. In 1941 she began studying at Brisbane Kindergarten Training College. With the Second World War underway, the Training College was closed and Olive joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (Signals) where she reached the rank of lieutenant. She served until her discharge in 1945 and then recommenced her early childhood training, graduating in 1947 with a diploma of kindergarten nursery teaching.
In 1969 Olive was diagnosed with breast cancer, an experience which led her to volunteer for Cancer Council Queensland. Olive overcame breast cancer and went on to use her own experience to help others.
Olive continued her passionate commitment to education by completing a master’s degree in special education at James Cook University in 1976, and went on to hold several senior lecturing positions in Brisbane until her retirement in 1988. By then she was acting head of the School of Early Childhood Studies at what is now the Queensland University of Technology.
Her lifetime of dedication and learning has been honoured by many prestigious professional acknowledgements, including acknowledgement for her contribution to early childhood music education by the International Society of Music Educator’s Early Childhood Commission at their World Conference in 1992.
Olive died on 3 May 2010. Her love of life and devotion to others enriched the lives of all who met her. She is survived today by her sister Fran, and her beloved nieces and nephews, who are also friends of Cancer Council Queensland.
In preparing her Will, Olive formalised her passionate commitment to Cancer Council Queensland by entrusting us with funds from her estate. Her sizeable gift enables us to continue our vital work today, to pursue our vision for a cancer free Queensland.
We are proud to honour the legacy of Olive McMahon and are grateful to be the beneficiary of the Olive McMahon estate.
Would you like to support Cancer Council Queensland’s work?
You can donate online or call our Donor Hotline on 1300 663 936.