Purple a point of difference

01/10/2008 - 22:00


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THE Breast Cancer Foundation of Western Australia is maintaining its colourful strategy to rally the Perth business community and raise awareness of the foundation's role.

THE Breast Cancer Foundation of Western Australia is maintaining its colourful strategy to rally the Perth business community and raise awareness of the foundation's role.

Started by Ros Worthington in 2000, the foundation has used purple branding to differentiate itself in the not-for-profit marketplace, which is dominated by national and international breast cancer organisations incorporating pink.

BCFWA general manager Donna Rendell said pink had become synonymous with breast cancer campaigns over the years and the pink ribbon had evolved as the international symbol.

"There is a lot of confusion about why we aren't pink and if we are part of other national organisations. People aren't aware that we are a WA-based, stand-alone charity," Ms Rendell told WA Business News.

"That's why we decided on purple as our corporate colour, to differentiate from other breast cancer organisations.

"Pink is often associated with research, but here in WA purple represents emotional, practical and financial support. Obviously as a not-for-profit [organisation] we don't have the funding to promote ourselves, so people often find us quite by accident."

The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which is focused on research for a cure for cancer, government-funded Breast Screen WA, and lobby group Breast Cancer Network Australia are examples of not-for-profit organisations that use pink in their campaigns or corporate colours.

Pink Ribbon Day is the signature event of the NBCF, which launches its Australia-wide campaigns each October to recognise the achievements of breast cancer research and raise additional funds.

"The general public don't see individual organisations, they just think pink equals breast cancer," Ms Rendell said.

"So it's an education process that there's also an organisation that's purple, which equals WA, emotional financial and practical support."

In what is becoming its signature event, BCFWA is organising the Purple Twilight Walk in October, where nearly 1,500 people are expected to make a four-kilometre trek from Kings Park wearing purple t-shirts.

The foundation, which does not receive government funding, operates solely as a support agency to Western Australian families with a member diagnosed with breast cancer.

"We provide grassroots on-the-ground support," Ms Rendell said.

"People come to us and we ask 'what is your most pressing need?' and then we work with them to find a solution."

Fresh figures show that 36 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in Australia.

"Unless you've been through it, you can't comprehend all that's involved once you are diagnosed; the financial strain, keeping the family together, child care while undergoing treatment, not being able to lift your children after undergoing surgery, continuing work while going through treatment and then when the treatment finishes everyone just expects you to get back to your old life and yet there's so many psychological scars that take time to heal," Ms Rendell said.

"We're very focused on not duplicating services and working closely with other breast cancer organisations to find the best possible outcomes for our clients.

"We may not have a cure for breast cancer yet, but we aim to smooth the way and make the journey for our clients just that little bit easier."


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