Our Staff

The Rise Above – Capital Region CancerRelief office operated for 15 years on a voluntary basis.  However as the demands on the Group have grown, so has the need for office staff.

Fortunately, through the help of the ACT Health Directorate, the group receives government assistance to help with funding full-time office based staff.  The balance of administration costs comes from the rent of the group’s four-bedroom unit which is located above the office.  This building was purchased in 2000, thanks to the generosity of The Queanbeyan Leagues Club.


Melissa Gardiner is currently the CEO of Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief. She has 16 years experience in Customer Service at Management level, 17 years experience as a bookkeeper, 10 years experience managing large fundraising events. For the past 6 years, she has organised fundraising events for the NSW Cancer Council which included a quiz night three years in a row attracting over 180 people each year.

Melissa Gardiner

Senior Administrator

Lorraine O’Brien is currently Senior Administrator at Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief. She has over 30 years’ experience in Business Administration and Customer Service. She has been involved with the group for over 6 years, originally a patient of the group then went on to volunteer.  During this time, she became a member of the Board.  Lorraine has worked mainly in Universities in Canberra, both ANU and, University of Canberra, where she studied and was awarded her postgraduate degree in Business Administration in 2009.  Also a local business owner, she has a vast amount of experience in customer service, enjoys working within the community, as well as personal experience with cancer.

Volunteer Coordinator and Administration

Katelyn is currently the newest member of Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief with her role of Volunteer and Administration Coordination. Kate is often referred to as a “breathe of fresh air” or an “energiser bunny” around the office, as she is able to talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles and is always go go go.