Tree planting acknowledges Crestani Scholarships

Bronwyn Chambers, Professor Yolanda Surjan, Yvonne Crestani, Professor Deborah Cockrell and American donor Erika Reen at the tree planting

A wattle tree was planted recently at the University of Newcastle’s Ourimbah campus to acknowledge Crestani Scholarships and the role it plays in helping to achieve better outcomes for Central Coast cancer patients.

The wattle, a native to the area, was planted outside the café.

Professor Deborah Cockrell and Karen Tucker from the university joined Crestani Scholarships founder Yvonne Crestani, a number of volunteers and scholarship donor Erika Reen, who is visiting from Connecticut, USA.

Indigenous Education and Research elder and university staff member, Bronwyn Chambers, performed the Welcome to Country ceremony.

The tree planting ceremony and morning tea aimed to recognise Crestani Scholarships’ role in advancing radiotherapy skills and techniques – through education – achieving better outcomes for local cancer patients.

Reen and her husband Mike have financially supported the Foundation since its inception in 2007 after meeting Crestani and her late husband Chris in 2001 in their American hometown.

She last visited Australia in 2018 to catch up with the Foundation and its work.

“We got to meet Mitchell, a radiotherapy student we had sponsored, at the scholarship presentation at Gosford Hospital which was nice,” Reen said.

“We got to meet him again in Newcastle this visit.”

Crestani and her dedicated band of volunteers have raised thousands of dollars over more than a decade to fund scholarships which are awarded to local radiotherapists to advance their education by learning new techniques and skills.

This has resulted in bringing the latest international state-of-the-art techniques and treatments available to help cancer patients on the Central Coast and Newcastle.

“We were very pleased that our work was acknowledged and honoured in this way,” Crestani said.

“Our single aim has always been to achieve better outcomes for cancer patients here on the Central Coast.”

The Crestani Foundation was set up in memory of Crestani’s husband Chris, who was chief radiotherapist at St Vincents Hospital before he succumbed to cancer in 2006 after treating cancer patients for more than 40 years.

For more information contact or call 0416 241 110.

Media release, Nov 4
Crestani Scholarships