Dragons Abreast Australia - In the loop
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November 2016

From The DAA Chair and Board

Dear fellow paddlers, supporters and friends of DAA,

On behalf of Sue Bowen DAA Chair I am stepping in to write this column on Sue's behalf.   Currently Sue is having a having a well deserved rest (we hope) with her family in Townsville.  
Mabel Sansom, Board Director 

2016 National Regatta – Sunshine Coast 

There are many exciting DAA events happening but before we highlight them an update on the National Regatta held this past July.  If you were there you know what a fantastic two days we had in Caloundra.   The weather was perfect, the enthusiasm over the top, the organization amazing and of course we all had lots of fun.  Some highlights of the event were: 

  • 431 registered to paddle and an additional 61 for dinner. 

  • Our Ambassador Robyn Moore attended both days and was again an awesome dinner speaker with a powerful and positive message 

  • CanSurvive from Wellington New Zealand attended and won many races! 

  • Introduction of ‘drug testing’.  Only kidding but you had to be there to understand!!!! 

  • Introduction of 'Best War Cry' and 'Warm Up' competitions 

  • Recognizing the world’s oldest paddler - 93 year young Pat Daly from Bribie Island.  This is likely Pat’s last paddle as she is retiring from competitive paddling!!  Pat you are a true inspiration 

  • An emotional and beautiful Flowers on the Water ceremony 

Events like this just don’t happen and the months of planning were evident! 
A big thank you to the Regatta Committee and to name a few Rosalie Thomas, Pat Hancock and Jo Parry.   Your team did an amazing job and all that attended appreciated your efforts and creativity. There was never a dull moment. 
DAA plans on doing it all again in 2018 and we believe it is an important event that brings together our members to not only paddle but compete, support each other and most importantly be inspired.  If your group is interested in hosting the 2018 National Regatta we would like to hear from you – 
2016 DAA Festival – Sydney 
The 9th annual Festival was again a big success and what a day it was!!!  The weather gods were not with us but that didn't 'dampen' the spirits and smiles (a little wet at times) could be seen all day.  With 33 teams registered, including 9 DAA teams, it was a day of races and the competition was fierce. There was terrific corporate support and we thank our highest fundraisers: 

Team Novartis $6,509.50 

DA Sydney Power $5,783.52 

CBA CAN Team $5,186.10 

A special mention to the Rum Paddlers who raised $5,682.68 and all the other crews that raised over and above the minimum donation.  Thank You!!!! 

Winner of the best dressed team was San Dragons who were all dressed as Storm Troopers (Star Wars).  They were a sight to behold on the water.  

As you know many volunteers helped make this day a great success and we thank them for their time, energy and commitment to DAA.  A special big THANK YOU to Angie O'Reilly, our Festival Project Manager, for another great event.   If you didn't make it to the Festival this year please note the date 21st October 2017 for our 10th anniversary Festival. Hope to see you there. 

2016 National Paddle Month 
During the month of October we ask our groups to do ‘something special’ to highlight the benefits of dragon boat paddling after treatment for breast cancer.  Groups pick the day of the month they wish to celebrate DAA and activities such as ‘come and try’, morning tea or BBQ are suggested.  However, groups are also asked to be creative with their event to raise awareness of DAA and encourage new members to join.  We haven't yet been advised of all events that took place but do want to give a special mention to Dragons Abreast Penrith who celebrated at the Sydney International Regatta Centre and Bribie Island who hosted a family Fun Day.  Did you do something special – please let us know. 

2017 Convention – Save the Date!!!  
DAA hosts a Members’ convention every other year.  This next one is on April 29th and 30th 2017 in Melbourne.   Join members from around Australia to share, plan, learn and be inspired.  Have fun, meet peers and on the Sunday a special heritage paddle followed by a picnic lunch.  Registrations open in January and there will be an early bird special so don't miss out.  More details are available now on our website.   
We ask that each group send two representatives and you can fundraise for them to attend.  Why not start now?  The convention and dinner will be held at Parkview Alberta Park on St. Kilda Road.    

Thank You
It is with sad hearts that we say goodbye to some long time groups – Camden Haven, Merimbula and Clarence Valley!   We thank you for all that you have done for Dragons Abreast Australia especially giving breast cancer survivors an opportunity to paddle and improve their health after treatment.  We wish you well in all future endeavours. 
As a reminder, members are eligible to be individual members of DAA - we would love to have you stay in our DAA family.   The Membership Application is available on line.  While only persons associated with DAA Member Groups have the right to use the trademarked names and logos, you are still able to be part of DAA as an individual member and participate in Dragons Abreast events.

Florence July 2018
Excitement is building about the upcoming IBCPC Festival in Florence.   We know many DAA groups are entering teams. To accommodate individual members who wish to attend, DAA has approval for three composite teams.  Places are filling fast and the total number of teams for the event is limited to 120.  If you would like more information on the Festival visit the official website at     
DAA would also like to thank Sandy Jansen and Ros Webb for agreeing to coordinate the teams for the composite boats.  The contact email for the DAA composite teams is  

Board Report 
Your Board has been very busy during the past year with many changes, including an updated Constitution that gives each member group the right to vote at our Annual General Meeting.   The AGM will be held on 29th November 2016 by conference call.   Details have been sent to all groups and it is extremely important that each group appoint a representative to be at the meeting or send in a proxy by 18th November.  If you didn't receive this information or have questions please contact the office.    

Recently the Board finalised the key objectives within our Strategic plan for this financial year, and we are happy to advise that most objectives for the past year were accomplished.  This included a new easier to use website, a very successful National Convention in July 2015 and National Regatta 2016, meeting our goals for the DAA Festival, redesigning our marketing material which will soon be sent to groups and of course appointing Julie Walsh as our Communications Manager.   
Another key objective this past year was to update our Trade Mark User Agreement and Group Membership Terms and Conditions.   As our membership year was changed to 1st October the new agreements were sent in late August and we are happy to advise all groups have signed the documents.   A big thank you to all groups for your co-operation and promptly returning the documents.  Your assistance is very much appreciated. 

Sue (Chair) and the Board, Anne, Jo, Marion, Christy & Mabel 

What's happening

Dragons Abreast National Regatta 2016

My first DAA Regatta!!

Wow, what an experience!! I don't think I have ever been witness to so much love, support, fun, determination, kindness, excitement, camaraderie and pure joy in one place at the one time. It definitely was a celebration of life. You gave me the gift of being a part of that and it is something that I will always cherish. Thank you!!

One of my favourite things at the Regatta was to get to meet you all and put a face to the names I know so well!!! I thank you for asking lots of questions at Registration and at the Administration tent, because it helped me to learn more – I hope I provided good advice!!

I went to the Regatta only knowing about 15 people but I now feel like I have experienced first hand what all of the brochures say – that being a part of DAA provides you with "Awareness, Participation and Inclusiveness" and a whole lot of new friends!!.

I will admit that I also shed a few tears over the weekend – they were happy, sad and OMG tears.

  • The Flowers on the Water ceremony wrapped everyone up in one giant hug and gave us a safe place to remember our Angels.
  • My happy tears were from laughing so much – and we all know that laughter is good for us!! A special thanks goes to the team's chants, the "drug testers", Adrianna Murray and Robyn Moore for a lot of that laughter!!
  • My OMG tears were from the constant display of love, support and respect that I witnessed over the whole weekend. The biggest example of this was when the absolutely incredible Pat Daly (Bribie Island) got out of the boat for the last time at a Regatta, and people ran from everywhere with their paddles to form a guard of honour for her – goose bumps and tears!!!

I want to say a special thank you to all of the ladies that stood (or sat) by my side all weekend and helped me whenever I needed it. You are all amazing!!!

Thank you Dragons Abreast Australia for a weekend I will never forget!

Julie Walsh
Dragons Abreast Australia Office

Dragons Abreast 9th Annual Festival

Well it's over for another year! The weather gods were not with us this year but it didn't 'dampen' the spirits of you all with smiles to be seen all day long!

Save the Date
Our 10th Anniversary Dragons Abreast Festival will be held on Saturday, 21st October 2017 at Cockle Bay - please save the date and share.

There are hundreds fantastic images already uploaded to our facebook page by our amazing volunteer Festival Photographer, Tom Bungbrakearti. Many thanks to Tom for his generous and brilliant contribution.

Donations are still possible until 30th November 2016. Please either donate to your team, individual crew member or to the event itself using the link below: 
Donate Now

Thank you
Finally on behalf of the Board of Dragons Abreast Australia and myself I would like to sincerely thank you all for volunteering, participating, donating and making our 9th Annual Festival a fantastic event because, without you, there is no Festival.

We look forward to seeing you in 2017 for our 10th Anniversary!

Let it run...

Angie O'Reilly
Festival Project Manager
Dragons Abreast Australia

Welcome to Pittwater Pinks

We are very proud to say that Pittwater Pinks have joined the Dragons Abreast family.  This fantastic team are lucky enough to paddle on the beautiful waters of Pittwater, Bayview in New South Wales.  

The team paddle every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (in summer) and love the fun, fitness and friendship that dragon boating provides.  

Thank you to Glenda Rogers (Team Coordinator) and the whole Pittwater Pinks team for joining Dragons Abreast Australia and we look forward to sharing many memorable moments with you!!

Around the Country

Dawn Hangs Up Her Paddle

After 11 years of dragon boat paddling and at the age of 80, Dawn Worley has decided that it’s the right time to hang up her paddle.
Dawn was a founding member of Dragons Abreast Bribie Island (DABI) in 2008. She served as President for a number of years and is a staunch upholder of the DA ethos.

Read more....

Keeping North Queensland Abreast of the Times

On Saturday 21st May 2016, Twin Titties (Townsville's Dragons Abreast club) hosted a one day free conference for people affected by breast cancer.  Topics included current treatments for breast cancer, breast reconstruction options and life after treatment. 

Read more

Dragons Abreast Penrith celebrate National Paddle Month

Dragons Abreast Penrith celebrated DAA National Paddle Day at Sydney International Regatta Centre Penrith with special guests John Thain, Mayor for Penrith, Emma Hussar,Federal member for Lindsay and Susan Templeman, Federal member for Macquarie.

Read more

Bribie Island Family Fun Day Celebrating National Paddle Month

To celebrate the DAA National paddle month this year, Dragon’s Abreast Bribie Island, held a family fun day on the Pine River at Deep Water Bend on the 1st of October.   A beautiful morning paddling with family and friends.  

Read more

DA Bunbury donate a pink dragon boat to Broome Rotary Club

We have had the Pink boat sitting in a rack and paying storage for it, we decided to offer it to Broome as I know they have a fun regatta every year and thought it could go to good use.

I contacted Richard Baker who accepted immediately as they had just recently had boat break up at the last regatta, after some weeks of organising we finally loaded onto a trailer and had it delivered to the Perth depot for transport to Broome.  It made to the front page of the Broome Advertiser and it is being used to promote Breast Cancer awareness on the day, a great outcome, I wish I could be there!!!

Read more

DA Bendigo meet Marilyn Munroe

Earlier in the year Dragons Abreast Bendigo had to try to cope with training even though our lake is almost empty.  We are meeting weekly to walk around our lake and doing some fitness training as well to keep us motivated.

We had 14 paddlers go to the DAA regatta in Queensland in June and we have also had some road trips to Ballarat to paddle with the Ballarat team.

Our team photo was taken under the amazing Marilyn Monroe statue that is currently visiting Bendigo, and Marilyn also turned pink to support the Breast Cancer month of May.

Media Stars

The following media stories acknowledge our member's achievements and the work that they do, to promote health and wellness for breast cancer survivors through dragon boating.

Dragons Abreast Sunshine Coast

Dragons Abreast Bendigo

Dragons Abreast Peninsula

Dragons Abreast Hobart

Dragons Abreast Mackay

If you, or your group, are media stars, send us a link so we can celebrate with you and share your story!!!

Comfort Hearts

Looking for that unique little gift for someone special?  Why not consider a Comfort Heart.  Made of pewter this elegant little heart can say many different things such as:

  • I love you
  • I care
  • Get well soon
  • You are always in my heart
  • Happy Mother’s Day
  • Merry Christmas

They also make great little hostess gifts, Christmas tree decoration, pendant or hang it from your keychain.
This heart is exclusive to Dragons Abreast Australia. Proceeds benefit DAA and help us support breast cancer survivors.
To order, email DAA at

Cost is $20.00

Merry Christmas

With only a few weeks to Christmas this is our last In the Loop until the new year. 

The Board would like to wish everyone  a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2017.  If you are travelling during the holiday season be safe, and enjoy your time with family and friends.

Upcoming events

Around Australia

03 December 2016

Dragons Abreast Canberra - Come and Try Day 
Lotus Bay, off Alexandrina Drive Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT

11-12 February 2017

Lake Barrington Regatta
Lake Barrington, Tasmania

29-30 April 2017

Dragons Abreast Australia Convention
Parkview Albert Park, 562 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC

21 October 2017

Dragons Abreast Australia Festival - 10th Anniversary 
Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW

Around the World
If you are lucky enough to be travelling the world, you may be able to attend one of the following international breast cancer dragon boat events.

02-04 June 2017

Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

06-08 July 2018

2018 IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival, Florence, Italy

Want to know more about these events? Ask us. Do you have a local event coming up?  Email us with the details so we can share with everyone.

Thanks to our Sponsors

Dragons Abreast is pleased to welcome Myck Design as our Creative Partner specialising in branding for both print and web. Myck is extremely proud to be the creative partner for Dragons Abreast Australia and our outstanding support network for breast cancer survivors.

Quality and affordable sporting apparel. Provider of our DAA jackets, with a percentage of proceeds being donated to Dragons Abreast.


Don't forget to take a look at the DAA Shop. We have some special jackets and shirts, kindly provided by JPX2, for sale. A percentage of these purchases comes to Dragons Abreast.
Visit the shop

Contact us
Dragons Abreast Australia
Level 1 - Unit 5 / 525 Lytton Road, Morningside QLD
PO Box 380 Cannon Hill QLD 4170
Phone: (07) 3399 5974 or 1300 889 566
Office hours: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.00am to 4:00pm AEST

Copyright © 2016 Dragons Abreast Australia, All rights reserved.