Online Project Showcase

Retreats for Women with Breast Cancer

  • Organisation:

    The OTIS Foundation

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    53 093 705 296

  • Scope of Activity:


  • Geographic Location:

    Every state in Australia

  • Target Groups:

    Business Professionals
    Gay and Lesbian
    Rural / Regional


Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):


  • Current Funding (AUD):


  • Funding Needed (AUD):


  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):


  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):


  • DGR Additional Information:


  • Other Funding Partners:


Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 01 Jun 2019
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 01 Oct 2019
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • The OTIS Foundation was founded to provide retreat accommodation at no cost to women who are experiencing breast cancer. OTIS relies on generous property owners, who donate their homes to strangers so they may have time away from the rigours of breast cancer treatment. Guests come from all walks of life and increasingly, OTIS is serving women with young families. Presently, OTIS has 29 properties around Australia and provides approximately 3000 nights of retreat accommodation to women each year, but there are over 18,000 diagnosed annually and the waitlist for a stay is sitting at over 400. OTIS is focussed on sustainable growth to serve more people but internally it needs modern systems to not only support expansion, but critically to extract quality data. OTIS must contribute to the evidence base regarding the impact of psychological wellbeing as part of a wholistic approach to treatment, so it can play its part in influencing policy, practices and systems.
  • Project Description:
  • Presently, OTIS is a typical charity in that its systems are not as contemporary as commercial entities. Many internal processes are paper-based and digital platforms are old and un-integrated. This does not allow OTIS to operate efficiently, nor properly capture our years of data. OTIS has secured the pro bono services of an IT professional to identify gaps and needs; and has acquired the software required, but the systems must be integrated and deployed, the cost of which is estimated to be $25,000. Deploying a new integrated system will allow harmonisation of internal processes and increased efficiencies. More importantly, it will provide the ability to extract meaningful data to support the case for increased focus and funding on researching the impacts of psychological wellbeing on women undergoing breast cancer treatment, and the multiplier effect it has across communities.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer are receiving the medical attention they require, but the psycho-social component, while acknowledged as a vitally important part of a wholistic approach to treatment, is an underserved area. For almost 20 years, OTIS has provided retreat accommodation and holds years of data supporting the notion of psychological benefits, not only for the women themselves, but also their extended social and community networks. Psychological wellbeing is such a critical part of the journey and OTIS wants to be able to demonstrate this. By having up to date, integrated systems, OTIS will be able to extract meaningful data to contribute qualitatively and quantitatively to the body of evidence to support further funding of psychological wellbeing programs to support the breast cancer journey or any other women's disease.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Government is very interested in the psychological component of the treatment of cancer and how to measure those outcomes. By implementing a system that can produce quality data around the outcomes of the service OTIS provides, OTIS will be offering valuable inputs for social return on investment calculations that are critical contributions to submissions focussed on influencing policy, practices and systems at the highest levels. Having this data will also allow OTIS to collaborate with complementary for-purpose organisations. By having an evidence-base to contribute, it opens the door to opportunities that bring the strengths of each organisation to bear, to seek funding for larger collaborative programs that support the psychological wellbeing of women with breast cancer and other diseases.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • After almost 20 years of providing the gift of retreat accommodation at no cost to women with breast cancer, OTIS has a large bank of qualitative data that evidences the benefits of time away with loved ones. The psychological break given to women by a stranger is a gift of time to regain strength and build the resilience to continue fighting their disease. The phrases we hear daily from guests, such as 'peace', 'serenity', 'escape', uplifted and 'soul-nurturing', are affirmations that the wellbeing experienced by a break at an OTIS retreat is putting women in a positive frame of mind and empowering them to continue to fight but also contribute and participate in their wider communities.
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • The OTIS Foundation has extensive media coverage of the work it undertakes, spanning traditional and digital communication channels, including social media, newsletter, email, print, TV and radio. The intention is to gain insights from the data we extract from our new integrated systems and utilise the information to gain traction and attention across all media.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • There are a number of ways in which the project will be evaluated. An obvious milestone will be the implementation, integration and deployment of the system. The quality of the data extracted and the quality of the insights gained will be another measure. In addition, the harmonisation of internal processes and increased efficiencies will be a key determinant. Further, the ability to promote and gain traction across various media utilising the data we have extracted and analysed, will be an additional measure. Finally, the ability to collaborate with other for-purpose entities in the breast cancer space to build a case for significant government funding will be another indicator of success.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Lisa Farrar

  • Email:

  • Website:

    Click Here

  • Phone:

    5441 1184