Apr 14

Meet the Stars of Wollongong

Wednesday 14 April 2021 4:20pm

Fourteen lucky stars are joining forces for this year's Dance for Cancer. Each local Star is partnered with a local professional dance teacher to perform a dance routine, competing for the judges and audience’s votes on the night.

The event is aiming to raise $120,000 for Cancer Council’s services in the local community. Funds raised will help to provide support for people in the Illawarra community affected by cancer, as well as programs that aim to prevent and manage cancer for future generations.

Meet the local identities...

Dr Arunima Gupta from Wollongong Diagnostics

Arunima is a consultant Radiologist and the Managing Director of Wollongong Diagnostics Imaging Group. Aru loves that her career is making a difference in the fight against cancer through her profession and being a part of the awesome team of doctors who are working on prevention ,diagnosis and cure of cancer.

Harry Stefanou from WHK Commercial

Harry is used to putting deals together as Director of WHK Commercial Property, but dancing may prove to be his toughest deal to close yet.  Harry is a true blue Wollongong local - loving the clean air, the beaches and the easy lifestyle. Like many of us his favourite pass time is going on a good holiday.

Leah Mitchell from Leah Mitchell Floral

Lean is the owner of Leah Mitchell Floral and once did flowers for Elton John’s dressing room! Leah loves that every day in her job is different, from meeting new people, unpacking deliveries or climbing ladders to constructing hanging installations. She also says she does a mean roly poly on the dancefloor!

Travis Machan from MMJ

Travis is the Director of Commercial Sales at MMJ Real Estate. Travis says he feels incredibly lucky to work in a beautiful place like Wollongong and spend time with his dance loving family, he says they dance at every opportunity they get and although he has no experience, he also loves to dance too. 

Stu Butler from Ride for Hope

Stu is the founder of Ride For Hope. Ride For Hope helps raise funds for the Illawarra Convoy to support local children and families and bring smiles to their faces. He is known to get down and boogie on a night out to just about anything, from Elvis to Eminem! Which might explain why his dream dance partner would be Ellen Degeneres! 

Mia DeVries from The Fox & The Hair

Mia is a local Hair Wizard from The Fox & The Hair and runs livestream education through The Secret Fox. She says owning a small business makes you good at finding solutions, but cancer is one problem that she wants to do something about. She knows all too well there’s no quick fix and people need loads of support. Mia lost her Dad  to cancer when she was a child and recently lost her brother in law at just 47 years of age. 

Kylie Sharman from NSW Fire & Rescue

Kylie is a professional firefighter for Fire and Rescue NSW and has an interesting side hustle as a marriage celebrant. Kylie thinks this is the perfect combination, as she often sees people on their worst days as a firefighter but as a celebrant, she sees them on their happiest day. Kylie has a strong connection to the cause as her son was diagnosed with kidney cancer at just 3 years of age, it was the hardest time of her life to watch on helplessly, but she is ecstatic to say her son is in remission.

Rebecca Dunning from SUP Shellharbour

Rebecca Dunning is no stranger to the bright lights and the big stage. Rebecca has had gigs with the likes of the Under 18s Illawarra Hawks and the Women’s St George Illawarra Rugby League team. One sport that has been on the sidelines for Rebecca is dancing, although, she isn’t a complete amateur, she does proudly boast taking 6 months of Ballet. These days though, the Surfer and Personal Trainer by trade keeps herself busy by running her own business, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Shellharbour, and being a mum of 2.

Dr Matthew Threadgate from Matthew Threadgate Urology

Dr Threadgate is a Urological surgeon who specialises in prostate, kidney and bladder cancer care. In between cricketing and karaoke he enjoys providing help to those in a time of uncertainty and need while doing his part to support the vital work of cancer council.

Liam Hammond from Inner Athlete

Liam is the owner of Dapto gym, Inner Athlete, and between him and his fiancé they have 6 children. Although, it hasn’t all been sunshine for Liam. He sadly lost his mum to cancer in 2012 and is now more committed than ever to raise money. On the upside Liam loves pushing his fitness clients to be challenged and led by example by participating in Channel 7’s reality game show, “Cannonball”, where he took out the 2018 title!

Lyndal Rogers from i98

You might not be used to seeing Lyndal around the Gong but we’re sure you most likely have heard her on the Illawarra airwaves. Lyndal is a co-host on the i98 Breakfast Show and Ground Announcer for the St George Illawarra Dragons. Lyndal says she’s incredibly nervous about dancing but will draw on inspiration from her favourite movie of all time, Dirty Dancing.

Note: Lyndal has since withdrawn due to injury

Corey Hammond from WIN Network

Corey Hammond works under the bright and shiny lights of interviewing local athletes for WIN Television, voicing nightly bulletins and even dabbling in commentating Rugby games! WOW! You might also recognise him from his little side gig driving the occasional Uber. If you call hitting the d-floor at the local pub “dance experience” then Corey has it in spades, a veteran if you will. 

Ashleigh Tullis from Illawarra Mercury

Ashleigh isn’t just any journalist, the people she interviews and writes about are all police and crime related! It’s safe to say that she’s probably used to the spotlight being on her interviewees at the Illawarra Mercury, but Stars of Wollongong is here to change that! Ashleigh has dabbled in dance when she was at school and even conquered doing the splits…something she can still do to this day!

Samantha Wade from IHMRI

Samantha is a pancreatic cancer researcher for IHMRI and for the last six years has been developing & engineering a small implant that has the potential to deliver the drugs used in chemotherapy straight to the tumor without the side effects of traditional chemotherapy.  As a cancer researcher Samantha wants to raise money and awareness of the ongoing cancer research happening right here in the Illawarra region.  

See them dance onto the stage Saturday 5 June 2021 at 6:00pm at WIN Entertainment Centre. Tickets available via Ticketmaster

Donate to Cancer Council via your favourite star here 

  • Venues NSW
  • CommBank Stadium
  • McDonald Jones Homes Stadium
  • Newcastle Entertainment Centre
  • Accor Stadium
  • Sydney Cricket Ground
  • Sydney Football Stadium
  • WIN Sports & Entertainment Centre