About Relay For Life

People have been Relaying since 1985
Come join us!

Relay For Life is a fun and moving experience that raises vital funds for Cancer Council's research, prevention and support services.

Learn more about Relay For Life and Cancer Council  below. 

History of Relay

Relay For Life began in the USA in May 1985 when colorectal surgeon, Dr. Gordy Klatt, wanted to raise awareness of cancer and boost the income of his local cancer charity. He spent a gruelling twenty-four hours circulating a track in Tacoma, Washington, and raised over US$27,000, showing that one person really can make a difference.

Since then, Relay For Life has become the largest fundraising event for cancer in the world. Celebrated by more than 4 million people in over 20 countries, this inspirational overnight event empowers and unites local communities to make strides toward our ultimate vision - a cancer free future.

 Relay For Life began in Australia in 1999 when the Victorian community of Murrumbeena raised over $75,000 for Cancer Council. Relays are now held in every Australian State and Territory, with more than 134,000 participants raising over $14 million each year. Every dollar raised goes towards funding Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention and support programs, many of which help people in your community every day.

Where the Money Goes

In the past seven years, Relayers in Australia have raised over $137.5 million. This is where that money went.

Here’s how you’re making a difference

At Cancer Council we believe it’s so important to show you, our supporters, just how vital Relay For Life is in helping us achieve a cancer free future. As a not-for-profit, we rely on the generosity of the community to fund our vital programs and services. Through support from events like Relay For Life, more than 61,000 Australian lives have been saved over the last 20 years. Improvements in cancer prevention and screening mean that less people will hear the words, “you have cancer”. Advances to cancer treatments allow those impacted by cancer to spend more time with their loved ones. These achievements are only possible through the support of people like you. By continuing to participate in Relay For Life we will save more lives. Thank you for being a part of the Relay for Life movement.

Your donations at work

  •  $18 can provide 20 easy-to-understand information packs on treatments and practical advice to Australians affected by cancer.
  • $25 can protect 15 children from potentially harmful sun exposure through our SunSmart school program.
  • $43 can pay for a cancer nurse to be available on 13 11 20 for an hour to offer expertise and support to those in need.
  • $155 can provide transport and a night’s stay at a local Cancer Council Lodge for people who need to travel for vital cancer treatment.
  • $510 can help provide annual training to Support Group Volunteers so they can offer ongoing emotional and practical support to those impacted by cancer.
  • $1000 can pay for an analysis of two gene samples for a research project.

* Services may vary across states and territories.

About Cancer Council

Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer.

Every day, Cancer Council support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer.

With your help, we’re getting closer to a cancer free future every minute, every hour, every day.

Your fundraising ensures our work continues:

  • Support Services: Cancer Council supports all Australians impacted by cancer.
  • Advocacy: Cancer Council works with the community to change laws and policies to reduce cancer risks and improve cancer care.
  • Research: Cancer Council conducts and funds world-class research to reduce the impact of cancer.
  • Prevention: Cancer Council empowers all Australians to reduce their cancer risk.

For more information about the work of Cancer Council, visit the Cancer Council Australia website.

FAQs about Relay For Life events

How many people can we have in a team?

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We recommend 10-15 people per team.

Before the event your Committee need to allocate sites to teams and for safety reasons the maximum number of members per site is 15. If there are more than 15 members in your team you might want to consider splitting your team into two sites so that everyone has plenty of room to enjoy the Relay.

Shirt Sizing Chart

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How do I register a team?

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You can register online by finding your local event here or on the Register button in the top right hand corner of this web page or by calling 1300 65 65 85.

What does my registration fee include?

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Your registration fee ensures that you will have an amazing Relay for Life event experience. Each Relay is unique, so please refer to your preferred Relay For Life event for more information about what to expect on the day.