Co-op scholar Bec Lucas has put her business skills to good use, setting up a research grant in memory of her late father to help find a cure for brain cancer.

Thanks to the industry-linked scholarship, Bec has had the opportunity to undertake several full-time marketing placements at companies like Yahoo!7 and McDonalds. But the benefits of the program, according to Bec, reach far beyond just professional and academic.

“The program has also given me the confidence to make a difference in an area that I am really passionate about – leading a team to establish a medical research grant for brain cancer research,” says Bec, who is currently on exchange at the University of Connecticut.

Bec established The Tony Lucas Research grant in remembrance of her late father to raise funds for brain cancer research projects within the Cure for Life Foundation.

She says the goals of the grant follow her father’s interest in investigating the causes of brain tumors and how they progress from low to high grade.

“My Dad showed me that if I reach out and share my story I can raise awareness and much-needed funds.”

The grant will fund the collaborative research efforts of the Lowy Cancer Research Centre at UNSW and Monash University. It has now raised more than $200,000 and was established with the proceeds from the Beach Walk for Brain Cancer charity walk, started by Bec in 2011.

“We were hoping to attract 200 people and raise $20,000, but the support from the community exceeded all expectations. It attracted more than 1000 walkers in the first two years and raised $80,000 in 2011 and more than $100,000 the following year.”  

Bec’s determination to make a difference to brain cancer was recognised earlier this year with an Australia Day Council Manly Young Citizen of the Year award and a NSW government Local Woman of the Year award. 

“I felt honoured to be acknowledged among the wider community, who have been overwhelmingly supportive,” she says.

Looking towards the future, Bec is excited to begin working at Coca-Cola Amatil next year as part of their Customer Leader Graduate Program.

“With a keen interest in marketing I have always aspired to work for Coca-Cola Amatil with its leading brand portfolio and product range. It will give me a unique opportunity to rotate across various departments, which I am looking forward to at this early stage of my career.”

The third Beach Walk for Brain Cancer is on 24 November. Visit the website for more information.

Media contact: Cassie Chorn, UNSW Media Office, 9385 8107,