In a moving and dignified service, Ballarat’s Lisa Mary Hayden was farewelled at an overflowing St Patrick’s Cathedral after her death on the 20th November 2019 aged 52. Lisa battled breast cancer for a period of 15 years.
Ms Hayden, who worked to raise money and awareness for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute after being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, was remembered on Friday as a stunning writer, and described as an inspiration to people who knew her, especially her children, Gretel and Sam.
As well as her sense of humour, love of travelling to Hawaii, and joy in writing for the Ballarat Lifestyle magazine, her skills as a communicator and public speaker were also celebrated.
Those delivering eulogies noted it was a high standard to meet, and this was sadly the first time they had ever given a speech without her advice.
She was a co-owner at Hayden Real Estate, with her husband Richard, and as a board member at FECRI, her initiatives brought the community along with her to support and promote the centre’s work, which is now world-renowned.
The Mother’s Day Classic fun run, for example, has raised thousands of dollars every year since 2008, and her blog, based on letters to her young children, helped to raise awareness and begin hundreds of lifesaving conversations.
Speaking to The Courier last week, FECRI director Professor George Kannourakis described her as a “quiet achiever” in Ballarat who had helped many people.
“She made a tremendous contribution to furthering the cause of the institute, which is to promote cancer research,” he said, adding she also worked to connect the institute with overseas experts, and participated in a number of trials.
“She saw the future of all cancer in research, and the development of research that will help people in the future.”
In 2018, she was inducted into Zonta Ballarat’s Women of Influence Honour Roll.
Lisa is buried at the Ballarat New Cemetery, Bird Song Gardens Section G Grave 22