Barbara Pinter, key founder of Rainbow Dragons Abreast (DA Byron Bay) passed away on 21st May. Barb was passionate about raising breast cancer awareness and inspired survivors in the Byron Shire and beyond. Amongst the several organisations and/or events she established, organised or supported the following stand out.
Establishing and facilitating the Byron Breast Cancer Support Group in 2001 as she discovered there was little support for women and despite sometimes being in poor health herself, she gave a lot of her time and energy to others in need.
Subsequently, she became inspired to form a local dragon boat team after meeting members of Missabittatitti (Dragons Abreast Brisbane) at a regatta in Tweed Heads 2001, where she was asked to join with other paddlers in their boat, even though she had never paddled before. However, it was after meeting Professor Don McKenzie and Michelle Hanton, at the BCNA conference in 2003 that Barb’s dragon spirit really ignited. In 2004, Barb called the first meeting for expression of interest and following discussions with the Lismore Encore program, Rainbow Dragons Abreast Inc. was formed. Her vision and determination was instrumental in not only introducing dragon boating to breast cancer survivors but also to the general public in the Northern Rivers of NSW.
Barb’s mantra was "Through connection with each other we can go from strength to strength".
Marian van der Kroon
Rainbow Dragons Abreast coordinator