Meet Rachelle Panitz

Meet Common Grounds Member Rachelle Panitz, founder and Managing Director of So Brave – Australia’s Young Women’s Breast Cancer Charity.

Hello, I am Rachelle Panitz

I am the founder and Managing Director of So Brave – Australia’s Young Women’s Breast Cancer Charity.

You can reach me at or via our socials.

So Brave, based in Brisbane, is Australia’s only young women’s breast cancer charity, highlighting the unique and unmet needs of Australia’s young women. We exist to: support young women aged 15-40 to understand their breast cancer risk and champion for, empower and connect young women and their communities who are experiencing breast cancer, because we believe the impact of breast cancer at a young age should not be tolerated.

So Brave- Australia’s only young women’s breast cancer charity, highlights the unique and unmet needs of Australia’s young women.

We do this through: 

  • EMPOWERING and CONNECTING young women diagnosed with breast cancer;
  • EDUCATING and raising AWARENESS in young women to be #breastaware;
  • CHAMPIONING and FUNDING breast cancer research;
  • and creating a LEGACY of impact.

This week I  travelled to Sydney to celebrate with one of our research partners BCAL, on the opening of their laboratories in Sydney. While that mightn’t sound exciting, we are at the dawn of a new age when it comes to breast cancer diagnosis. BCAL are in the middle of testing the efficacy of their blood test for breast cancer and it is going to be an absolute game changer. When this blood test for breast cancer is available, it will remove the arbitary age line when checking breast health.

The age limitations for breast screening currently mean that young women will finally have access to something to both diagnosis breast cancer early (something which currently relies on young women to check their breasts manually) and really importantly, allow for monitoring of breast cancer patients to get early evidence of recurrence (something that currently relies on multiple expensive and extensive tests). Supporting BCAL to get this test available to all women is incredibly rewarding and we are so proud of their progress in such a short time!

When I was first diagnosed in 2014, it took months of campaigning with several medical professionals to get my diagnosis. If this blood test had been available, the question-mark of whether I should or shouldn’t find out what it was would have been so much easier – both for me and my concerns of being paranoid about something that probably was nothing and for the medical professionals who couldn’t send me for a mammogram knowing that I was pregnant and had a misperception of my risk because of my young age and lack of family history.

This stuff makes me so excited – it means that for women like my daughter who is now 12 and my nieces in their late teens and early 20s, they won’t have to deal with the same uncertainty of knowing what is happening with their breast health. Changing minds and hearts and ensuring all women are #breastaware isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it’s absolutely life-changing.

For more information visit our website –

or follow us on our socials – facebook, instagram & twitter @sobraveofficial

linkedin –

If you’d like to help us to support, engage, connect, impact and create legacy, please join us at our upcoming fundraising long lunch – our very first Splash of Pink, being held on Friday 16 June at Sirromet – tickets available at

It will be a fabulous afternoon of gourmet chef prepared meals, delicious Sirromet wines, thousands of dollars worth of raffles, entertainment and inspirational stories. Please bring your friends and join us to make a difference!