The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s single biggest donor is grateful for the ability to make a difference to health outcomes.

Through her latest donation of $50,000 to the QSuper Cardiac Challenge, Joyce Swinton has now contributed $900,000 to the Foundation – the region’s premier charity that supports local health services.

Her contribution to the event has helped organisers, riders, supporters and volunteers reach a milestone – more than $470,000 raised for the year.

“I just like being able to make a difference and to know that my family’s money is staying local to help other locals,” Mrs Swinton said.

She met with Foundation CEO Tony Williamson and Cairns Hospital Director of Cardiology Dr Greg Starmer this week, who thanked her for making such a big difference to her community.

“The QSuper Cardiac Challenge in its 15th year this year, has achieved an incredible milestone. Our original goal was $300,000 which we smashed, then our goal was $400,000 which we smashed and now we’re well on our way to half a million dollars, which is simply incredible,” Mr Williamson said.

Mr Williamson paid tribute to Mrs Swinton saying her contributions were making a difference to many sectors of health.

“Not only has she contributed to cardiology but also to medical education and cancer,” Mr Williamson said.

“Contributions like Mrs Swinton’s help us make all our hospitals better and to help people in Far North Queensland receive treatment close to home,” he said.

Dr Starmer said Mrs Swinton’s support of the health service was overwhelming.

“This is really an incredible lady and someone who is making a big difference to what we as clinicians can do for our patients,” Dr Starmer said.

“There’s been an enormous amount of advance in my department and healthcare in the region over the years that I’ve been here. Sometimes you have to step back and appreciate the progress that’s been made.

“I remember when I arrived here there was a saying if you get chest pain get on a plane, as recently as two weeks ago someone said everyone knows if you get sick you go to Cairns Hospital.

“The ride is unique, it is truly the cardiac challenge, it’s not the cardiac easy. Despite the fact that it is hot, the distances are long. Every single stop, every single rider that comes in has a smile on their face. It is one of the most inspirational community events that I have ever been associated with, anywhere in the world.”

To help fix hearts in FNQ, visit

 About the QSuper Cardiac Challenge
The QSuper Cardiac Challenge is an annual fundraising bike ride from Cairns to Cooktown, hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation. 2021 will be the 15th time the Cardiac Challenge bike ride has been held, with more than $4 million raised for cardiac services by the Foundation, in that time. 

About QSuper
QSuper is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, with $120 billion in funds under administration. From humble beginnings more than a century ago, today they manage the retirement savings of more than 600,000 members. More information 

Photo: Mrs Swinton (centre) is flanked by Dr Starmer (left) and Mr Williamson (right).