Steer North Charity Raises $100,000 for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Friends and family of the late Dr Mike Helal, who died at the age of 28 from metastatic Ewing sarcoma in February 2015, have raised $100,000 for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) through health promotion charity Steer North.

Steer North fundraiser

The Steer North team presenting a cheque to Dr Meredith Layton, Head of Research Development at the VCCC.

Mike was a much-admired student and colleague at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Business and Economics. He volunteered as an economics presenter on SBS Radio’s Arabic Program, co-founded the Australian Lebanese Youth Association, established an economic research consultancy and founded the Aspire Fund – a charity organisation supporting disadvantaged Lebanese students in pursuing undergraduate degrees. 

His brother James, also a graduate of the University of Melbourne and a current lecturer in Construction Management, co-founded Steer North with his partner Rita Nehme in memory of Mike. 

Funds raised by Steer North support initiatives related to cancer research, education and patient care. This includes providing funding to cancer research at the VCCC; establishing innovative health promotion programs that encourage Australians to live healthy and active lives; and collaborating with community organisations that support patients and carers affected by cancer. The Steer North Bone Cancer PhD Scholarship will commence at the University of Melbourne in partnership with the VCCC in 2017.

Steer North’s signature health promotion program involves an annual 4000 km, 45-day cycling journey from Melbourne to Cairns that raises funds and aims to inspire local communities along the eastern coast of Australia to lead healthy and active lives. This year’s ride began on 3 December and ends on 16 January.

For more information about Steer North and its fundraising efforts, please visit and follow the team on social media.