Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia 25th Anniversary
Representing the Health Minister, the Member for Cooper, Ms Jonty Bush; Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Adjunct Associate Professor Steve Callister; CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn; Board members and supporters of the Foundation; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
As Patron in Queensland of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, I welcome you all – with Kaye – most warmly to Government House for this special anniversary celebration.
For the past 25 years, the Foundation and its partner organisations, many of which are represented here today, have dedicated themselves to raising funds for research, providing advocacy and support, and distributing accurate, up-to-date information about prostate disease to both men and women.
I mention ‘women’ because, increasingly, the Foundation has recognised that the families of those living with prostate disease need information and support as much as the men themselves.
Equally, it has been recognised that messages about the disease need to be delivered in multiple languages to ensure that they reach deep into Australia’s multicultural society.
In 1996, when the Foundation was formed in Sydney, myths and misinformation were rife and there was a great deal of apprehension surrounding the disease, the diagnostic process, and the effects of surgery.
At that time, the word ‘cancer’ was still viewed as a death sentence and many feared that the disease was infectious or contagious.
Today, thanks to the efforts of the Foundation and its partners, most people are aware that, while disease of the prostate is not preventable, it is treatable, and researchers are constantly discovering more about the role of genetics and developing more effective treatments.
Just as importantly, we have also learned that diet and lifestyle changes are simple protective actions that are within the reach of every one of us.
As a community-based organisation, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia does vital work, together with its partners, in reducing the impact of prostate disease on the community.
As I look around the room, I can say with pride what a great honour it is for Government House to have here today so many eminently distinguished researchers, clinicians and administrators – many of whom I presented with insignia of the Order of Australia during my term for their efforts in combatting prostate cancer.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank everyone involved with the Foundation for their dedication over the past 25 years.
The core values of integrity, optimism, compassion, respect and commitment have defined the Foundation’s work for the past quarter-century and will continue to do so well beyond this year’s anniversary, as progress continues towards the ultimate goal of defeating prostate cancer. Thank you.