Cancer Council Queensland Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea
Premier, Mr Speaker; Ministers; Leader of the Opposition; Members of Parliament; Chair of Cancer Council Queensland; ladies and gentlemen. Good morning to you all.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we gather, the Turrbul and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging.
As Patron of Cancer Council Queensland, (I am joint patron with Graeme who is still unwell after his bout of COVID-19) I am honoured to attend this morning’s “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea” at Parliament House.
Throughout May and June, thousands of others around our State, and further afield, will be holding their own versions of this event as they unite with a simple yet powerful goal—to raise funds to fight cancer.
With one Queenslander, on average, being diagnosed every 20 minutes, cancer continues to affect many. This confronting statistic reaffirms why we may all know someone who has been affected by cancer related illness, or sadly, who may have passed away.
Yet cancer is also a complex disease that tenaciously guards its mysteries. While over the years we have made tremendous advancements in the way we diagnose and treat it, there is still significant work to be done to reveal its unknowns.
This is why medical research and cancer prevention are such key areas within Cancer Council Queensland’s scope of work.
It is only by better understanding the causes, that we can help reduce the risks that lead to cancer developing in the first place, diagnose it earlier, develop treatments that are more targeted and effective, and as a result, better support cancer patients and their families as they face their individual challenges.
Through the vital work of the Viertel Cancer Research Centre, the Queensland Cooperative Oncology Group, and external grant-funded research projects, Cancer Council Queensland is striving to enhance our understanding of cancer in this State by taking a coordinated, multi-faceted approach.
Across Australia, such investment in research has seen cancer survival rates rise from 49% in the 1980s to 69% today, and we are also well on our way to being the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer in women.
These positive steps require innovation and vision, but they also rely on breakthroughs in screening programs, such as those we have seen developed for bowel and breast cancer.
I commend Cancer Council Queensland, and its staff and volunteers, for striving for a cancer free future with such dedication over the past 60 years, and thank all our brilliant scientists and medical researchers who tirelessly question in order to seek answers.
To those Queenslanders who are hosting an “Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea”— congratulations! The simple act of sharing a cuppa raises the funds needed to ensure this important, life-saving work can continue into the future.