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Thursday, 12 May 2011
Page: 3917

Ms OWENS (Parramatta) (09:53): On Sunday I was privileged to participate in the Women in Super Mother's Day Classic in Parramatta Park. On that day, around 120,000 people around the country stepped out for breast cancer research as they have done now on Mother's Day for some 14 years. There were 37 different events across the nation and the highest number of participants in its 14-year history. For the last five years the Mother's Day Classic has been held in Parramatta—at Parramatta Park, as it should be, as we are the geographic centre of Sydney, as I keep telling people. Many people—it is a growing number every year—turned up at 7 o'clock in the morning on what was a cold day to raise funds for breast cancer research.

There was a huge turn-out with grandmothers, mums and daughters all together, with a smattering of men. They were mainly wearing pink and many were wearing the names of loved ones who had died. It was well and truly a sea of pink. I was privileged to be asked to launch the event and to present some trophies but I also ran for the first time. I have not run for 20 years, so a four kilometre run—and I did run it—hurt quite a bit and I am only just getting over the pain now.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. Peter Slipper ): I congratulate the member on behalf of all of her colleagues.

Ms OWENS: I have been taking the lift for the last few days. I was very noisy on the stairs because of the 'ouches' and groans of pain. It was well and truly worth doing and it was great to be out with so many generations of women, running together on such a day to raise funds for what is one of the more important areas of women's medical research. The event has raised $7.8 million since it first started 14 years ago—an extraordinary achievement for the organisers and for their key sponsor, Women in Super, who I also should thank. They have done a great job for a number of years.

Breast cancer, as most of us know, is one of the most common cancers. It is estimated that around 14,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. The incidence of breast cancer is still rising but the death rate is decreasing. In fact, it has decreased by 27 per cent since 1994, largely because of better detection and the improvement in treatment because of the high-quality research which has been done around the country. One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their life—an extraordinarily high number for any form of cancer. So early detection is incredibly important, as is the wonderful research undertaken thanks to the people who organise this great Mother's Day Classic event.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to welcome the second group of students from the Rotary Adventure in Citizenship program. They represent all parts of the country. In particular I would like to welcome Chelsea Large, a year 11 student from the Maleny State High School in the electorate of Fisher. As a third-generation Rotarian and as someone who in school was an Interact and afterwards in Rotaract, and was a Rotary youth leadership awardee, I am very much aware of the values of the Rotary organisation. I congratulate all students on their selection. I hope that your visit to the Australian parliament is successful and enjoyable. We may well have some future members among these young students.