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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11683

Mr ENTSCH (Leichhardt) (11:53): What an outstanding contribution. I also congratulate the member for Calwell on her initiative in bringing forward this motion. I certainly appreciate the opportunity today to add my voice in support of the motion. There is no doubt that breast cancer is an insidious killer that is widespread in our communities. In Australia, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and seven women will die from breast cancer every day. In Queensland, this year alone almost 4,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer or gynaecological cancer, and more than 750 will die from these women's cancers.

It is the personal stories of the mothers, the grandmothers, the aunts, the daughters, the granddaughters, nieces and the female friends and colleagues that sadly bring these statistics to life. My next-door neighbour had both breasts removed in what has been a terrible journey for her. My neighbour across the street is undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the moment, and my long-time friend in Cooktown survived breast cancer but has had a breast removed. It just goes to show that it can strike anywhere and that it is far more prevalent in our community than you might think.

Fortunately, there is a weapon of mass destruction, if you like, in the battle against breast cancer and women's cancers. Together, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Pink Ribbon Day are painting the town pink in their efforts to raise awareness about women's cancers, promote early detection, fund vital cancer research and support women undergoing a cancer journey.

The Far North Queensland community always impresses me with how the people come together to help those in need, and this month a whole range of activities and fundraisers are taking place. On 10 October, the Pink in the Tropics breast cancer support group held a breakfast buffet at Port Douglas supported by about 80 locals and many Port Douglas traders. The funds raised will go towards information packs and useful items for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. The Walk for Women's Cancer will kick off in Cairns this Sunday morning, where women of all ages—and, of course, men—are invited to don a quirky pink outfit and take part in the fun walk and raise vital funds to help beat these women's cancers. On 28 October, the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns will host a Pink Ribbon event with a breakfast, door prizes and guest speakers. There will also be a reflection room where people can remember loved ones lost to cancer, or simply reflect on what cancer means to them.

In the Northern Peninsula Area, the charity Jog for Jugs is holding its second fundraising fun run, finishing at Pajinka, which is right up on the far northern tip of the Australian landmass. This year's event is a non-competitive beach jog for all ages, supporting the Breast Cancer Network Australia and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I had the pleasure of flying back to Cairns from Horn Island in the Torres Strait on QantasLink a couple of weeks ago with an all female crew. The pilots were wearing pink epaulettes as part of the #weflypink campaign in support of breast cancer awareness and research. Money was raised through the crews to contribute to this charity. What a great initiative—a big thumbs up to QantasLink and the Captain Alana Curtin, First Officer Shelly Groves and flight attendants Janaye and Juliana for their participation.

It is also not too late to volunteer to help the Cancer Council Queensland sell Pink Ribbon merchandise from 22 to 26 October. You can volunteer as an individual or in a group, such as with friends and work colleagues, and you can even get your school involved. If you cannot volunteer then why not order a box of merchandise and sell it at your workplace? Full details of these events and fundraising activities are on my website and I encourage people to check them out.

Finally, I would like to pay full credit to those who have been actively involved in these campaigns. They are doing a fabulous job in raising awareness and much-needed funds. The money raised will go towards critical research, the promotion of preventative activities and providing meaningful support to people who are going through the cancer journey. I also congratulate the corporate partners who have come on board, raising the amount of awareness and exposure to another level. There is much that we can take out of the pink campaign when it comes to building awareness for a whole range of men's health challenges, in particular prostate and testicular cancers. I commend the motion.