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Monday, 22 July 2019
Page: 608

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Dr McVEIGH (Groom) (12:43): I rise to speak in support of this motion in relation to prostate cancer moved by the member for Perth. I've spoken to this chamber on previous occasions about the It's a Bloke Thing Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation based in my home town of Toowoomba that hosts fundraising and awareness activities to support prostate cancer research, care and education. I'm very proud to represent a community that, in this regard, now supports the largest daytime funding event in Queensland, through the Wagner It's A Bloke Thing Prostate Cancer Luncheon in Toowoomba. In 2018, our community contributed more than $2.23 million through that fundraising luncheon, now making this event one of the largest daytime fundraising initiatives in Australia. Who could possibly forget the surprise guest entertainer last year, Keith Urban, who flew in especially, breaking his program in the United States, to support this particular event, given his own family has been touched by prostate cancer, before immediately returning to the United States. The 2019 event will be held on 6 September at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

I note the statistic in this motion that there is an estimated one-in-six risk of a male being diagnosed with prostate cancer by his 85th birthday. The It's a Bloke Thing Foundation also reminds us that 1.7 million men will be living with prostate cancer by 2030, 17,729 were diagnosed in 2018 and almost 3,500 men unfortunately lost their battle in 2018. But there is a 95 per cent chance of survival beyond five years if it is detected early.

The It's A Bloke Thing Foundation focuses on education. The Prostate Cancer Education Roadshow delivers critical information to rural communities, corporate organisations and public groups throughout regional Queensland, and the intention is to eventually expand that into New South Wales and the Northern Territory. In terms of research, It's a Bloke Thing has supported the peak national body for prostate cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, for the past five years in a number of their research programs and in their care. Through a partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the funding of the first specialist prostate cancer nurse for the Toowoomba, Darling Downs and Darling region is now in place.

So, whether we discuss this issue from the perspective of Western Australia, as the member for Perth has in moving this motion, or, as in my case, from the perspective of Queensland and a program that is attempting to reach across northern Australia into the Northern Territory, this is a particularly important issue for us all to focus on. In line with the motion, therefore, I thoroughly endorse the fact that this House should acknowledge the tireless work of all men's health advocates, especially survivors such as David Dyke—mentioned in this very motion—and particularly those in my community: advocates such as Marcus Barnard and Angie Philp from ANZ, John and Maralyn Fitzgibbons from Fitzy's in Toowoomba, David and Kelli Russell from Wippells Autos in Toowoomba, John and Liz Wagner from Wagners, Gary and Melissa Gardner» from «FK» «Gardner & Sons Group, and Michael and Hayley Hubbard from MJH Finance, with Michael being this year's chair of the It's a Bloke Thing advisory committee, the members of which I have just listed. I thank and acknowledge them for raising awareness, alongside so many around our country, about prostate cancer and promoting the importance of men's health.

As the member for Perth has said, it is indeed vital that men take their health seriously. This is a bloke thing, but it's not just about us. It's about our families; it's about our communities. I therefore enthusiastically support this motion.