Tuesday, 11 June 2024

Reception to thank volunteers and supporters of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

On behalf of the Governor*, I warmly welcome you to Government House to thank the community volunteers and supporters of the Prostate Cancer Foundation in South Australia.

Her Excellency, who is a Patron of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, extends her best wishes to you all this evening.

We come together today, each with our own perspectives, backgrounds, and contributions, with a common mission – a future free from prostate cancer.

We do so in this, Men’s Health Week in South Australia, which highlights not only men’s physical health, but also their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

A prostate cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a very personal pathway, one that can be challenging and emotional, and which calls for resilience and stamina from both the patient and his family.

It’s a path that, in Australia, one of our fathers, brothers or sons starts out on every 20 minutes.

It touches all walks of life. From the man in the street to monarchs.

His Majesty King Charles III’s own story has put a focus on prostate issues and caused a massive spike in men getting checked.

In a similar way, closer to home, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Ambassador and Channel 9 news presenter Will McDonald’s inspiring story has given hope and demonstrated that there is help.

For 28 years, the Prostate Cancer Foundation has had a vital role in promoting cancer research, awareness, and support.

Significantly, the Foundation has invested about $70 million in life-saving Australian-based prostate cancer research since it was founded.

That’s a remarkable figure, best illustrated by what has been possible.

Five-year survival rates for prostate cancer have increased from just 59% to nearly 96% today.

Research and clinical trials are leading to breakthroughs in treatment, with the Foundation investing in projects such as the TheraP and EVOLUTION clinical trials.

Over the past 10 years, each of the funded clinical trails have had trial centres in South Australian hospitals.

The latest grants have included funding for a two-year Research Fellowship at the University of South Australia, investigating prostate cancer biomarkers and a study into inequalities in care and outcomes for advanced prostate cancer.

The number of Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses has grown from 12 to 114, with 11 in South Australia, who delivered more than 14,650 patient consultations, half in regional areas.

In 2021, Australia’s first dedicated Telenursing Service for men and families was set up providing in home care and support and has responded to 456 calls from South Australians in the past year.

The Prostate Cancer Counselling Service has supported 60 South Australian men in the past year, being nearly 10 % of national referrals.

While prostate cancer remains the second ranking cause of cancer death for men, more than 250,000 Australian men are alive today after a prostate cancer diagnosis.


To the researchers, nurses, supporters, and community volunteers here today, thank you for making a profound impact.

In particular, I thank the many people from the community support groups who have travelled some distance to be here today.

Thank you for your dedication in providing support. I know it’s hard to get blokes to talk about their health and anxieties.

I am sure your understanding grounded by experience has been invaluable and comforting for both patients and families.

After all, community friendship was the genesis of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia 28 years ago. Since then, there has been a gradual, but unflinching progress towards defeating prostate cancer.

Continued achievement is only possible by drawing strength from the volunteers and supporters who dedicate their time towards advocacy and fundraising.

Thank you for doing so. Thank you for being there. Thank you for bringing hope.

*Delivered by Mr Bunten on Her Excellency's behalf.

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