I have been doubly lucky on the social engagement front recently, because I also attended a Government House function last week in honour of the Men’s Shed movement in Victoria. It was great to see so many men (and their partners) receive acknowledgement for their support of this state’s Men’s Sheds.
Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis delivered a presentation on his current work with amputees. It was great to meet him. We spoke briefly about prostate cancer and he kindly allowed me to have a photo taken with him. I find him and his work so inspiring.
An exciting event happened last Friday afternoon at the MCG. I was sitting in the Members’ Dining Room with 250 other volunteers and their families. It was wet and windy outside as the Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, presented the 2019 Local Health Volunteer Awards.
Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer: Improving Public Healthcare
The NAVIGATE team, Professor Penny Schofield (Principal Investigator) and Natalie Richards (Project Manager), were there to see me receive the Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer: Improving Public Healthcare. Oh, and my wife was there too. I’m not sure who was the most excited!
Overall, six categories of volunteer achievement were recognised. I felt privileged to have been nominated in the first place, let alone to go on and receive the final Award for my category. It was great to see the number of entries and the outstanding quality of the volunteers who were nominated from across Victoria.
Why did I win?
My Award recognised the last seven years that I have spent working with the NAVIGATE. I have been with the team from its very inception to its current status – clinical trial phase. NAVIGATE is now actively recruiting participants to become involved with the trial, which I believe will lead to a game-changing tool for men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer.
Special thanks to Natalie Richards for her PR video (above) – you can certainly see the excitement and enthusiasm of our team! And congratulations to all the other volunteers who were nominated for this year’s Awards. Public health in Victoria is all the better for their involvement.
The presentation was about the clinical trial currently running for the Navigate Decision Aid for men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer. The trial is being conducted by Peter Mac, in conjunction with Swinburne University.
Australia-wide Clinical Trial
The trial is Australia-wide and is open to men who have been diagnosed within the last three months and who are still considering their treatment options (including active surveillance).
No referral is necessary and partners can be involved too. For further information, please contact Project Manager, Natalie Richards on 03 8559 7453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great gathering at Novotel, Parramatta
There was an excellent turnout to the AMHF 2018 Men’s Health Gathering. Over the three days of the conference, I was able to attend presentations by a wide variety of men and organisations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation was strong, with the likes of Mick Adams, Professor Tom Calma AO, and Romlie Mokak.
I particularly enjoyed listening to Alan Philp, from the Commonwealth Department of Health. Alan’s interesting back-story included his training as a nurse and midwife!
Raising awareness about Men’s Health
It was very pleasing to see so many men (and women) working at the grass roots level to raise awareness of men’s health issues – especially in regional and rural areas.
A big thank you to the organisers – the 9th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention Steering Committee and the 2018 National Men’s Health Gathering Steering Committee.
Generous sponsorship was provided by the Lions Club (Sandringham), Bendigo Community Bank (Dingley) and Hocking Stuart. Attendees enjoyed delicious finger food (thanks to the caterers, Party Food Melbourne). Coffee and tea were kindly supplied by members of the local Country Women’s Association.
The venue was provided by the Bayside City Council, and Brighton Bayside Life Activities Club supplied the sound system.
The first speaker for the night was Dr Daniel Moon, urologist, who fielded many questions from audience members during his presentation. Daniel covered such issues as PSA testing, the use of MRI-guided biopsies, decision making and the range of treatments currently in use.
Sarah Rudd, continence physiotherapist, spoke next. She reviewed the male anatomy to explain its complexity and the importance of properly performed pelvic floor exercises, both before and after treatment. Sarah made sure that we were all awake by getting us out of our seats to do the “nuts to guts” pelvic floor exercise.
The final speaker was Kate Williams, accredited exercise physiologist. Kate discussed the importance of physical activity, not only for general health, but especially in dealing with treatment side-effects such as fatigue, weight gain, muscle loss, depression and anxiety. She talked about recent studies that have confirmed the importance of appropriate exercise.
Importance of Collaboration
All speakers were extremely generous with their time and expertise. The broad range of questions from the audience reflected the need for collaboration and cross-referral between various arms of the medical fraternity and allied health.
Showbags full of information were provided to all attendees. These bags included booklets and brochures from:-
The speakers also provided information that was included in the bags.
This event could not have succeeded without the considerable help from members of the Bayside-Kingston Prostate Cancer Support Group. In particular, I would like to thank Tony Carr (who instigated the event), Vern Smith (and his wife, Barbara), Rocky Restaino (and his wife, Lucy).
My sincere thanks to all four of our wonderful guest speakers, without whom the evening would never have happened.
If you couldn’t attend this event and you’d like to receive some of the information that was included in the showbags, please contact me by email or by phone to 0407 617 800.