Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Rotary
The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Australia was established in 1996 by the Rotary Club of Lane Cove.
In that year television personality, Roger Climpson, a member of the Club, was approached by Professor Pamela Russell, who is recognised as Australia’s leading researcher into prostate cancer, to use his high profile to raise awareness of the incidence of prostate cancer in Australia, and of the need for more money for research into the disease. Roger, who had survived prostate cancer a few years earlier, addressed the Club on his experiences with prostate cancer and outlined the difficulty he faced in obtaining accurate information about treatment options, the difficulties doctors face in diagnosing and treating the disease, and the apparent lack of research that was being carried out in Australia. As a result, the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation was established by the Club and was incorporated in March 1996.
In August 1999 the Foundation amalgamated with the Australian Prostate Cancer Foundation, the governing body of the Association of Prostate Cancer Support Groups which had members Australia wide. This amalgamation was a positive step in broadening the aims of the Foundation to include a support and counselling component for prostate cancer sufferers and their families. The amalgamation prompted a change in name and we are now known as the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
The Foundation is a separate legal entity from the Rotary Club of Lane Cove but is still strongly supported by it. Since 1996 the combined Rotary Clubs of Australia have donated more than $735,119 to fund the PCFA. In particular they have funded two major research fellowships – each of $100,000 a year for three years – to enable a young researcher to establish a prostate cancer laboratory. In recognition of this outstanding and ongoing support the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia announced in 2005 the establishment of the Rotary Research Fellowship which will be offered in 2006 to a world class Australian researcher.
In addition, a permanent seat on the National Board has been set aside for a Rotarian and each of the six state boards has the aim of including at least one Rotarian on each Board. In late 2006 we aim to launch a network of PCFA Ambassadors who will have the clear brief to represent the work of the PCFA to Rotary Clubs across Australia. Today Rotary continues to be one of our major supporters through both awareness and fundraising – it is truly a partnership that is saving men’s lives.