About this Item
SpeakersMcLeay Mr Paul; Gadiel Ms Tanya
BusinessPrivate Members Statements, PRIV

Page: 4805

Mr PAUL McLEAY (Heathcote) [11.53 a.m.]: Movember, the month formally known as November, is a charity event held this month each year. At the start of Movember guys register with a clean-shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache and along the way raise as much money and awareness about male health issues as possible. Members would have noticed that I have been participating in this event. Whilst the aim is to groom one's moustache, it has taken me a whole month to get it to the stage where I have to stand out of the wind. I have been proud to show my lack of masculinity this month for this worthwhile cause. The organisers claim that whichever way you look at it, men are far less healthy than women. The average life expectancy for men is five years less than it is for women. Why? The answer is because men lack awareness about the very real health issues they face, they take a "she'll be right" attitude and they are reluctant to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical checks.

The aim of Movember is to change these attitudes and make male health fun by putting the Mo back on the face of fashion and in the process raise serious funds for key male health issues. One of those key issues is prostate cancer. Every year in Australia 2,900 men die of prostate cancer. That figure is equivalent to the number of women who die from breast cancer annually. Another key issue is male depression. One in six men experience depression at any given time, but most do not seek help. Movember's aim of changing the face of men's health in Australia is conducted in partnership with the leading foundations that focus on prostate cancer and depression in men. They are the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, whose aim is to reduce the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men, their partners, their families and the community; and beyondblue, the national depression initiative with a specific focus on increasing community awareness of depression in men and addressing the associated stigma of men living with depression. Beyondblue supports the safe and responsible use of alcohol.

I would like to thank those precious souls who sponsored me to raise funds for these two organisations. They are Doug Dean, Gabrielle Trainor, Davina Langton, Marcela Garrett, David Tierney, Didier Silarsah, Lisa White from Washington, the Nanbaree Childcare Centre girls who look after my child, Maree Shepherd, Adam Dansie, Matt Thistlethwaite, Steve Turner, Ophelia Cowell, Stephen Griffin, Jack Flanagan, Lee Baxter from HSM, Rob Furolo, Simon Burt, Elizabeth Konza, Justin Di Lollo, Cameron Milliner, Peter Doyle, Meriana Baxter, Linda Doherty, my brother Mark McLeay, my mum Janice McLeay, Mehal Krayem, Nicholas Sozou, Janelle Lindsay, Angela Humphries, Naomi Dinnen, Elizabeth Pemberton, Sandra Neilley, Catherine Wade, Helensburgh Lions, Margaret McGuire, Sheena Johnston, Graeme Morrison, Theresa Chidiac and my parliamentary colleagues Phillip Costa, Kayee Griffin, Tony Catanzariti, Geoff Corrigan, Noreen Hay, Sharon Bird and Shelley Hancock and the Parliamentary Secretary in the chair, Tanya Gadiel.

Together we have raised a massive $2,257. I give special thanks to Doug Dean and Gab Trainor for their larger than most donations, which gave it a good kick along. I have a promise of more sponsorship to come from my wife, who will pay me to shave the moustache off. Congratulations to all those Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who took part in this charity event. I sponsored Nick Sozou from Parliament's Information Technology Service, who managed to grow his moustache in about three days. I also sponsored the pathetic moustaches of Matt Thisthlewaite from Unions New South Wales and Steve Turner from the Public Service Association. Probably the most pathetic moustache anyone has ever seen was on Rob Oakeshott, the Independent member representing Port Macquarie. This is his second year as a participant in Movember, and he challenged me to participate this year. I thank him for encouraging me to help raise awareness of men's health issues. Rob challenged me to raise more money than he did. I believe I have raised about three times as much. Thank you, Rob, and keep up the good work. Thank you to all those Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who participated in the event this year or sponsored participants.

Ms TANYA GADIEL (Parramatta—Parliamentary Secretary) [11.58 a.m.]: I congratulate the member for Heathcote on his contribution today and on his participation in Movember. He has copped a fair amount of cajoling this month, but has remained strong. Movember is a worthwhile initiative. It is a frightening to note that 2,900 men die of prostate cancer every year and the prevalence of male depression. These facts are not generally recognised in our society. I congratulate the member on bringing this issue to the attention of Parliament today and on his participation in this event, together with all the other Mo Bros and Mo Sistas—although I did not see many Mo Sistas around Parliament. I once again congratulate the member on his initiative to raise funds for this cause. He did an outstanding job. If Cass needs a hand to get him to shave off the moustache, I am sure his daughter, Holly, will be happy to oblige.