One of Australia’s biggest charity lunches - It’s A Bloke Thing (IABT) - is about to cross the border into the Northern Territory.
The boys from the bush on Queensland’s Darling Downs, who started the charity eight years ago and have raised more than six million dollars for education, care and research are excited to be expanding interstate.
In addition to their annual Toowoomba lunch later this year, an It’s A Bloke Thing charity lunch – organised by a Darwin sub-committee – will be held at the city’s international airport on Tuesday, February 13.
Prostate cancer survivor, Qantas CEO Group Alan Joyce, will be the guest speaker at what is expected to be the biggest lunch the Darwin International Airport has ever hosted and the first time an event of this magnitude has been held in an Australian airport international departure lounge, which is usually a security restricted area.
The 2018 It’s A Bloke Thing Foundation Chairman David Russell said it was an honour to take the lunch event interstate.
“We are very proud that our Foundation, which started from very humble beginnings by a group of mates, and has has raised funds for a Qantaslink It’s A Bloke Thing Prostate Cancer Roadshow throughout Western Queensland, the region’s first prostate cancer specialist nurse program and vital state and national research initiatives.
“Early detection really does save lives and to be able to continue to spread this message with the support of the Darwin business community is a fantastic outcome.
“The IABT Foundation is committed to education and research and two years ago we raised funds for a specialist nurse to support men in our rural community and it’s been a hugely successful program,” explained Mr Russell.
More than 350 Darwin business and community leaders including a strong Queensland contingent will dig deep to raise money for the city’s first ever prostate cancer specialist nurse.
The IABT lunch foray into Darwin was spearheaded by Airnorth Director and Northern Territory Tourism Chairman Michael Bridge.
Mr Bridge attended the IABT lunch at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport last year and thought it would be a worthwhile charity event to bring to the Northern Territory.
“Prostate cancer kills one man every week in Darwin and I felt it was a very important cause for our local community to support,” said Mr Bridge.
IABT Darwin lunch Chair and radio identity Katie Woolf, who lost her dad Rod to prostate cancer a few years ago, is also passionate about helping find a cure for the disease that kills about 3,300 Australian men every year.
“My dad was only 66 when he died from prostate cancer - 11 months after his diagnosis. He didn't suffer any symptoms before being diagnosed and had also had fairly regular tests so it was pretty heartbreaking for our family and that’s why I feel so passionate about raising awareness.
“It should be spoken about in the same open way we speak about breast cancer,” said Ms Woolf, who started the prostate cancer charity event Run With Dad.
Award-winning country music singers James Blundell and Chelsea Basham (Airnorth’s National Ambassador) will perform at the lunch, which will be held in the airport’s international departure lounge.
NT Airports CEO, Ian Kew, said Darwin International Airport was proud to be hosting the first It’s A Bloke Thing charity lunch in Darwin.
“It is the first time Darwin Airport has hosted a charity fund raising lunch for 350 guests at our airport.
“We’re grateful for the assistance from the team at the Department of Home Affairs for assisting us to create this very unique event space,” said Mr Kew.