On the road with our Education Roadshow Facilitator Ruth…

What an amazing adventure I’ve been on these past 4 weeks! After months of planning and the odd worry re COVID lockdowns, I left home on the Sunshine Coast on 12th July.

Day 1 involved a quick trip to speak with the blokes at the Pimpama Men’s Shed (on the Gold Coast) on my way to Roma. Next morning, I headed north-west to the first of the Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) properties “Isis Downs” to spend the evening with their staff discussing men’s health matters. In total I visited 5 CPC properties starting vital health conversations with men and women who don’t have easy access to information and medical services. They were an enthusiastic and appreciative audience, and the feedback received made the trips feel very worthwhile. Thanks to Cameron, our trusty pilot for keeping us safe as we flew from Katherine to “Bunda Station” and “Newcastle Waters”, then up to “Carlton Hill Station” in northern WA.  My last stop was back in Qld at “Wrotham Park Station” west of Cairns. I feel privileged to witness some amazing scenery and sunrises!

Along my way I organised to visit employees of Wagners - our roadshow sponsor. A sunrise toolbox talk at their Cloncurry Quarry site and an afternoon roadshow with their truck drivers in Mt Isa as well as a BBQ lunch at the Adani quarry site. Thanks to Jack and Troy for helping to organise these opportunities for their staff.

A special thanks to Jake and Jenny Groves from the Northern Renewable Group for hosting the roadshow for a fundraising BBQ Breakfast at their workshop in Katherine. It was a great success from an education perspective, and they also raised over $2000 for the IABT Foundation. What a fabulous community health initiative!

After a couple of days to re-energise and enjoy the local sights around Katherine, Kakadu and Litchfield National Park the roadshow headed for Darwin to spend time starting conversations with blokes in the top end. I enjoyed spending time chatting with Katie Woolf on Radio MIX 104.9FM. She is another woman committed to the prostate cancer cause and our Darwin IABT Committee Chairperson. I also spent time with Ruby our PCFA Specialist Prostate Cancer Nurse based in Darwin.

Another note of special thanks to Bob and Dan Richards from the Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm, who are generous sponsors of both our lunch in Darwin and in Toowoomba, for hosting the roadshow for a day. This provided an opportunity for all their employees to be updated about prostate cancer and other men’s health matters. I didn’t get to sample any of their catch that day, but lucky for me I had caught my first barra and eaten it fresh earlier in the week!

Other groups I started conversations with during the week in Darwin included Paspaley (sadly no pearls for this girl!), Gerard Maley – the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the Darwin Men’s Shed, Radio 97.7FM, VTG Waste and Recycle, DT Hobbs Construction and Airnorth.  

On the way home I visited the Men’s Sheds in Mareeba, Atherton, Clermont, Yeppoon and Emu Park. As my resources were running low it was a perfect time to hot foot it home. How lucky I was to start so many conversations and meet so many amazing people and get back safely before more lockdowns were imposed!

The ute was recognised in remote places due to the power of radio – thanks for talking with me Macca on Australia all Over and ABC North Q.

A huge thanks to IOR for donating 1200 litres of diesel to keep the ute on the road...11,000kms travelled in 4 weeks takes a lot of diesel. It’s time now to reflect and reset – stay tuned for the next IABT Roadshow adventure as I take this important prostate cancer message to the blokes in the bush.