Qantas Supports New Prostate Cancer Nurses

Sydney, 28 July 2011

Qantas will fly nurses from cities and towns across the country to undertake training to become Australia’s first specialist prostate cancer nurses.

As part of a new partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, Qantas will also help to build awareness of prostate cancer with passengers through advertising, in-flight announcements and on-board messaging.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce and Treasurer Wayne Swan today announced the partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and unveiled a specially painted Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the Foundation’s logo, a distinctive blue ribbon.

Mr Joyce said Qantas was extremely proud to be associated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

“Qantas is honoured to be supporting Australia’s first specialist prostate cancer nurses who will play a vital role for those affected either directly or indirectly by prostate cancer,” Mr Joyce said.

“Earlier this year I was tested and discovered that I had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. I was able to have an operation quickly and was back at work within a few weeks.

“My doctor told me that there was an 80 per cent chance that I would have been dead within 10 years if it hadn’t been detected when it was. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones and would encourage all men over 40 to be tested regularly.

“Around 60 per cent of Qantas’ 35,000 workforce is made up of men, particularly men over 40, so we will also be helping to raise awareness within the company.”

The new prostate cancer specialist nurses will provide a nursing service for men and families impacted by prostate cancer in metropolitan and regional communities and help educate patients and other health care professionals about the disease.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation is aiming to build the program to around 15 nurses within three years, increasing to 50-60 nurses within six years.

Mr Swan welcomed the ongoing work from the Prostate Cancer Foundation and congratulated Qantas for helping to get this vital message out far and wide.

“I’m really proud to be involved in this initiative which is all about getting nurses across the country and supporting them in their vital work,” Mr Swan said.

“As a survivor of prostate cancer, a great passion of mine in life is to bring greater awareness to blokes who are most at risk. The reality is, if it weren’t for early detection nearly ten years ago, there is every chance I wouldn’t be here today.”

Dr Anthony Lowe, CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation said they are delighted that Qantas would be the airline partner of the Foundation and cover the travel costs for the Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses pilot program for the next three years.

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. It is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in Australian men and as many men lose their lives to prostate cancer each year as women to breast cancer,” he said.

“While there are a range of nurses who, in various ways, currently provide clinical care to prostate cancer patients, there has not been a nursing role dedicated solely to prostate cancer – until now.”

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5156)