12 July 2023

John Allen is a well-known name in the Australian prostate cancer community, having led the Dubbo Prostate Cancer Support Group for 27 years.

But after nearly three decades of service, John is stepping into retirement, and handing over the reins.

In recognition of this significant contribution, on Tuesday 4 July, he was presented with a Life Membership Award for his outstanding dedication to the cause.

John and Sam Excelby presented John his Life Membership at the Dubbo PCSG’s AGM at the local Dubbo RSL, and an additional surprise had Janice Monk presenting John with a PCFA silver pin and certificate in recognition of his community service and leadership.

We spoke to John and his wife, Elizabeth Allen OAM, to look back on his time with the Group and some of his more memorable moments.

John’s story:

Along with pioneer Fred Opprecht (sadly now deceased), John formed the Dubbo Prostate Cancer Support Group following his diagnosis of prostate cancer in February 1996. 

He underwent a radical prostatectomy in March 1996 with Dubbo Urologist, Dr Bandi Sanjef, who is now based in Mackay QLD.

Dr Bandi was a believer of support groups and what they could do help those with a diagnosis. Dr Bandi supported the formation and the Dubbo Prostate Cancer Support Group’s inaugural meeting was held on 24 November 1996.

Except for a short break over a decade ago, John has led the group right through and has for many years been responsible for getting the prizes for raffles held at awareness and fundraising events.

He is proud to have led the group over so many years and has enjoyed helping those that have phoned wanting a listening ear.

John was also an instrumental part in the formation of Wagga Wagga, Broken Hill and Griffith Support Groups and in 2010, received the PCFA Max Gardner Award at Kirriblli House, Sydney.

“My work over the years being able to support men with a diagnosis has been a real highlight, along with receiving the Max Gardner Award in 2010 and my time with the PCFA Chapter Council,” John said.

“To men considering joining a support group, I say quite simply, come and try it!

“I feel extremely honoured to have this recognition from PCFA and to be presented with a Life Membership.

“I’ve just always done what I can do and what was needed.”

We congratulate John for his tireless commitment, generosity and dedication to supporting men and their loved ones impacted by prostate cancer.

To read more about Dubbo PCSG or to head to the next meeting, visit www.pcfa.org.au/support/find-a-support-group/dubbo-pcsg/