12 July 2023

The Sunshine Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group is passionate about improving education and awareness on the Coast and has been going strong since 2002.

The group welcomes an impressive 70 to 80 attendees each month to hear from keynote speakers, share information and socialise with each other.

We caught up with Co-Convenors Alan Keetley and Rob Tongue to hear more about how they maintain their momentum.

"We both joined in 2002 when I was searching for help after a prostatectomy, and Rob after radiation treatment,” Alan said.

“We were later asked to take joint responsibility from Trevor Wortley so he could concentrate on his treatment.

“Since then, we’ve continued to grow the group and Rob has developed support amongst the health professionals and community. “

Rob attributes the group’s success to a few key factors.

“For our group, it’s all about keeping meetings running on time, avoiding getting bogged down in process and keeping meetings relatively light-hearted,” he said.

“This has ensured our attendance is strong and those coming along stay engaged.

“We also have a range of speakers attend including medical, physio and general interest to keep the content interesting and relevant to everyone attending.”

Rob said one of the keys to finding a good guest speaker is to invite people who already have public speaking experience.

“This can make a big difference to the meeting,” he said.

“Lastly, I think distributing brochures about your support group to key outlets around the region is very effective, most importantly, in building creditability with health professionals and hospitals to get referrals.”

As a result of their efforts, both Alan and Rob have been recognised for their significant contribution to the community.

“We have both been recognised with Distinguished Service Awards and Rob received the Max Gardner Award in 2015, proud moments for us both,” Alan said.

"The Support Group has increased in numbers with new members attending most months - we have had to move twice to larger meeting rooms over the years – and hope to continue supporting more men and their partners."

To find out more information on the Group’s activities or to head along to a meeting, visit www.pcfa.org.au/support/find-a-support-group/sunshine-coast-pcsg