February 11, 2020

Australia lost one of our most active, passionate and inspiring ovarian cancer advocates with the passing of Newcastle ABC radio journalist Jill Emberson on 12 December 2019.

Just 10 months before, Jill had been a guest speaker at my annual Ovarian Cancer Australia fundraiser morning tea.

Jill demonstrated that day, what she did many days before and many days after, that she was not going to go quietly and that her battle with our most lethal women's cancer would not be in vain.

Jill spoke wherever she could, including here in Parliament House, and was successful in securing $20 million in Commonwealth funding for ovarian cancer research and a further $15 million for clinical trials into gynaecologic cancers.

She was incredibly forthright that day, like she was every day.

This funding is very welcome, but more is needed.

Every day in Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and three will die from the disease.

It is our deadliest cancer for women and the sixth most common cause of cancer death in Australia.

Fewer than half of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, just 46 per cent, are alive five years later.

Ovarian Cancer Australia wants to improve the survival rate through research into better treatment and, more importantly, into early diagnosis.

For that reason, I will continue to hold my annual morning tea event to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Australia.

This year it is being held on Friday 21 February at Belmont Golf Club.

I urge all members of this House to join with me in calling for more funding for ovarian cancer research.

You can view the speech here.