Three Australian volunteers who have dedicated years of their lives to supporting Australian men and families impacted by prostate cancer have been awarded Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s (PCFA) prestigious annual Max Gardner Award for Distinguished Service.
This year’s winners were Mr Linton Blackwell of Eagle Point (Vic), Mrs Margaret Amm of Hamilton Hill (WA), and Mr Richard Harry of Mount Gambier (SA).
PCFA’s Outstanding Contribution Award has also been presented posthumously to the late Mr Patrick Coughlan of Lismore (NSW).
PCFA’s Chairman Adjunct A/Prof Steve Callister congratulated the award winners.
“My congratulations to Linton, Margaret and Richard for their awards. They are truly remarkable figures in the Australian prostate cancer community, dedicating many hundreds of hours of service to other men and families impacted by the disease and raising awareness to help us defeat it,” he said.
“I thank them for their voluntary service and contribution. Their tireless advocacy has changed many lives for the better.”
PCFA CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said each of the awardees was an inspiration to men and families impacted by the disease.
“Over many years they have served as champions of prostate cancer awareness within their communities, ensuring that men and their partners do not have to walk the journey of prostate cancer alone,” Prof Dunn said.
“They have played a vital role in providing men and their families with information, comfort, and support, calling on their own personal experiences to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Mr Blackwell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and has been involved in the Bairnsdale Prostate Cancer Support Group since 2012, leading the group from 2013 alongside his wife Pamela. Three of Linton’s brothers and two of his nephews have also been diagnosed with the disease, providing Linton with strong motivation to stay active in the Support Group.
Mrs Amm runs the Advanced Prostate Cancer Group in Perth, convening monthly meetings for those impacted. She has been a PCFA Ambassador for many years and was the former convenor of PCFA’s Freemantle Prostate Cancer Support Group.
Mr Harry was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010 and became Chair of PCFA’s Mount Gambier Prostate Cancer Support Group soon after. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to support South Australian men and families, raising thousands of dollars for the cause.
PCFA has more than 120 Support Groups around Australia, providing vital peer support and outreach to the community.