Constituency Statement - Blood Cancer

27 March 2024

Ms BYRNES (Cunningham) (13:31): I rise today to recognise a member of the Illawarra community on a truly outstanding achievement. This year marks 26 years of Joe Alves shaving his head for the World's Greatest Shave. Over the past 26 years, Joe, who is a survivor himself, has raised over $320,000 and counting for the Leukaemia Foundation, making him one of the highest fundraising individuals in the country. It is such an outstanding achievement by just one man, who is making a massive difference in hundreds if not thousands of lives. I am so proud each year to attend Joe's shave at the South Coast Portuguese Association and celebrate with his friends, family and our community.

Blood cancer is Australia's hidden cancer crisis. We lose 16 people to blood cancer every day—that's mothers, fathers, daughters, siblings and grandparents. Sixteen families lose a loved one. Those numbers are set to nearly double by 2035. In supporting Australians like Joe through their cancer journey, the Albanese Labor government released the Australian Cancer Plan, which aims to improve prevention, screening, treatment and management of all cancers for all people living in Australia, regardless of their background or where they live. This record-breaking investment of over $700 million in last year's budget will deliver improved cancer outcomes across Australia.