The Pituitary Gland - Where are we in 2014?

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There was a great turnout at the Garvan seminar in 2014.  Apart from patients and families we had a number of nurses attend, some who travelled all the way from Townsville!  The APF team truly appreciated the time and effort all the doctors put in, the attendees appeared to be captivated by the content which inspired many questions on close.  It was truly a very informative morning.

Thank you to the doctors who permitted their PowerPoint presentations to be copied and the audio taped. This is a wonderful resource for our members who could not travel to be there and is now available in the member’s only section of our website.

Russell Fairweather,
Dr Ann McCormack,
Assoc. Prof Richard Harvey
 Dr Mark McCabe, 
Dr Mark Wilkinson

 Dr Fiona Denton

2013 - Wagga Wagga

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We had a great turn out at the patient seminar in Wagga on Saturday 4th May, 2013.  I am sure that all there sincerely appreciated having Dr. Ann McCormack, from the Garvan Institute and Dr. Mary Freeman travel from Sydney to present for them. Dr. Mary Freeman is a visiting Endocrinologist and has a permanent clinic there. 

Some patients travelled up to 3 hrs from further regional areas surrounding Wagga. This was also a great opportunity to finally meet, face to face, some of our members who we have been involved with.   

A little advertising before the event encouraged the local paper, Daily Advertiser, to arrive on the day to interview one of our local members, Daryl and Dr. Freeman. The editorial looked great with a small number of us having a photograph appear, along with some information about the pituitary and Australian Pituitary Foundation.

2012 - Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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We had a great turn out with over 60 people attending! The program was very informative, no matter how many seminars we attend everyone still finds them interesting, and it is great that the speakers always find new ways to inform pituitary patients of what is happening in the world of pituitary.

Daniel Blomfield, Dr Graeme Jones, Dr Jerry Greenfield,
Dr Ann McCormack, Dr Monique Costin, Mrs Tanya Thompson

A small but enthusiastic group toured the Garvan on the following Monday morning after the seminar. Thank you to thank Dr. Ann MCormack who told us some history of the Garvan, then we went on a tour of the labs to hear what they are researching in pituitary and endocrine, and what they are trying to achieve at the Garvan.

2011 Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

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Royal Prince Alfred Hospital put on a great morning of education including an impromptu workshop for attendees with nurse Julie Hetherington after lunch. Julie is an injection nurse for patients managing Acromegaly and did a comprehensive talk on sick day management including showing us a great DVD of some-one actually doing the injection.

Thanks must go to our dear comrade Loretta Schar who travelled across from Adelaide to present on her experiences of being a carer/partner to a pituitary patient. This topic is close to Loretta’s heart and she shared with us some strategies on coping. Dr Tania Markovic, Endocrinologist, gave us some information on diabetes mellitus and its relationship with the pituitary and hormones. Weight gain is a concern for many people who are managing a pituitary condition and she touched on that, explaining the hormones and the role of the gut and hypothalamus.

Neurosurgery for pituitary tumours has evolved substantially in the last 10-15 years with the use of endoscopic surgery, minimally invasive transcranial surgery, and stereotactic radiosurgery. Dr Benjamin Jonker gave us a broad overview of the roles of surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery with case examples.

 Loretta Schar  Julie Hetherington  Dr Tania Markovic  Dr Benjamin Jonker

A number of people travelled in to Sydney from various places in NSW – thanks for coming!

And a big thank you of course to the wonderful presenters.

2010 John Hunter Hospital

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John Hunter Children’s Hospital and John
Hunter Hospital in Newcastle hosted a 
combined day for children, parents, adults
and families managing pituitary disorders.
 Liz Nunn (white shirt) and Trisha Crock (red floral shirt) with their families.

Assoc. Prof. Patricia Crock and Liz Nunn, Endocrine Nurse, put on a wonderful morning of information on congenital hypopituitarism and a practical workshop on intramuscular hydrocortisone injection which saw many adults and children participate. There was a great turn out of over 60 and the Foundation would like to thank Tricia and Liz who encouraged their families to attend. Some families travelled over 6 hours and you could “just tell” how happy they all were to be there and to have the opportunity to network as well.

The afternoon session presented by Dr. Kirsten Murray attracted around 40. Kirsten worked with the Foundation prior to the seminar by receiving a summary of questions and interests compiled by the Foundation on behalf of adult members and covered those issues within her presentation. She then allowed a very frank question and answer time on conclusion which prompted some interactive discussion. It was nice to see a number of adults form acromegaly and cushing’s discussion groups during the breaks.

2009 Concord Hospital

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The Pituitary Hormone Replacement and Suppressants Seminar was held on Saturday 21 November at Concord Hospital. We had great attendance, especially since it was organised at short notice.

Our three speakers, Klaus Sommer, Moira Fraser and Bin Moore spoke about pituitary hormone replacements and suppressants. Their talks were very informative and on the practical side, the injection workshop was really good. The talk on menopause was widely accepted and informative explaining the role the pituitary gland plays. It was nice to see that Klaus, Bin, and Moira stayed after their talks and were able to speak to people on a more personal level.

 Bin Moore (in the white shirt) spoke on the paediatric
aspect of pituitary deficiency
 Moira Fraser (centre) with the girls discussing secret women’s business
after her presentation



Klaus Sommer conducting a practical workshop on hydrocortisone administration

2009 Paediatric Educational Day

NSW Support 1.JPG

What a great day. 12 families attended with a combined total of 23 adults and 13 children attending.

This was an informal day which gave families the opportunity to meet and also gain some insight into their child’s condition through sharing and learning. Thank you must go to Father John Lyne of St. Kevin’s Parish Eastwood, who permitted the Foundation to use the hall which provided a kitchen for serving up lunch and also a secure area for the children to play. A HUGE thank you must go to parents Gregor and Jo along with their extended family who assisted in arranging the day.

NSW Support 5.JPG

The children appeared to be having a good time with Jo’s brother Andrew, while the adults listened to an informative session by Dr Paul Benitez- Agiurre, Endocrine Fellow, on Hydrocortisone treatment and sick day management.

NSW Support 6.JPGNSW Support 2.JPG

Bin Moore, Anne Craighead and Tracey Jopling, Nurse Educators from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead set up a small workshop to give families the opportunity to practice injection techniques.

2008 Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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The NSW Pituitary Awareness Seminar is hosted by the Garvan Institute on alternate years and 2008 was such a year. The topics related to the inter-relationship between the Pituitary gland and issues of weight and mood, two issues which appeared to “strike a cord” with a number of members.

The presentation was broken into 2 sessions with 3 short inter-related topics followed by a question time, in each.


The main thread of the topics indicated that it was almost impossible to determine whether the pituitary disorder caused the weight or mood issues or whether lifestyle issues which cause weight or mood problems affect the pituitary function. Whichever is the case, unfortunately those people suffering from pituitary disorders will have no “easy fix”, keeping as fit and active as possible with a healthy diet is essential to have the best quality of life.


Thank you to the staff at the Garvan Institute, particularly Professor Ken Ho who is an avid supporter of the Pituitary Foundation, for the professional and polished performance which he and his staff produced.

Previous Years

APF NSW Educational seminar 2006


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APF NSW Educational seminar 2005

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APF NSW Educational seminar 2004

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 2004 Seminar held at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research  

APF NSW Educational seminar 2003

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 Attendees enjoying lunch at the Prince of Wales Hospital.  

APF NSW Educational seminar 2002

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APF NSW Educational seminar 2001


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