2013 - Princess Alexandra Hospital

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On Saturday 1st June, Princess Alexandra Hospital, hosted another successful educational seminar for us. Dr Sarah Olson, Neurosurgeon, Assoc Prof Warrick Inder (Endocrinologist) and Dr Greg Ward (Pathologist) presented for us. It always amazes me that I learn something new every time I attend these seminars. For example Dr Olson spoke of how tumours that have been treated with Cabergoline are often harder to resect, and Assoc Prof Inder enlightened us with his latest research on corticosteroid replacement dosing, long term effects and metabolism implications. Dr Greg Ward showed some very interesting hardware technology which is used in the labs and his presentation was easy to understand.

 Dr Sarah Olson, Sue Kozij, Assoc Prof Warrick Inder  Kel Childs, Denise Bennetts, Lizzy Graveson, Jane Sorbello,
Dr Greg Ward

Lastly I cannot sign off without thanking the nurses at PA.  “Lizzy” Graveson, Denise Bennetts and Jane Sorbello. I enjoy a great relationship with them. They are so supportive of the work I do in Queensland and the Foundation as a whole. Kel also took the opportunity to show his admiration to them by congratulating them on the important role they play in a patient’s life.

2012 Townsville Hospital

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The patient morning in Townsville had around 75 people attend. I must say I was delighted to have a couple of Brisbane members travel up especially to join us. Townsville always puts on a good event for us and I would like to sincerely thank the Doctors and Nurses who put so much effort into the day.

I was so very excited to have Prof. Ken Ho, from Princess Alexandra Hospital, there. Prof. Ho flew up especially for the events over the 2 days. Dr. Yong Mong Tan, Dr Kunwarjit Singh Sangla, Dr. Vasant Shenoy, Ann Robinson and Dr. Eric Guazzo all did fine presentations on various subjects with Professor Ken Ho. It was unfortunate we had to drop one of the topics due to the many questions from the audience consuming the time.

 Dr Kunwarjit Singh Sangla, Prof. Ken Ho, Dr. Yong Mong Tan, Ann Robinson.   Daniel Blomfield, Dr. Vasant Shenoy & Eric Kozij  Sue Kozij & Dr. Eric Guazzo

In the evening we joined a few members for a quiet and very early dinner at the Shamrock Hotel, then collapsed into bed for a good rest. One couple were travelling in and around Australia and just happened to be in Townsville at the time of the seminar – how great was that!

2011 Princess Alexandra Hospital

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Princess Alexandra Hospital put on a fantastic day for us. An incredible 97 people attended comprising patients, families, endocrine registrars, nurses and GP’s. Some travelled from as far as Townsville.

It was great to see many patients and families taking the opportunity to network. A number of newly diagnosed people were there including a few waiting for surgery – I’m sure being able to meet others who have gone thru this experience and come out the other side, was reassuring for them. Our dear friends and Endocrine nurses, Denise Bennetts and Elizabeth Graveson put in so much effort to make it such an outstanding day. Thank you to you both.
 Noel Hickey, Denise Bennetts & Elizabeth Graveson    

We had a fine line up of speakers – 2 of which are advisors to the Foundation, Prof. Ken Ho and Dr. Sarah Olson. We were very proud to have them all there.

Dr. Paul Lee provided additional perspectives of moods and hormones and their association with sleep disturbance and obesity.


Dr. Ross Cuneo has presented many times at previous PA seminars. Many patients were looking forward to hearing his
presentation on cortisol and thyroxine.

Prof. Ken Ho spoke on Growth Hormone deficiency and replacement which was very timely considering the advocacy work the APF was involved in at the time.

Dr. Sarah Olson showed us a video of endoscopic surgery. There were a few in the audience who had either just had surgery or were scheduled to have it soon, so this presentation would have been

beneficial indeed.

2010 Gold Coast Hospital

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There was a diverse range of 44 attendees from all areas such as Brisbane, Gold Coast, Warwick, Lismore, Hervey Bay and a member who lives in Canberra who took the opportunity to visit and bring her Mum along who lives on the Gold Coast! Adult patients and their families, parents of children, interested guests, registrars, nurses and a chemist certainly enjoyed the morning! The doctors presented in an easy relaxed manner which encouraged many questions and discussions from the crowd.

Dr. Gary Phelps, Ophthalmologist, Assoc. Prof. Darrell Price, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. Elham Reda, Endocrinologist, Dr. Saima Amer, Senior Endocrinology Registrar and Dr. Peter Davoren, Clinical Director of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gold Coast Hospital.

  Patients and families took the opportunity to have lunch afterwards at the Sight Loss Centre in Southport. This was kindly arranged by Colin McNamara and his wife Chris, who manage the centre. Colin lost his sight to pituitary disease some years ago and manages day to day with his companion dog Clancy.

2010 Cairns Base Hospital

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People travelled in from all areas and existing members visited from Adelaide, Brisbane, Port Macquarie. Originally 76 people replied, but due to “no shows” we had around 60 or so attend, so we were certainly welcomed in Cairns by the great turnout. Thank you to Desley Eaton (retired nurse) who I believe wore many hats there at the Hospital.

The Foundation and Cairns Base Hospital were able to demonstrate the pituitary gland and what can go wrong to the wider community due to the efforts of Loye (pictured below in support news) a long term member. Loye had a wonderful patient experience and photo on living with Acromegaly published in the Cairns Post which then interviewed Dr. Anna McLean with a great photo of her holding up a model of the brain showing where the pituitary is situated. Loye also arranged for Anna and Sue to be interviewed on local ABC Radio with presenter Ginger.

To conclude the day Dr Ashim Sinha hosted an informal chat session where a couple of patients were able to tell their stories.  Although we managed to get a photo of most of the presenters, we weren’t quite quick enough to catch Yogesh Raje, also Eric Guazzo and Michael Collins who traveled especially all the way up from Townsville to present.

Dr Emershia Suthiharan, Dr. Jenny Yarker, Dr. Dyanne Wilson, 
Dr. Anna McLean & Ass. Prof. Ashim Sinha.

2009 Mater Private Hospital

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Our "Pituitary and Hormones in Adults" seminar was a great success with a variety of people attending - pituitary patients, family members and friends, GP's, Nurses and Physiotherapists.  Thank you to the Nurses and Doctors who put this program together for the Foundation.

Qld Seminar 2009 Howard Campbell 1.JPGDr. Jane Howard, Dr. Robert Campbell
The quality of the presentations was outstanding.  As someone said on the day, the pituitary is so complex, the seminar could go all week!  Alas, we had to send the presenters home when the day concluded...  
We were delighted with the content - the speakers had an easy manner and were clear to understand. 

Much thought went in to the preparation of these talks, none overlapped with the content although one speaker joked that the previous speaker was "using his slide".  The anatomy of the pituitary and surrounding areas was very comprehensive, as was the information on tumours and their effects (what can go wrong) - learning about topics such as what can happen if the third ventrical gets blocked by a macroadenoma was fascinating and something we would not usually learn. 
Qld Seminar 2009 2 Estella.JPG 
Dr. Eugene Estella

The audience was transfixed at a video of the actual transphenoidal operation, while later we had a bit of a giggle with the Hypopituitarism, Sexuality and Intimacy talk (I think a few people gave their partners a bit of a nudge with some topics).  We learned about medications and hormone replacements and treatments.  The information on adult growth hormone replacement certainly stirred a few questions.

Qld seminar 2009 3 Nurse Group.JPG   Qld seminar 2009 4 Slaughter.JPG Qld seminar 2009 5 Redmond.JPG 
Mater staff: Sara Fingleton, Tania Watene, Katherine
Jackman, Michelle (and baby) Marrington, Kylie Schoeffler
Dr. Tom Slaughter  Dr. Michael Redmond

Qld seminar 2009 6 McNamara .JPG

The Foundation provided patient speakers on the day.  Kel (member) spoke of his journey with Acromegaly,his ongoing tumour activity & treatments while sharing a positive attitude to life. Sue (member) spoke of Cushings Disease & the success of her treatment.  This gave the audience different perspective of two diseases, two symptom & diagnosis experiences with two completely different outcomes.  One with ongoing disease & hormonal therapy, the other with a cure or "remission" with residual pituitary gland producing the required hormones again. 
 Colin McNamara (Vision in Paradise) his companion dog Clancy and Sue Kozij  

2008 Townsville Hospital, NQ

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This seminar was a great success and could not have been achieved without the direct input of health professionals who volunteered their expertise. Thanks must go to Dr. Yong Mong Tan, Senior Endocrinologist; Dr. Kim Ku, Advanced Endocrine Registrar; Ms. Ann Robinson, Credentialled Diabetes Educator; Dr. Alan Sive, Paediatric Endocrinologist; Professor Lee Kennedy, Endocrinologist; Dr. Eric Guazzo, Senior Neurosurgeon; Dr. Michael Collins, Senior Radiation Oncologist.

 Townsville_Seminar_2008_46.jpg  Townsville_Seminar_2008_18.jpg Townsville_Seminar_2008_21.jpg 
 Sue Kozij, Mr. Eric Guazzo, Dr. Michael Collins, Ann Robinson
and Dr. Mong Tan
 Prof. Lee Kennedy with Dr. Kim Ku  Dr. Alan Sive with Ann Robinson

Pituitary patients themselves, families and friends, parents of children with pituitary illness, and also health professionals attended. Two nurses flew from Brisbane and Cairns respectively to attend, and others from local areas were also there, including Brisbane. These seminars are good not only to promote pituitary awareness and educate the general public and those affected by disease, but also for the continuing professional development of nurses and other health professionals in this unique area. If only we could encourage more GP’s to attend.

One thing that really struck everyone was on conclusion a member took the hand held mike and told the presenters on the podium what wonderful people they were and he owed his life to them. It was said with such passion that the whole conference centre erupted in applause. We must remember to thank our doctors from time to time, after all it is they who look out for us and do their best to offer us positive outcomes while managing a very insidious disease or disorder.

Previous Princess Alexandra Hospital


APF Qld Educational Seminar 2005 - Download flyer here

APF Qld Educational Seminar 2004 - Download flyer here

APF Qld Educational Seminar 2003 - Download flyer here

APF Qld Educational Seminar 2002 - Download flyer here

APF Qld Educational Seminar 2001 - Download flyer here


L to R: Dr Ross Cuneo, Consultant Endocrinologist, PA Hospital
Dr Guy Byrant, Department of Radiology, Mater Hospital
Dr Leigh Atkinson, Consulting Specialist Neurosurgeon, PA Hospital


L to R: Dr. David Torpy, Consultant Endocrinologist Greenslopes Hospital,
Dr. Jemima Biber, Health Psychologist, P.A. Hospital,
Dr. Ross Cuneo, Consultant Endocrinologist, P.A.Hospital
Ms. Sally Skuthorpe, Nurse Educator, P.A. Hospital


L to R: Dr. Ross Cuneo, Consultant Endocrinologist, P.A. Hospital
Ms. Sally Skuthorpe, Nurse Educator, P.A. Hospital
Dr. Andrew Cotterill, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Mater Children’s Hospital
Sue Kozij, Australian Pituitary Foundation Ltd
Kel Childs, Australian Pituitary Foundation Ltd.


 L to R: Kel Childs, Australian Pituitary Foundation,
Ms Fiona McIver, Clinical Nurse Consultant PA Hospital,
Dr Ross Cuneo, Consultant Endocrinologist, PA Hospital,
Dr Margaret Williamson, Consultant Endocrinologist, PA Hospital,
Dr Clare Boothroyd, Endocrinologist: Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Greenslopes Private Hospital,
Sue Kozij, Australian Pituitary Foundation



L to R: Mr Adam Parker, Diabetes Educator Princess Alexandra Hospital,
Dr Trisha O’Moore-Sullivan, Consultant, Diabetes & Endocrinology, PA Hospital,
Dr Ingrid Hickman, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, PA Hospital,
Ms Fiona McIver, Credentialed Diabetes Educator, PA Hospital


Dr. Guy Bryant, Ms Carley Mills, Dr. Emma Duncan, Dr. Sarah Olson & Dr. Athony Russell


Noel Hickey & Sally Skuthorpe