Consumer Advisory Panel

, ANZUP

The Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) provides ANZUP with invaluable advice on specific studies, general research directions and priorities from a consumer perspective. The CAP also provides a conduit for communication from ANZUP back to the community in order to promote research and engage community support.

Each CAP member brings their own cancer experience, professional expertise, networks, advocacy knowledge and a dedication to the clinical trials research process. Members participate on various ANZUP committees and contribute to many prostate, bladder, kidney, penile and testicular cancer research, advocacy, support and fundraising projects.

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Belinda Jago, Chair

Belinda has worked predominantly in the human resources field after completing a Bach of Business in 1981. She had 12 years with ANZ where she held a variety of operational and strategic HR roles. After a short career break Belinda returned to work in 1999 in various HR management roles within the Finance and IT sector. Currently Belinda is the HR Director at Active Display Group, a national manufacturing business specialising in point of sale material. She joined the group in 2004 with a special interest in acquisitions and restructuring. Belinda’s interest in ANZUP stems from her role as a carer for her daughter who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2006 at the early age of 13. Volunteering with ANZUP is an opportunity for Belinda to share the knowledge and skills she has acquired during her own experience and to pursue her passion for assisting cancer patients, their carer’s and families with a particular interest in kidney and AYA cancers.

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Ray Allen, Deputy Chair

Ray is in his 60’s, and has moved on from his working career. He don’t use the word retired and prefers to describe himself as ‘getting on with life’. He spent almost his entire working career in the commercial property industry with the last 20 years in property related investment banking and funds management. He resisted all invitations to ‘suit-up’ and return to the boardroom. Ray believes there is so much else to be done. He ascribes to a doctrine of enabling. He’s a very keen follower of the performing arts, with a particular leaning to opera and classical music. With a personal commitment to engaging youth with opera he assists the students and staff of a regional Conservatorium of Music to stage an annual, full opera production involving young people. A few years back, Ray was diagnosed with prostate cancer and subsequently had a radical prostatectomy. He said it was certainly a life changer and so far so good. He doesn’t shy away from talking about the disease, its diagnosis, consequences, and management. His involvement over the past few years with ANZUP has been a great opportunity to channel his experience to help others and to increase community awareness and encourage participation in valuable clinical trials.

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Joe Esposito

Mr Joe Esposito is a Melbourne based director who has recently established a business consultancy practice, Grumentum Capital Pty Ltd. For 8 years until 2020, he owned and operated a BOQ (Bank of Queensland) branch in the inner city suburb of Collingwood. He has had over 20 years experience in corporate banking in Australia and New Zealand. Between 2003 and 2006 he was the CEO of ASX listed Jetset Travelworld Limited.
Mr Esposito has a close affinity with the objectives of ANZUP and the needs of cancer consumers. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce, a Master of Applied Finance and a Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Management. He is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Leonie Young

Leonie Young has been a member of the ANZUP CAP since 2017 and a supporter and mentor for the CAP since 2012. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and through her family, has personal experience and understanding of other cancers including prostate cancer.

Since her diagnosis she has been involved with many aspects of cancer consumer advocacy, support, training, and mentoring and contributes in numerous research initiatives as an experienced consumer representative with researchers both nationally and internationally. She regularly presents at conferences concerning topics relating to the lived experience.

She is the Peer Support Coordinator for the Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre (Choices) in Brisbane and an inaugural member and immediate past Chair of the Breast Cancer Trials Consumer Advisory Panel.

Leonie is the recipient of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University, Griffith University, Brisbane and the Reach to Recovery International Terese Lasser Award both in recognition of distinguished service to the community, particularly as an advocate for people diagnosed with cancer.

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Colin O'Brien

Colin O’Brien was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 and since then has been actively involved as a consumer advocate with numerous cancer committees that include the Victorian government’s Department of Health Cancer Quality Outcomes Committee, Prostate Cancer Outcomes Registry Steering Committee and Cancer Vic Cancer Registry.

He has 40 years-experience in small business as an owner, business advisor, workshop developer and presenter, and as EO of Australia’s largest network of small business providers. He has a strong interest in improved benchmarking regarding the treatment, care and outcomes for cancer patients as they journey through the health care system.

Taking time out from his business he has completed small business volunteer assignments in Thailand, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Bali, Indonesia. Passions include sharing a good meal and wine with family and friends, travel (in particular Canada) and competitive mountain biking.

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Matt Leonard

Matt was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the young age of 22. His lunchtime visit to the doctor led to an ultrasound which was quickly followed by an appointment with an oncologist within the same afternoon. By 3pm he was told he had testicular cancer and the next day he would have to return at 9am to have the testicle removed. After chemotherapy treatment a large teratoma/benign tumour mass was discovered not to have shrunk during the chemotherapy and it was decided that the best option was to have his retroperitoneal lymph nodes in his back removed. He then began his recovery and has now been in remission for over 15 years. It took many years to even feel like himself again. He struggled physically and mentally to get his life back on track. Matt said that one of the biggest challenges mentally was being a huge family man and the risk of having the RPLND operation was becoming infertile through retrograde ejaculation. Sixteen years later he still has experiences off and on. He managed to land his dream job and has been a Station Officer (firefighter) for Fire and Emergency for over 10 years. His beautiful wife is now a doctor working at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton (NZ).

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Les Land

Les worked originally in the public service before joining the motor industry and was employed in management positions. He is now fully retired. In about January 2010 Les went to his GP with a sore left shoulder blade. Tests revealed something in the kidney area. He was referred to a urologist, had a biopsy and the same procedure carried out some 5 months later. Dr Coombes, the surgeon, then removed his left kidney as the biopsy had shown growth and was deemed cancerous. Dr Coombes referred Les to Martin Stockler who put him into the Sorefanib trial program. He stayed with the medication for the full 3 years with a few ups and downs with side effects. Les attended every 6 months for blood tests, chest x rays or whatever the protocol dictated until the trial closed. He started the trial from a selfish point of view knowing they’d look after me extremely well. The more he got involved the more he thought about other people who might be diagnosed just like himself, perhaps someone 30 years of age with a couple of children. He is glad that he might have now helped them.

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Melissa Le Mesurier

Melissa Le Mesurier, originally trained as a journalist, has 25 years’ experience as a senior corporate affairs executive with blue-chip organisations such as Medibank, Kraft/Cadbury, Foster’s Group and Australian Airlines. She is currently the Principal of MLM Consulting which advises executives and boards on strategy, reputation, cultural change and communications.

Both professionally and personally, Melissa is passionate about medical research, consumer engagement and patient empowerment – something sparked when her (now adult) son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in 1996 and strengthened when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Director of the Lung Foundation Australia. She was previously a member of the Alfred Hospital’s CF Consumer Advisory Panel and founding Chair of the Royal Children’s Hospital Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust (1999-2009) which has raised more than $3m for research and funded about 20 clinical fellows.

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Michael Twycross

Michael is in his late 50’s, lives in Victoria, is married with 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. He has a trade background and 20 years of experience managing the local office of an industrial electronics equipment supply company. Life was about family, running, work and the motor sport club. Michael was quite healthy until his diagnosis with advanced bladder cancer in January 2017. It was only a few weeks from the initial tell-tale signs of disease to his diagnosis and then treatment. Priorities have changed a little in the past few years with family becoming his number one focus. He spends more time now with family, has enjoyed a few holidays post treatment (to NZ, SA, WA to name a few). Michael has a renewed focus on improving his fitness, post treatment - which hopefully will assist with fending off any recurrence of cancer. Running a 100km trail run on the Victorian surf coast had been his goal for 2017. He was able to complete an endurance challenge in 2018. Being part of an ongoing bladder cancer trial also opened up a new avenue of interest, and opportunities to make a difference. Michael has been able to raise funds in support of the work ANZUP does to improve outcomes. He was introduced to ANZUP by his clinical trials nurse and even though he wasn’t on an ANZUP trial, he understood what this dynamic organisation was aiming to achieve. He had no idea what he could contribute to the CAP when nominated, and at some meetings he still wonders! Michael hopes to contribute for a long time to come and to help encourage more bladder cancer research and trial development through his participation at ANZUP.