25/07/2016 - 09:23

Geos dig deep for cancer

25/07/2016 - 09:23

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Perth geologist Scott Halley has come up with an innovative and highly effective way to combine professional development for his peers with fundraising for prostate cancer.

Event organiser Scott Halley (centre) with ALS manager Ben Cooke (left) and CSA Global’s Jell Elliott.

Perth geologist Scott Halley has come up with an innovative and highly effective way to combine professional development for his peers with fundraising for prostate cancer.

Mr Halley raised in excess of $60,000 on Friday when he hosted a technical seminar at the University of Western Australia on geochemistry.

“It’s been amazingly successful,” Mr Halley told Business News after the event.

The lecture theatre was filled to capacity, with 150 people registering, and with Mr Halley forced to turn away applicants in the final week.

“I could have easily got to 200,” he said.

Mr Halley, who heads geotechnical consultancy Mineral Mapping, has previously run short courses but never a full-day event.

Friday’s event, titled ‘Putting the geo into geometallurgy’, did not have a minimum fee, in acknowledgement of the tough times facing many geologists hit by the mineral exploration downturn.

But those who did attend were asked to make a donation for prostate cancer treatment.

The seminar was sponsored by mining consultancy CSA Global, Leapfrog geological modelling software and assay lab operator ALS Industrial, which also supplied speakers.

“They have all been amazingly generous,” Mr Halley said.

His interest in prostate cancer came about after he was diagnosed with the disease four years ago.

Mr Halley was one of 22,000 men diagnosed with the disease every year in Australia.

If he hadn’t done the blood test in time, he could have been one of 3,000 who die every year.

The $60,000 raised at the seminar was his contribution to Prostate Active, a two-day bike ride from Perth to Margaret River designed to lift public awareness of the disease and raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Mr Halley said he was disappointed with the standard of treatment after he was diagnosed.

Therefore his fundraising will go directly towards employing a specialist prostate cancer nurse in Perth, to help men find treatment and particularly to assist with post-treatment rehabilitation.

He believes this purpose has aided the fund-raising campaign.

“We know exactly how and where the money will be spent,” Mr Halley said.

The Prostate Active bike ride has attracted about 130 participants.

It was started five years ago by Jeremy Watkins and a group of 10 riders, after Mr Watkins’ father-in-law was terminally diagnosed with the disease.

Since starting the event, he has raised $600,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation and is aiming for $500,000 more.

Rather than being a race, Prostate Active is designed as a team event, with all participants working together on the 300-kilometre ride.

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