October 31, 2017
Every year a small field of pink ladies appears on the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt lawn, accompanied by a group of women also wearing pink.
The Mini Field of Women is a tribute to all the women and families in the South Burnett who have been touched in some way by breast cancer.
Some of the small pink silhouettes have tags around their necks in memory of friends and relatives who have died from the disease.
The day is organised by local McGrath Breast Care Nurse Ros Melmeth, who believes it is vitally important to keep breast cancer awareness alive in the community.
She said people walking by the field – which remained up for a day – often paused to read one of the tags.
“If it makes them think and get a check-up, it could save a life,” she said.
The inaugural Field of Women was set up on the lawns of Old Parliament House in Canberra in 1998 by the Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Since then the idea has spread around the country.
“Each town gets 100 pink ladies to plant to recognise that in each community there are women who have been touched by breast cancer,” Ros said.
And the statistics are frightening.
“The incidence of breast cancer is increasing,” Ros said.
“It used to be one woman in 12, now it is one-in-eight or closer to one-in-seven. That’s a lot of women in the South Burnett who will experience breast cancer.
“Every day in Australia, 43 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and every three days a man is diagnosed.”
The good news is that 85 per cent of people diagnosed with breast cancer will have their treatment and then get on with their lives.
Cr Ros Heit, who is a breast cancer survivor, urged women to check regularly for lumps as well as undergo mammograms.
“Early diagnosis is always better. Prevention would be best,” she said.
Ros Melmeth agreed: “My aim in life is to put myself out of a job.”