26 June 2022

Today we held our South Australian launch of our new Talking Sh!t bowel cancer awareness campaign, funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

We were joined by Talking Sh!t ambassador, AFL great and contemporary artist, Gavin Wanganeen, who urged Australians aged 50-74 to get their sh!t together and complete the free National Bowel Screening Test when it arrives in the post.

We were also honoured to be joined by The Honourable Mark Butler, Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care and The Honourable Chris Picton, the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing to launch the campaign.

The Talking Sh!t campaign focuses on encouraging Australians aged 50-74 to complete the National Bowel Cancer Screening Kit when it arrives in the mail from the Government.

If detected early, up to 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated or even prevented, which is why screening is so important.

This campaign is designed to encourage conversations about bowel cancer, and ultimately drive an increase in completed and returned test kits.

The campaign will reach those in regional communities, raising awareness of the risks of bowel cancer and the importance of early detection. The campaign is being rolled out in regional locations, partnered with education seminars for GPs run by GPEx (SA).

While speaking at the launch, Gavin spoke about the importance of normalising speaking about bowel screening and checking in on those around you, to see if they’ve done their test.

“It goes to show the importance of having someone who’s close to you, your partner, your sibling, your mother or father to talk to about an issue like this, because it can save your life.”

He said that it’s important that even if Australians feel fit and healthy, that it’s important that they do the test and send it back, because bowel cancer can often be present without showing any symptoms. Taking the test every two years increases your chance of early detection.

“As a general rule men in particular think they’re invincible, even when they’re 50 they think they’re 30. They think nah, I don’t need to do that… I’ll be fine… she’ll be right mate. That’s an Aussie way of life and that needs to be broken down and they need to be taking this very seriously.

To jump on board with this campaign, given the platform I’ve been given through playing football, through my networks, through my social media, I want to be able to use that. Every conversation going forward, when it comes to health I’m going to be talking about this. Have you done your screening test? If we can save one person’s life, It’s worth it but I know we’re going to be saving so many more lives than one person.”

To keep the important conversation going, Talking Sh!t Ambassador Merv Hughes hosts a fun and informative quiz show, The Talking Sh!t Show, with contestants Wendy Harmer, Richard Wilkins, Gavin Wanganeen and Dr Ginni Mansberg, discussing all things about turning 50 and battling it out for the title of the best ‘sh!t talker’.

Thank you to the Australian Department of Health, our Talking Sh!t ambassadors, KWP and GPEx for all that has gone into this campaign.

To watch The Talking Sh!t Show or to find out more about the campaign, head to the Jodi Lee Bowel Cancer Foundation website – the link is in our bio.