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Northern Rivers Local News

From cancer patient to patient advocate

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DAVID Young, aged 64 from Byron Bay
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From cancer patient to patient advocate

“We had a full life, running a B&B in Byron Bay and I was still working as an advertising photographer, so it took some time to get our heads around the devastating diagnosis.”

DAVID Young, aged 64 from Byron Bay, decided to follow doctor’s orders and started to have annual health checks from the age of 50, but after three years, his GP became concerned about his blood results and referred him to a haematologist.
In 2012 he was shocked to receive a diagnosis of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia (WM), a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and was told he only had two to six years to live and would need to start immediate intensive chemotherapy.
“My wife and I were knocked for six by the news and went on an emotional rollercoaster with our dreams of retirement, travel and growing old together smashed,” says Young.
“We had a full life, running a B&B in Byron Bay and I was still working as an advertising photographer, so it took some time to get our heads around the devastating diagnosis.
“I decided I needed to learn more about WM, so I spent a couple of days researching and discovered that the prognosis and treatment were not quite as dire as I had been told.”
At the time of diagnosis, he had no symptoms, but eventually he started to experience fatigue, anaemia, leg and foot cramps, and night sweats.
He started taking rituximab which helped with his symptoms for a few years, but then it started to wane. He continued his research and discovered a clinical trial for zanubrutinib (Brukinsa), which he enrolled in.
Within a couple of months his symptoms abated, and he has now been on zanubrutinib for four years and is “pretty close to remission”.
“I’m delighted that Brukinsa (zanubrutinib) has just received Therapeutic Goods Administration approval for the treatment of adult patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia and also for adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) – another type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” he says.
“Brukinsa has given me a life with very few side effects and is keeping me in remission. And as it’s a capsule, it’s non-invasive with no down time, unlike traditional treatment with intravenous chemotherapy and its well-known harsh side effects.
“Thanks to Brukinsa, I went from feeling sorry for myself to climbing Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, so I want other people to benefit from this targeted treatment that has given me so much,” he says.
On behalf of WMozzies, Young was delighted to be invited by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to take part in a pilot program as consumer advocates in the Brukinsa PBAC decision process.
WM and MCL patients will have immediate free of charge access to Brukinsa through a BeiGene sponsored Pre-Reimbursement Access Program until such time that WM and MCL are listed for reimbursement on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
In a first for the PBAC, BeiGene (who discovered Brukinsa) expect to enter a facilitated resolution pathway in order to seek a listing date for WM.
Young’s mantra for other cancer patients is to take charge of their life and to do their own research. He has been a cancer advocate since 2013 and is the team leader of WMozzies, a patient support organisation for WM.
He also works with The Cancer Council, NSW Cancer Institute, The Leukaemia Foundation and Cancer Voices NSW.
“I’m passionate about educating people about cancer and encouraging cancer patients to take responsibility for researching the latest information and treatments out there,” says Young.

Business News

Toxic leadership ‘fuelling’ Australian businesses as one in three inadvertently lead with fear, causing $2.3 billion productivity loss

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Expert urges leaders to acknowledge the subtle yet corrosive ways fear manifests: reducing performance, creating friction in interactions and diminishing psychological safety in work environments toxic leadership.
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Toxic leadership ‘fuelling’ Australian businesses as one in three inadvertently lead with fear, causing $2.3 billion productivity loss

 

Expert urges leaders to acknowledge the subtle yet corrosive ways fear manifests: reducing performance, creating friction in interactions and diminishing psychological safety in work environments.

People can be motivated by a range of emotions, and a key one is driving corporate managers in today’s workplaces — fear.

A new study conducted and released today by Margot Faraci, a leading management expert and prominent senior leader in Australia with over 20 years experience at Macquarie Bank, NAB, CBA and more, shows toxic leadership is fuelling thousands of Australian businesses, with one in three (27%) harbouring unconscious fear.

A third of corporate managers are primarily motivated by fear, creating less efficient and less psychologically safe work environments that cost $2.3 billion annually in lost productivity. It’s a matter that goes beyond statistics; it touches the very core of leadership dynamics.

Fearful leaders in Australia lose an estimated $26,263 in a year (based on their salary and estimated hours lost), equaling a $2.3 billion cost in productivity across Australia.

Concerningly, seven in 10 (69%) of managers firmly believe stress and fear can be used as a positive or motivational tool, despite acknowledging its adverse effects on performance, well-being, and company culture.

The findings are part of a global study by Margot Faraci which analysed the leadership behaviours of 2,500 managers in Australia, the UK, and US, in order to map and uncover unconscious fear in leadership. The challenge is that thousands of leaders are often unaware they’re leading with fear or coming from a fearful response.

Expert urges leaders to acknowledge the subtle yet corrosive ways fear manifests: reducing performance, creating friction in interactions and diminishing psychological safety in work environments.

Expert urges leaders to acknowledge the subtle yet corrosive ways fear manifests: reducing performance, creating friction in interactions and diminishing psychological safety in work environments.

Fearful leadership isn’t just shouting or aggressive behaviour, it’s avoidance, complacency, decision fatigue, hesitancy to express viewpoints, fear of letting people down, micromanagement, reluctance to provide feedback, not creating space for others to speak up, holding back growth opportunities from others, and more.

Fearful leadership often stems from inexperience and low self-confidence, leading to increased stress, fatigue, and compromised decision-making. It’s also often attributed to past experiences, creating an ongoing cycle of leadership driven by fear.

Key findings also include:

  • 69% of fearful leaders in Australia firmly believe that stress can be positively harnessed in workplaces
  • 87% of fearful leaders in Australia regularly witness declines in team productivity due to toxic leadership
  • While the vast majority of leaders offer guidance and learning opportunities, fearful leaders are significantly more likely to either be fully hands-on or hands-off when it comes to trusting their direct reports.
  • Half (49%) of fearful leaders in Australia struggle with decision fatigue
  • Nearly two in five (38%) of fearful leaders regularly witness declines in team morale, half (51%) are unhappy with their job, and a quarter (23%) say workplace relationships are strained
  • A third (36%) of fearful leaders admit how showing compassion in the workplace can positively impact company culture, and nearly half (42%) admit it will positively impact productivity, yet fail to do so
  • Fearful leaders tend to shift the blame, believing management is at fault for declining productivity, largely due to micromanagement and lack of communication

 

For more business news, click here.

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Local News

Murray Cod Fishing Season Opens – Friday, 1 December

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Murray Cod.
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Murray Cod Fishing Season Opens – Friday, 1 December

 

Christmas has come early for Murray Cod anglers, as the season opens on Friday 1 December 2023, following the annual three-month breeding closure.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Deputy Director General Fisheries Sean Sloan said, Murray Cod are Australia’s largest freshwater fish and an icon of our inland waterways, so there is no doubt that many anglers will be excited about the new fishing season opening this Friday.

“Now that the Murray Cod have completed their breeding over the three-month fishing closure, we’re expecting plenty of anglers to enjoy spending some time fishing for this iconic native species,” Mr Sloan said.

“Record numbers of Murray Cod produced and stocked during the 2022/23 season has helped bolster populations in NSW lakes and rivers after years of drought, bushfires and floods.

“More than 1.28 million Murray Cod were stocked into waterways across inland NSW during the 2022/23 stocking season.

“This amazing achievement by our flagship Narrandera native fish hatchery is only the beginning, with solid numbers of juvenile Murray Cod currently in the hatchery pointing to a bumper year of production and stocking set to commence for the new season from 30 November.”

With the Murray Cod season commencing this Friday, and a big summer of fishing expected, NSW DPI Fisheries Officers will be out on the water to ensure that recreational fishers adhere to the bag and size limits along with all other fishing rules that apply.

Murray Cod.

Murray Cod.

“Fisheries Officers patrolling during the annual three-month closure have said that anglers have respected the closure during this period,” Mr Sloan said.

“Now that the season is underway again for another year, we ask all fishers to continue doing the right thing to ensure we protect, conserve and improve our fisheries resources for future generations.

“A daily bag limit of two Murray Cod per person and a total possession limit of four applies when fishing in any inland waters.

“Fishers are required to release Murray Cod which are smaller than 55cm, or bigger than 75cm, with the least possible harm.

“I encourage the public to report suspected illegal fishing to the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or via the online form located on NSW DPI Fisheries website here

The NSW Recreational Fishing Freshwater Fishing Guide is available on the DPI website from NSW DPI offices and most places where NSW recreational fishing licenses are sold.

Production of native fish for stocking at the Narrandera facility is supported with funding from NSW DPI and the Recreational Fishing Trusts.

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Local News

Future farmer wins #AgDayAU photo competition

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Little Helper in #AgDayAU
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Future farmer wins #AgDayAU photo competition

 

An image capturing a determined toddler trying to help feed the rams has been awarded first prize in the 2023 National Agriculture Day photo and video competition.

Belinda Dimarzio-Bryan’s photo of her little helper caught the judges’ attention for encapsulating this year’s theme #GrowYouGoodThing.

National Farmers’ Federation President David Jochinke said the judges had a tough job with the competition attracting almost 500 entries.

“What’s exciting about this competition is there are no rules on ages or abilities and that opens the floor to some candid and unplanned imagery.

Storm Above Harvest photo in #AgDayAU

Storm Above Harvest

“There are endless moments in farming that you simply cannot plan, like a brewing storm, an animal’s expression or the way the light hits a paddock.

“These moments are some of the reasons why farmers do what they do, we really do have the best offices in the world.”

The NFF partnered with Syngenta for the competition, with the agricultural company providing $5,000 to be shared between six winners.

Syngenta Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Paul Luxton, said the diversity in this year’s entries was outstanding, providing a snapshot into the different faces, landscapes and produce behind Australian agriculture.

Little Helper in #AgDayAU

Little Helper

“Without doubt, Australian farming is a special industry and imagery is one of the best ways we can share it with all Australians, so they can come on a journey with us and better understand where their food and fibre comes from.”

National Agriculture Day – or #AgDayAU – is held on the third Friday of November each year.

2023 #AgDayAU Photo & Video Competition Winners 

  • First place: Little Helper
    Photographer: Belinda Dimarzio-Bryan
  • Second place: Grow You Good Thing (video)
    Photographer: Merri-May Gill
  • Runner Up: Working the Table
    Photographer: Kylie Fuller
  • Runner Up: Storm Above, Harvest Below
    Photographer: Helen Carpenter
  • Runner Up: Living the Dream (video)
    Photographer: Holly Draffin
  • Runner Up: Kate Eggleton
    Photographer: Generations of Growers

 

For more rural news, click here.

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