Highway to Health Tractor Trek
1,700km on a tractor!
Are you on board for men’s health?
When Shane Muldoon was officially diagnosed with prostate cancer, it took another ten months before he was notified of an appointment to see an oncologist. Born and bred in Alice Springs, he found the lack of adequate communication between health practitioners, government departments and hospitals, as well as timelines for triages, to be highly concerning. He knew the rural health system was failing – and particularly in the area of men’s health.
“Rural patients, especially men, are dying at a rate that’s not acceptable and many deaths are preventable,” Shane explains. “Not only is this due to a lack of services, but also because of one-directional funding skewed towards our metropolitan areas. The preventable death rate per 100,000 people is only 91 in the cities compared to 248 in rural communities.”
That’s why Shane was inspired to establish men’s health advocacy group Broken Spur Inc in 2014 to lobby for change in rural health procedures and protocols so men can take control of their health and help lower the rates of preventable deaths and illness.
“The Alice Springs Hospital and staff do a great job, but a high turnover of staff and a high demand for specialists who only fly in monthly, means many patients get lost or put onto waiting lists with tragic consequences. This is not uncommon in other rural hospitals around the country,” he says.
Highway to Health Tractor Trek
In June, the ever-adventurous Shane and his support team will be driving a 1951 TEA20 Massey Ferguson Tractor from Alice Springs to Walker Flat in South Australia to raise awareness of rural men’s health. His epic 1,700km journey will take almost three weeks and will provide an opportunity to stop and chat to local communities along the way.
“From Alice Springs till we get to Wilmington we’ll be camping, and once we reach Wilmington, Booleroo Centre, Crystal Brook, Jamestown, Burra, Tanunda and Walker Flat, we’ll be staying in a variety of accommodation. Along the entire route we’ll be not only be visiting points of interest, but also talking to those on the road, handing out information brochures and collecting donations, with all money raised going towards men’s health programs aimed at rural Australians.”
If you're in South Australia on June 26 and more specifically the Barossa region, join Shane and the Broken Spur Inc team for their main celebratory event at Pindarie Wines. Guest speakers include Dr James Muelke (2020 Australian of the Year), Mary O'Brien (Are You Bogged Mate?), Jason Sprott (Mates Against Melanoma), Meagan McLaughlin (Herd of Hope) and Di Farell (Cottages for Country Care)... all charities advocating for better health & well-being outcomes for residents in rural communities.
Once Shane and his team have completed the tractor trek, a new Broken Spur Inc program of events will be designed around local community sports clubs, field days, country shows, rodeos and bronco branding events to help promote men’s health.
Ochre Recruitment is proud to be supporting Shane’s epic tractor trek and his advocacy for rural men’s health. More information can be found on the Broken Spur website.