A Starting Gun for Strong Bones: Aussie Sports Hero Sally Pearson comes to Parliament House

On Thursday, PPA was honoured to be joined by the Hon Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health, and Olympic Gold Medallist, Sally Pearson OAM, at our client’s, Healthy Bones Australia, Parliamentary event to launch the 3rd Edition of their Know Your Bones Community Risk Report.

The new report, released ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, provides valuable insights on the state of Australia’s bone health; summarising data from more than 104,000 responses from Healthy Bones Australia’s self-assessment tool.

The report found that, whilst Australia is making strides when it comes to preventing some types of fractures (including spinal fractures), osteoporosis is still being severely undiagnosed. Indeed, up to half of Australian adults who suffer a bone fracture are not receiving a simple bone density test to follow-up on their risk of the condition.

The report aims to raise awareness among policy makers and health professionals about the need for greater action and investment to detect poor bone health and reduce Australia’s rate of preventable fractures.

At the event, Olympic Gold Medalist and Healthy Bones Australia Ambassador, Sally Pearson OAM, whose career was almost cut short by fracture, spoke of how important it is to look after your bones; stating: “[t]oo many Australians are suffering unnecessarily from fractures and broken bones that could have been prevented through early intervention and action”.

Sally is one of Australia’s greatest Olympians. She is the fourth fastest 100m hurdler in history and won gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games, smashing the previous Olympic record for the 100m hurdles with a time of 12.35s. There was a time however where Sally feared she might have to amputate her lower arm after a traumatic fall during a hurdle race. As Sally explained: “with fractures, often the recovery is more traumatic than the break itself. I knew the rehab and recovery process was going to be painful, extensive and expensive, but what shocked me most was the extent of injury’s impact on my mobility, independence, social function and mental well-being”.

Sally’s story has become one of triumph over adversity; rising above her career-threatening injuries and returning to win the 2017 World Championship in London.

Our sincere thanks to Assistant Minister McBride, for joining us to launch this report; and to the Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Aged Care at Parliament House, Dr Mike Freelander MP and Rebekah Sharkie MP, for co-hosting this important awareness event.

Image Credit: Hon Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Healthy Bones Australia CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky, Healthy Bones Australia Ambassador, Sally Pearson OAM.

In 2018, as part of a national program for prevention and early diagnosis of osteoporosis. Healthy Bones Australia has developed a 5-to-10-minute online assessment tool called ‘Know Your Bones’. This revolutionary digital health tool helps Australians identify if they are at elevated risk of poor bone health; and connects them with appropriate primary and bone health resources and support.

As Healthy Bones Australia, Assistant Minister McBride, and Sally pointed out, all Australians should be paying more attention to their bone health – particularly those Australians 50 years and over. As such, PPA proudly joins with them to encourage all Australians to take and complete this self-assessment tool.

Make sure to watch the coverage of the event and interview with Sally Pearson on Sky News below:

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