Volume 29 Number 4

Australian news

Rowan Cockerell


In the final edition of the ANZCJ for 2023, I am proud to report on all we have achieved at the Continence Foundation of Australia. Overall, 2023 has been a busy year for the Foundation as we continue to advocate and advance the voice of continence in Australia. The year has noted several substantial projects, including multi-channel campaigns for World Continence Week and the Great Dunny Hunt, professional development events including the National Conference on Incontinence, and successful collaborations with Jean Hailes and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The past quarter has been busy for the Foundation, with numerous events and partnerships coming to fruition.

Women’s Health Week: 4–8 September 2023

In support of Women’s Health Week, the Foundation has continued our community partnership with Jean Hailes to inspire women of all ages to focus on good health and wellbeing.

This year, Jean Hailes had five daily themes under the banner ‘grow your knowledge’, encouraging women to make informed decisions about their health with topics including pain drain, hello hormones and food for thought. Aligning with these themes, the Foundation focused on reminding women of all ages there is much they can do to reduce their risk of incontinence. In fact, in many cases, incontinence may be prevented, better managed or even cured.

A highlight of the week was an encore screening of the Lived Experience panel webinar, where five panellists shared their open and honest experiences with managing incontinence, barriers to seeking help and the common misconceptions they have faced. Facilitated by award-winning disability advocate Anja Christoffersen, around 100 attendees registered to watch the webinar. The Foundation also launched episode four of the new podcast series This is my story which featured guest Stephanie Thompson and a discussion regarding childbirth injury and pelvic organ prolapse. Please visit continence.org.au/womens-health-week-resources to access these resources.

State education days

During September and October the State and Territory Advisory Committees (STACs) organised education days. These education days posed an informative professional development, networking and learning opportunity for health professionals across Australia and overseas working in bladder, bowel and pelvic floor health. Program highlights included a paediatric pelvic health workshop held at the Perth Children’s Hospital in Western Australia and a series of interactive workshops in New South Wales which covered practical bowel management, continence surgery and urodynamics. With close to 100 attendees at each event and nearly 60 exhibitors, this year’s state education days were informative and inspiring. According to a delegate at the Victoria education day:

As always this was an amazing event. Such a wealth of knowledge shared by like-minded professionals. I really enjoyed the presentations and having an opportunity to meet others, network and just have a chat. Thank you so much for a wonderful day. I feel motivated and refreshed. Looking forward to the next event.

If you would like to hear about other professional development events, sign up to our events mailing list.

Physiotherapy special interest group events

The Physiotherapy Special Interest Group (SIG) was introduced as a national initiative in 2023. With over 110 members, the physiotherapy SIG hosts specialist education events and offers strong network opportunities for practitioners with varying levels of clinical experience from across Australia.

In October the SIG hosted a webinar titled Exercise during pregnancy and return to sport with a focus on sharing the latest research updates in the fields of exercise during pregnancy, return to sport and diastasis management. The webinar attracted nearly 200 registrants from across Australia and overseas. Visit cfaphysios.com.au if you would like to learn more about the SIG and becoming a member.

BINS4Blokes collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

BINS4Blokes, a men’s health initiative of the Continence Foundation of Australia, has recently teamed up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) to help get more continence product disposal bins in male public toilets across Australia. “We’re proud to partner with BINS4Blokes to help raise awareness of the need for continence product disposal bins and encourage more councils, businesses and shopping centres to include these bins in male public toilets”, said Bernard Riley, PCFA head of supportive care programs.

Over 25,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and many of these people will experience temporary or long-term continence issues after treatment. The goal of the partnership is to create a strong advocacy network of those with lived experience who can support the installation of incontinence product disposal bins in male toilets in their local community.

This collaboration has already seen positive return, with a prostate cancer survivor and PCFA support group member successfully advocating for the installation of incontinence product disposal bins in the Ballina Shire Council.


Our education team is always busy keeping healthcare professionals up to date with the latest information on bladder and bowel continence, with online learning modules and free webinars.

Currently the Foundation has 37 different education courses and individual modules, as well as other professional development opportunities. This is inclusive of both paid and free courses as well as free supported learning modules (such as Continence Resources for Aged Care).

The recordings from the joint 31st National Conference on Incontinence and the 4th Functional Urology Symposium Conference 2023 have also now been uploaded onto the eLearning platform, allowing all registrants to review presentations from this year’s event.

I am looking forward to 2024 as we continue our vision and purpose of an Australian community free from the restrictions of incontinence across the lifespan.


Rowan Cockerell
CEO, Continence Foundation of Australia

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