I almost fell over when I first heard of “Endometriosis Australia”.
It was being discussed on breakfast television when I nearly choked on my toast.
‘What? Are people really talking about this horrible condition?” I thought in disbelief.
It was a few years after my second operation and I was stuck in a hate-hate relationship with this condition.
The shock of having emergency surgery, a second laparoscopy, a blocked fallopian tube, only to be warned it could render me infertile, was still a sore point.
Silence was my solution.
But I couldn’t help but listen to the TV that day.
And what I discovered was that Endometriosis Australia was exactly the remedy I needed despite feeling hopeless and helpless about my body.
*Firstly, they have an army of impressive and inspirational women in their support groups, willing to help any newcomer muddle their way through this condition.
*Secondly, suffers can stop paying Dr Google and learn about Endometriosios through informative webinars delivered by a team of passionate experts.
*Then, there's EndoMarch Australia : the campaign that raises awareness and much-needed funds for research, prevention and treatment.
*And an educational program for women and girls. Painful periods are not normal - a message I wish I had of heard in my early 20's.
When I learnt the delay in diagnosis is between 7 and 10 years, I vowed not to stay silent for long, no matter how bad I was feeling.
Which is why I’m extremely honoured and humbled to be part of such a special organization as an Ambassador in 2017.
This group of wonderful women, men, specialists, natural therapists and Ambassadors all used their voices when I didn't have the strength to use mine.
But even in my state of denial, I was listening.
Now I’m proud to be talking.
Peta-Jane Madam is an accomplished current a airs and news reporter, producer, writer and anchor. Since 2012, PJ held one of the highly sought after reporting positions on Seven’s flagship public affairs program Sunday Night. It was a role which saw her grab her passport and pack her bags as she travelled the globe covering a range of feature-length stories and interviewing celebrities.
In late 2016, she went back to one of her greatest loves: news anchoring, reading the news for Australia's highest-rating breakfast show, Weekend Sunrise.
PJ is a self-confessed, proud ‘country girl’ born and raised in Mackay, North Queensland. She grew up in a mixed-race, mixed-religious household as the youngest of 4 children to her parents, Rod and Therese. As the baby of the family, PJ was prone to arguing with her mum, dad older brothers and sister which made her a solid debater at school and sharpened her curious mind about all things political. After a pretty typical Aussie childhood, she graduated from school and moved to Brisbane where she enrolled in politics and communications at the University of Queensland. While studying, PJ’s love of politics took her straight to Qld Parliament House where she began working as a parliamentary attendant. She was the youngest person to fitful that role in the state's history.
Not content with her first degree, PJ enrolled again, this time in a Diploma in Business and Public Relations at QUT. It became a natural transition when PJ was seconded to work as an assistant media adviser for Queensland’s then-Transport Minister.
After a few hectic years working in government, PJ began itching to ask the questions - not just spin the answers.
So, she found herself back at University for a third time, studying a Graduate Diploma in Journalism. She quickly jagged her first broadcast role in 2004 as an intern with Nine News Brisbane, earning her stripes and learning the ropes before winning a coveted cadetship with Nine News Sydney. As a reporter and producer, she relished every aspect to making television, working her way up the ranks as a reporter as well as in studio producing stories and lining up bulletins.
In 2008 she made the move to SBS, where she worked as a reporter (both locally and overseas), producer and newsreader for World News Australia. It was here, she learnt the value of wearing many hats at once: writing, producing reporting, editing and then anchoring the bulletins herself, with the help of a small team.
A few years later, PJ was poached by the Seven Network to be a reporter on Sunday Night. She quickly hit the ground running, reporting on everything from crime and controversial social issues to human interest stories. It wouldn’t be usual for PJ to find herself in the Nevada desert at Burning Man, or jumping out of a plane, to swimming in 3 degree waters or chatting with the likes of Jerry Lewis, David Frost, Robbie Williams, One Direction, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Meghan Trainor, Jon Bon Jovi and the late Florence Henderson.