Chair's Report

Ready for the next chapter

A sign of a mature alliance is its capacity to bring parties together to catalyse positive change. Over the past year, the VCCC Alliance has deepened and extended its connections, these collaborative efforts have allowed us to accelerate world-class cancer research, extend professional cancer education programs, and help to embed the latest evidence in practice.  We have worked to improve access for Victorians to clinical trials, and focused attention to address inequities in cancer care for Indigenous Australians.

On International Women’s Day, we co-hosted a special event with The Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, to draw attention to ways in which women are under-served by the cancer care system.  Speakers included Gabrielle Jackson, Associate Editor at Guardian Australia, journalist and author of Pain and Prejudice and the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Ms Ged Kearney, who had recently announced the establishment of a new National Women’s Health Advisory Council. 

Professor Sue Matthews, CEO, Royal Women’s Hospital; Professor Zoe Wainer, Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Victorian Department of Health; and Dr David Speakman, the then Chief Medical Officer at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre contributed to a powerful and affirming panel discussion that highlighted key issues. They emphasised the importance of research to address women’s cancers and the need for forthright discussions and targeted initiatives to address gaps in service delivery.

As I reflect upon the work of the VCCC Alliance over the past seven years as Chair, I am heartened by the alliance’s capacity to unearth and tackle challenges. We have learned to mobilise the capabilities and strengths of our members to achieve far-reaching results based on shared goals. This approach is apparent in every program and project.

We have embraced the voice of consumers, knowing that their input ensures the relevance of our efforts to improve cancer outcomes. Consumer involvement is now ‘business as usual’ for the alliance. The VCCC Alliance is a leader in consumer involvement in health care research and education—a touchstone of our philosophy and strategy. Recognition must be afforded to Ms Sophy Athan, who concluded her nine-year tenure as Chair of the Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee in June 2023. Thank you Sophy, for your formative contributions over that time. You’ve left an enduring legacy.

In the coming year, the VCCC Alliance will implement a refined governance structure and a new strategy that will guide the organisation through the next five years. At the heart of the strategy and structure is a commitment to excellence and inclusion.

It is with a grateful heart and deep pride that I pen my final report as Chair of the Board of the VCCC Alliance. The alliance is a remarkable entity powered by exceptional and passionate people, dedicated to achieving equitable cancer outcomes for all Victorians.

My particular thanks to my fellow Board members for their contributions and steadfast support for this alliance, and to the Executive Director, Professor Grant McArthur AO – a consummate professional and outstanding leader who guides this complex entity with vision and conviction.

Warmest congratulations to my successor, Professor Sanchia Aranda AM. The VCCC Alliance is in experienced and capable hands and will deliver significant outcomes and benefits for the community in years to come.

Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson AO

Linda fellowship with Sanchia

Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson AO is presented with her Certificate of Fellowship by Professor Sanchia Aranda AM.

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