Cancer Council Australia

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Spokespeople



 

Professor Sanchia Aranda AM

CEO, Cancer Council Australia

Professor Sanchia Aranda AM is CEO of Cancer Council Australia, the immediate Past President for Union for International Cancer Control and inaugural Board Chair of the Cancer City Challenge Foundation. She is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent experts in cancer control.

With 40 years’ experience in cancer control as a clinician, researcher, educator and health-system administrator, Professor Aranda is also past-President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.

From her early career as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand she specialised in cancer treatment and palliative care, completing a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Master of Nursing and a doctoral thesis in the nurse-patient relationship and psychosocial issues in palliative care. She has extensive experience in health-system administration and prior to joining Cancer Council Australia was Director of Cancer Services and Information and Deputy CEO at the Cancer Institute NSW.

Widely published in Australian and international health literature, Professor Aranda holds adjunct Professorial appointments at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Sydney, the School of Nursing at the University of Technology, Sydney and at Monash University.

In 2013 she was named the 4th Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Distinguished Fellow for her contributions to cancer nursing and in 2019 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to community health, particularly cancer control and nursing.

As CEO of Australia's peak non-government cancer control organisation, Professor Aranda is a strong independent voice on evidence-based cancer control. She is engaged in all fields of cancer from prevention through to survivorship and has a particular professional interest in improved ways to care for and support people with cancer. Her passion is to improve outcomes for all Australians with cancer and reduce the inequalities experienced by Australians who are Indigenous, have a lower socio-economic background, live in regional or remote areas or have a cancer type with typically poor survival. She is a regular commentator on cancer issues in Australian media.

For an interview with Professor Aranda, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au.

 


Megan Varlow

Director Cancer Control Policy, Cancer Council Australia

Megan Varlow is Director Cancer Control Policy at Cancer Council Australia, responsible for the development of national policy and advocacy for its implementation.

After training as a psychologist, Megan was endorsed in clinical and health psychology and spent ten years in clinical environments working mostly with people living with chronic diseases and serious mental illness. Frustrated by the systemic factors that confounded an individual’s experience of chronic illness, Megan then worked in an academic clinical research unit and subsequently moved to NSW Health where she spent almost eight years at the Cancer Institute NSW, the NSW government’s cancer control agency.

Megan is passionate about lessening the impact of cancer on all Australians, and is especially interested in reducing the inequalities in cancer outcomes experienced by people from First Nations, regional and remote, lower socio-economic and migrant communities.

Megan is available for interview and can discuss Cancer Council Australia’s advocacy and policy priorities, informed financial consent, out-of-pocket costs, and the physical, emotional and financial impact of cancer.

For an interview with Megan Varlow, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au

 


Professor Bernard W. StewartProfessor Bernard Stewart

Scientific Advisor, Cancer Council Australia
MSc PhD FRACI DipLaw

Professor Stewart is an internationally recognised expert in all aspects of environmental carcinogenesis (cancer causation), including the investigation of cancer clusters and medico-legal aspects of tobacco smoke-induced cancer.

He has had extensive advisory involvement with International Agency for Research on Cancer and co-edited the World Cancer Report for the World Health Organisation. In 2008 Professor Stewart published a new approach to qualitative assessment of carcinogenic risks.

A member of the Council of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia and an advisor to the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, Professor Stewart has had a close association with Cancer Council Australia for more than 25 years. Currently, he is a member of the Editorial Board of the Council's professional journal Cancer Forum.

For an interview with Professor Bernard Stewart, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au.  


Professor Karen CanfellKaren Canfell

Chair, Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee, Cancer Council Australia

As Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee, Karen brings a wealth of experience in cancer screening policy and evaluation.

Karen is a cancer epidemiologist and is Director of Cancer Research at Cancer Council NSW and Adjunct Professor at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Karen holds a D.Phil. (PhD equivalent) in Epidemiology from the University of Oxford.

Prior to joining Cancer Council NSW, Karen headed up the Cancer Screening Group at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre at UNSW.

Karen's research group regularly perform evaluations of new cancer screening and diagnostic technologies for government agencies in Australia, New Zealand and England. Her particular research focus is cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination. Her team's work underpins the findings of a recent major review of the Australian National Cervical Screening Program and has resulted in the imminent transition of the program to 5-yearly HPV testing for cervical screening. Karen is also co-Principal Investigator of the first ever large-scale trial of cervical screening in a population offered HPV vaccination, "Compass", which is being conducted with the Victorian Cytology Service. She is also a member of the Australian Medical Services Advisory Committee's Protocol Advisory Sub-Committee.

In 2015, Karen received a '100 women of Influence' nomination in the AFR/Westpac awards and also received a Research Excellence Award from the National Health and Medical Research Council. She has 100+ peer-review publications/government reports, is regularly invited to speak at international and national conferences, and is active on the scientific faculties for the major international conferences in her field.

For an interview with Professor Canfell, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au.

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Heather WalkerHeather Walker

Chair, Skin Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Heather Walker is one of the Cancer Council's experts on skin cancer.

As SunSmart Manager at Cancer Council Victoria, Heather leads the state's skin cancer prevention and early detection program and contributes to the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on UV Radiation.

Prior to joining Cancer Council Victoria, Heather led work across science and research, early diagnosis and treatment policy at Cancer Research UK, achieving increased investment in the NHS's diagnostic and radiotherapy services. She contributed significantly to England's cancer strategy, paving the way for future innovation in cancer care. Heather then moved to Melbourne to work on improvements to the cancer screening programs in the Victorian Government. Heather holds a Masters of Public Policy with Distinction from the University of Oxford.

Heather is a regular commentator on skin cancer, sun protection and early detection in Australian media. For an interview with Heather Walker, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au.

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Craig Sinclair

Prevention Advisor, Cancer Council Australia

As a previous chair of Cancer Council Australia's Public Health Committee and Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, Adjunct Associate Professor Craig Sinclair is an expert media commentator on a broad range of public health issues related to cancer prevention including obesity, alcohol and cancer screening.

Craig Sinclair is also one of Australia's leading experts on skin cancer prevention and is the Director of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Collaborative Centre for UV Radiation. He is an author of over 30 peer reviewed publications. For an interview with Craig Sinclair, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au

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Anita DessaixAnita Dessaix

Chair, Public Health Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Anita is Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Public Health Committee and Director of Cancer Prevention and Advocacy at Cancer Council NSW.

She has more than 15 years' experience within the NSW public health sector, including 12 years' experience in cancer prevention specifically. As well as working as a private consultant, she has previously held senior management positions in public health organisations including the Cancer Institute NSW and the NSW Ministry of Health, where she gained specific expertise in tobacco control and skin cancer prevention.

Within her current role at Cancer Council NSW, Anita is responsible for leading strategy and program efforts in the two Cancer Council NSW focus areas of Prevention and Advocacy. The Division's focus is on reducing the burden of cancer and reducing cancer risk across NSW communities, through targeted programs, policy, advocacy and retail stores.

As Chair of Cancer Council Australia's Public Health Committee, Anita is a leading advocate for cancer prevention, particularly in a policy context. Topics she can discuss include cancer risk in relation to tobacco control, sun protection, nutrition and physical activity, alcohol and obesity. Anita holds a Master of Arts in Communication Management from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Master of Public Health from The University of Sydney.

For media interviews with Anita, contact the Cancer Council Australia media team on (02) 8063 4109 (our media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours) or email media@cancer.org.au

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Libby Jardine 

Chair, Tobacco Issues Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Libby Jardine is Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Tobacco Issues Committee and one of Cancer Council’s leading experts on the impact of tobacco in Australia.  

As a longstanding advocate for tobacco control, Libby aims to raise awareness of the harms of smoking, particularly in relation to cancer risk. She can also comment on Australia’s world-leading tobacco control measures and the further steps that need be taken to reduce Australia’s tobacco disease burden.  

As Manager of Cancer Council WA’s Make Smoking History program, Libby leads a team to implement an evidence based comprehensive program to drive down smoking rates in WA. 

With over 10 years’ experience working on tobacco control, her work has included initiating the development of a new program focussed on providing extra support to priority groups in Western Australia to quit smoking and managing a $3 million per year program to promote tobacco control in WA. 

Libby has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, majoring in Health Science and Counselling, and previously worked at Cancer Council NSW and Queensland Health in cancer prevention.  

For an interview with Libby Jardine please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team at media@cancer.org.au

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Gemma Lock 

Chair, Supportive Care Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Gemma is General Manager, Cancer Support and Information at Cancer Council Queensland and leads Cancer Council Australia’s Supportive Care Committee.

With over 10 years’ experience in nursing and patient care, Gemma understands the impact a cancer diagnosis has on an individual’s relationships, career and employment, finances, physical and mental well-being and day-to-day life. 

That is why Gemma is passionate about raising awareness of Cancer Council’s support services that are available to all Australians living with cancer – including Cancer Council‘s 13 11 20 support and information line, information resources and practical and financial support. 

Gemma’s national role includes guiding Cancer Council’s national supportive care priorities to improve supportive carefor Australians impacted by cancer and fostering collaboration between Cancer Council’s supportive care staff working around the country.  

Gemma is available for interview and can also discuss the emotional and physical side effects of cancer and it’s treatment, strategies for coping after a diagnosis, how to access support services, how to support loved ones, talking to kids about cancer, looking after carers and life after treatment.   

For an interview with Gemma Lock please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au

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Professor Tim Driscoll

Chair, Occupational and Environmental Cancer Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Professor Tim Driscoll is Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Committee and a leading expert in environmental and workplace cancer risks.

Tim is also Professor in Epidemiology and Occupational Medicine in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

Tim’s main areas of interest include the burden of occupational disease and injury; occupational cancers and exposure to occupational carcinogens, particularly asbestos. He is also interested in improving the communication of epidemiology and cancer principles and findings to the general public.

He also leads the occupational risk factors expert working group in the Global Burden of Disease study.

Tim is a regular commentator on environmental and occupational cancer prevention and as Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee can discuss environmental cancer risks, common cancer risks in the workplace and action that should that be taken to reduce Australia’s workplace cancer burden.

For an interview with Professor Driscoll, please contact Cancer Council Australia's Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au

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Clare Hughes 

Chair, Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, Cancer Council Australia

Clare Hughes is the Chair of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, Cancer Council Australia. With extensive experience in the health and nutrition field, Clare leads the national committee to encourage Australians to lead a healthy lifestyle through education about the importance of physical activity and diet in preventing cancer, as well as advocating for health policy to support healthy lifestyle measures.

Clare is also the Nutrition Program Manager at Cancer Council NSW where she leads a team of dietitians and nutritionists responsible for nutrition-related cancer prevention projects. She leads projects including the Healthy Lunch Box website, advocacy to reduce cancers associated with increased bodyweight, alcohol, unhealthy eating and physical inactivity, strategic research into food labelling and food marketing to children.

Prior to joining Cancer Council, Clare spent eight years as the Senior Food Policy Officer at Australia’s consumer organisation CHOICE. She was responsible for ensuring the interests of consumers were considered during food policy processes. During this time, she led CHOICE’s policy and advocacy projects on obesity, food labelling, food marketing, genetic modification and food safety. Clare also has more than 15 years’ experience representing both public health and consumer interests on the nutrition and food policy issues such as the NHMRC Dietary Guidelines Working Committee and the Health Star Ratings Technical Working Group.

Clare is available for interview and discussion on topics including tips to improve diet and lifestyle, how diet and lifestyle can reduce cancer risk and the impact of nutrition, physical activity and alcohol on cancer risk.

Clare can also talk about Cancer Council’s policy recommendations for physical activity and nutrition including the implementation of a comprehensive obesity prevention strategy, restrictions to junk food marketing to children, added sugar labelling and alcohol reforms.

Clare holds a Bachelor of Science (Nutrition), Master of Public Health and a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

For an interview with Clare Hughes please contact Cancer Council Australia’s Media Team on (02) 8063 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team on media@cancer.org.au

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This page was last updated on: Thursday, September 19, 2019

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