The Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria became an incorporated body by Act of Parliament. Our first meetings were chaired by the Lord Mayor at the Melbourne Town Hall. With the economy still recovering from the Great Depression, our first public appeal raised $66,000 — equivalent to several million in today's money!
Three deep therapy x-ray machines were bought for a new radiotherapy institute, which became the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. Professor Peter MacCallum was elected Chair of our Medical and Scientific Committee in 1937 and went on to chair our Executive Committee, retiring in 1962.
George Frederick Carden bequeathed us a large sum to 'find the cause and cure of cancer'. It was some years before a young Australian doctor, Donald Metcalf, was offered the position as Carden Fellow. He started work in 1954.
Surgeons Thomas Ackland and Victor Stone persuaded the Medical and Scientific Committee to appoint them to an editorial role. They produced 3 education pamphlets on cancer facts and common warning signs.
The American Surgeon-General declared that evidence pointed to a causal relationship between tobacco and lung cancer. From this time on, anti-smoking campaigns became a central focus.
Football legend Peter Hudson fronted an important campaign to highlight the health risks of smoking.
Dr Nigel Gray became Director and, in the words of former President, W Allan Dick, took the Cancer Council ‘from a highly respected medical charity into a cancer control enterprise affecting most Victorians'. Watch a Dr Nigel Gray interview.
Warren Mitchell, Fred Parslow and Miriam Karlin appear in several entertaining anti-smoking TV advertisements. Fred Parslow's send-up of the Marlboro Man was barred by TV stations, who were receiving advertising revenue from cigarette companies.
Deaths from cancer of the cervix were shown to be declining, thanks to the establishment 10 years earlier of the Victorian Cytology Service and our education program to encourage regular Pap tests.
Years of intense lobbying, against strong lobbying from the tobacco industry, finally brought about the introduction of the Tobacco Act.
The Government made history by passing the first-ever private member's Bill to implement a ban on print advertising of tobacco and tobacco products. This meant no more cigarette advertisements in newspapers and magazines.
Relay For Life, a relay-style fundraising event, was introduced in Australia. The first, single event raised $75,000: it has now grown to include many events around Victoria and Australia and become our biggest fundraising event. See an an early Relay For Life advertisement).
Professor Donald Metcalf's groundbreaking work in colony stimulating factors (CSFs) was honoured by the Cancer Council, which had supported his research for more than 50 years. At least 4 million people worldwide are estimated to have received CSFs as part of cancer treatment.
Professor David Hill, AO, Director, announced that the Cancer Council had invested $175 million in cancer research over its 70-year history. Professor Hill was also elected President of the International Union Against Cancer, a role he would fulfil in addition to Director of Cancer Council Victoria.
Doreen Akkerman AM, Director of our Cancer Information and Support Service, was made a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day for her work with cancer patients and their families.
After many years of advocating for change, the Cancer Council saw pubs and clubs become smoke-free venues.
The Victorian government moved to strictly regulate the solarium industry after a very public campaign led by the Cancer Council and Clare Oliver. The new regulations meant solarium operators must be licensed, display health warnings and meet several strict operative laws or face substantial fines.
Our Director, Professor David Hill, was honored with an Australia Day award for his work fighting cancer in Victoria, nationally and internationally. Professor Hill would retire in 2011 after 44 years at Cancer Council Victoria.
Todd Harper was appointed Chief Executive Officer and tasked with leading the organisation into a new era.
After intense lobbying from the Cancer Council and other groups, Australia looked set to be the first country in the world to adopt plain packaging of cigarettes when the Plain Packaging Bill was passed in Canberra. Subsequent challenges from big tobacco in the Hight Court were rejected, clearing the way for the legislation to be enacted.