As Cancer Council Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Todd Harper has a passion for the organisation’s important work in research, prevention, support and advocacy.
He has a wealth of knowledge and senior leadership experience including 20 years spent in public health advocacy and implementation as a former CEO of VicHealth, Executive Director of Quit Victoria, and Director of the VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control.
Since his appointment as CEO in April 2011, Todd has overseen significant achievement in cancer control.
“There have been great advancements in research including investing in one of the most deadly cancers - mesothelioma and, for the first time, data on Aboriginal people has been included in the Victorian Cancer Registry annual survey of cancer,” he says.
“I was proud to help launch the Forgotten Cancers research project, which will increase our knowledge and understanding of less common cancers, as well as the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer – a world-first initiative to bring legal experts together to provide resources for governments to implement change to assist patients both here and overseas.
“Significant prevention wins include a Victorian ban on solariums and the Federal Government’s plain packaging legislation. Meanwhile, we continue to develop educational campaigns around junk food, alcohol and smoking to reduce the risk of cancer in our community.
“As survival rates continue to improve, our support services are growing to meet the needs of those affected by cancer as well as their families and friends. This includes the introduction of our free financial planning service.”
Todd believes the enviable reputation of the organisation comes down to the hard work and passion of its past and present staff and volunteers to maintain the organisation’s commitment to excellence, integrity and compassion. He is looking forward to building on such success with a range of initiatives including the commencement of a major new epidemiology project known as the Australian Breakthrough Cancer study; the use of venture grants to fund boundary-pushing research; and advocating for improvements in patient access to medical treatment.
“I’m proud to be part of Cancer Council Victoria, which is a remarkable organisation that has improved the lives of so many people through its work in cancer research, prevention and support over the past 78 years.”
You can follow Todd on Twitter @ToddHarperAus