Cancer Council Victoria

2017Annual Review

Prevent Cancer.
Empower Patients.
Save Lives.

Section 2

Todd Harper

By increasing awareness about cancer risks such as obesity, encouraging people to screen for bowel cancer, funding innovative research, and providing vital support - we were able to make a difference in 2017.
Todd Harper

There are so many people in our community who contribute to the work we do - whether it's giving their time or supporting us financially, and it's only because of this that we were able to make an impact.
Maria Trinci
Chair of the Board

Maria Trinci

Thanks to your support here is just some of what we achieved in 2017

Our Goals

UmbrellaImplement powerful cancer prevention programs for major cancer risk factors: tobacco, UV, diet, obesity and alcohol.

PeopleMobilise community participation in cancer screening and immunisation programs.

PhoneEmpower patients by delivering dynamic, credible information and compassionate support.

BookMaximise the impact of cancer research and cancer data.

Implement powerful cancer prevention programs for major cancer risk factors: tobacco, UV, diet, obesity and alcohol.

New Quit Website

New Quit Website

Quit launched a new website that is consumer-focused, providing practical tools and advice for smokers, and plenty of resources for those helping a patient, friend or family member to quit.

The website provides information drawn on the best available evidence and the experience of our Quitline experts.

Visit new site

Slip! Slop! App!

Slip! Slop! App!

SunSmart launched a new augmented reality app, seeUV. The app is an exciting and innovative new way to raise awareness of the dangers of UV radiation, which is the major cause of skin cancer.

The app was developed in collaboration with Deakin University's Software and Technology Innovation Laboratory and supported by the Victorian Government.

Download the App

Tipping the Scales

Tipping the Scales

As part of our work to combat obesity, we partner with the Obesity Policy Coalition to advocate for policy change and regulation to help prevent obesity.

The Obesity Policy Coalition launched Tipping the Scales, a plan that identifies eight clear, practical, evidence-based actions that the Federal Government must take to tackle our serious obesity problem.

Learn more here

McCabe Training Program

McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer Intensive Legal Training Program

With funding support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer ran two highly successful legal training programs with 35 participants from 25 countries.

The unique international program helps countries build capacity, networks and expertise in the use of law to prevent cancer and other non-communicable diseases. It focuses on the areas of health, trade, investment and sustainable development.

Find out more about the program

Free toys have powerful influence

Free toys have powerful influence on what kids want to eat

A recent study involving more than 900 Australian children aged five to nine years found that when a movie character toy was offered with a meal, children were more likely to want that meal, regardless of what the meal consisted of. The study suggested that this type of marketing would be put to better use to promote healthier foods to kids instead of junk food.

Learn more about our behavioural research

Shared care between community and Quitline

Shared care between community and Quitline

Lakes Entrance Aboriginal Health Association (LEAHA) and Aboriginal Quitline (AQL) developed an Australian-first 'shared care' model to provide best practice support to help Aboriginal people in Gippsland quit smoking. Smokers have face-to-face meetings with Tackling Indigenous Smoking workers (a program delivered by LEAHA), with AQL providing telephone counselling between meetings and when extra support is needed. LEAHA and AQL exchange information on client progress, to ensure care is seamless and tailored to the individual's needs.

This model has been showcased as a best-practice approach at state and national Tackling Indigenous Smoking forums.

Read more about our work toward reconciliation

Mobilise community participation in cancer screening and immunisation programs.

Home Bowel Test

A simple home test could save your life

Bowel cancer kills four times more Victorians than road accidents.

Bowel cancer accounts for the second highest number of cancer deaths in Victoria, but if picked up early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.

Luckily, there is a very effective at-home test that can help detect bowel cancer in its early stages, even when there are no symptoms or warning signs. The screening test is sent to eligible Australians (who are between the ages of 50-74), as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. However, at the moment, only around 40% of Victorians actually do the test.

We are determined to change this and see participation increase to 50% by 2021. To help achieve this target we launched a bowel cancer screening awareness campaign.

In response to this campaign it was anticipated that more than 20,000 extra Victorians would screen for bowel cancer in 2017 and if participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program continues to rise, as many as 1 million Victorians are expected to be screened for bowel cancer by 2027.

The purpose of the campaign was to mobilise the community around bowel cancer screening by encouraging Victorians to either take the test when they receive it in the mail, or to encourage a loved one to take the test.

We reached out to the public via digital advertising, television, radio and stories published in major and regional news outlets. We had conversations with GPs asking them to encourage patients aged 50-74 to take the test. We also identified culturally and linguistically diverse communities that had lower rates of screening and provided additional educational resources to encourage taking the at-home test.

View the campaign

One test, two lives saved

One test, two lives saved

After receiving and completing the at-home screening test Charlie discovered he had bowel cancer. Thankfully, his cancer was detected early and he was successfully treated.

After his diagnosis, Charlie’s family were encouraged to undergo screening. His sister Marg was later diagnosed with a more advanced form of bowel cancer but, due to early detection, Marg is now in remission.

Thanks to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, Marg and Charlie have proven strong advocates for the importance of early cancer detection and prevention.

Learn more about bowel cancer prevention or to request an at-home screening test.

Improved National Cervical Screening Program

In 2017 we farewelled PapScreen Victoria and welcomed a new, even more effective National Cervical Screening Program.

From 1 December 2017, all women aged between 25 and 74 years will be invited to have a Cervical Screening Test every five years. This test will replace two-yearly Pap tests. The new test is more effective than, and just as safe as a Pap test. In fact, the renewed cervical screening program is expected to further reduce cervical cancer rates and deaths by at least 20 per cent.

PapScreen Victoria has been in operation for 26 years, over which time the incidence and mortality rate of cervical cancer in Australian women has halved. Additionally, screening rates increased in Victoria to become the highest in the country with a participation rate of 61.6 per cent.

Learn more about how to prevent cervical cancer

HPV immunisation work in the Gippsland region

Victorian Aboriginal adolescent HPV immunisation rates are consistently lower than the state average.

We have undertaken a significant body of work to increase HPV vaccination rates amongst Aboriginal adolescents in the Gippsland region. This work has been carried out in collaboration with local health professionals, and with the support of the Department of Health and Human Services.

One initiative to address this included a partnership with East Gippsland Shire Council to close the gap at a participating school in Gippsland.

The project involved collecting student enrolment and immunisation records, conducting student education and staff training, and developing and implementing a catch-up HPV immunisation program. As a result, there was an increase in HPV vaccinations across all year levels for the Aboriginal students identified.

Learn more about the Aboriginal Prevention Program

Thank you!


Celebrating Our People

Our volunteers, fundraisers and supporters enable us in everything we do. Their passion and commitment to a cancer free future is truly inspiring.

Students band together at Relay For Life

Students band together at Relay For Life

Students, staff and parents at Montmorency Secondary College have raised more than $78,000 since they first started participating in the Diamond Valley Relay for Life nine years ago.

Teacher Kim Faulkner who organises the school’s participation said, “the school has so many students who have lost family members to cancer. It is a really moving event.

“The students come away feeling they’ve made a difference, they’ve been part of their community, part of something bigger than themselves. The success that they feel having raised money either for prevention of cancer or to help people living with cancer is quite powerful.”

Ride to a Cure

Ride to a Cure

After losing his mum Tania in 2015 from breast cancer, Declan Foott wanted to do something to honour her and fight back against cancer.

Departing from Federation Square, Declan cycled 5,800km from Melbourne to Darwin to raise money for cancer research as an iWill participant. Inspiring people across the country he exceeded his original fundraising target of $10,000 and raised an astonishing $76,000.

“I am incredibly passionate about preventing cancer and want to reduce the toll it has on our community,” Declan said. He has sponsored the ‘Ride to a Cure Research Award in Honour of Tania Foott’, which will help fund two research projects working to improve patient outcomes for people with breast cancer.

We are thrilled that Declan will be continuing his involvement with Cancer Council Victoria by sharing his inspiring story as part of our Community Speakers Program.

Regional volunteers celebrates raising $1 million

Regional volunteers celebrates raising $1 million

We have more than 600 volunteers across 23 regional volunteer groups in Victoria. These groups play a crucial role in supporting their local community by sharing the latest cancer information and support services and fundraising for cancer research, prevention and support programs.

Since forming in 1981, the Traralgon Volunteer Group has raised over $1 million to support Cancer Council Victoria’s work. Many of the 20 dedicated volunteers who lead this group have been doing so for over 10 years, including the group’s treasurer, Val Skinner, who has generously been volunteering for more than 35 years. They meet every month to plan and implement incredible fundraising events throughout the year. These events range from Cancer Council’s national events such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea and Daffodil Day, to events developed by the Traralgon Volunteer Group such as the Longest Lunch and High Tea Afternoon. The latter is a highlight of the Traralgon Group’s calendar of events with more than 300 guests and over $20,000 raised in 2017 alone!

The group hopes to “unlock a cure” through their tireless fundraising efforts to support cancer research.

Going above and beyond

Going above and beyond

Ethne Rogut has volunteered with Cancer Council Victoria for over 10 years. She continuously inspires the staff she works with day to day through her dedication and wealth of experience, and is a knowledgeable resource for the hundreds of supporters she contacts as part of her most recent role within the Supporter Engagement team.

As a wonderful ambassador, Ethne also participates in many events herself including running a merchandise stall every Daffodil Day for the past 12 years, and as a regular Australia's Biggest Morning Tea Host. She consistently brings friends together every year to support Cancer Council Victoria outside of her usual volunteer hours, and is a great example of how an individual’s commitment to go above and beyond can make such a significant impact on enhancing the work of the Cancer Council.

A life dedicated to improving outcomes for cancer patients

A life dedicated to improving outcomes for cancer patients

Drawing on her experiences as both a medical scientist and breast cancer patient, Avis MacPhee, AM has been instrumental in supporting breast cancer groups, founding the Breast Cancer Support Group at the Bone Marrow Donor Institute. She has worked tirelessly in service of the community, helping to bridge the gap between the scientific community and cancer patients by making the science behind different treatments more accessible.

Avis joined the Cancer Council Victoria Board in 2006, was a member of the Scientific Committee, Vice President of the Breast Cancer Research Consortium, Chair of Health Services Review Council and a member of the Victorian Cancer Biobank Committee.  In 2010 Avis’s dedication and commitment was recognised when she was made a member of the Order of Australia.

Avis was a passionate and dedicated member of our community who passed away in September 2017. She will be sorely missed.

Our staff are vital in enabling us to succeed in our mission to prevent cancer, empower patients and save lives. We believe strongly in our values of excellence, integrity and compassion.

Best Victorian Not-For-Profit In-House PR Team

Cancer Council Victoria was named the Best Victorian Not-For-Profit In-House PR Team at the Public Relations Institute of Australia Awards.

 McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer

Jonathan Liberman, Director of the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, was a recipient of a prestigious World No Tobacco Day Award from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office for outstanding contribution to tobacco control.

2017 Mentor Award

Professor Dallas English from the Cancer Epidemiology & Intelligence Division was awarded the coveted 2017 Mentor Award from the Australasian Epidemiological Association.

Cancer Council Victoria Staff

The Financials


Where the money came from Return on investments in 2017 of $3.1 million VS $3.2 million in 2016 has contributed to the overall result. Fundraising has increased by $8.2 million which has been driven by bequests

Expenditure Expenditure for 2017 was $66.4 million, $2.4m less than 2016.
- An extra $1.2m has been invested in research, including grants to support low survival cancers and childhood cancers, funding was increased for the ABC study.
- Cancer prevention has seen reduced government funding of $1.5m following changing government priorities. Notably the Livelighter program was not state funded in 2017, and funding for screening reduced as focus switched from Papscreen to general screening.
- Fundraising has dropped by $0.8m as a result of disinvestment the in Face to Face fundraising program

Where the money was spent

The research we undertake and fundEach year we fund research covering a wide variety of cancer types, and looking at a range of support and prevention issues.

This research is carried out both here at Cancer Council Victoria, such as our Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study, and externally at other research institutions such as hospitals and universities. This graph represents all direct research expenditure undertaken in 2017.

It includes the research we fund thanks to the generosity of the Victorian community, and also that funded through independently won grants, for example from National Health & Medical Research Council.

Accumulated Surplus & Reserves Close

Other Graphs

 Tied vs  Untied Income Tied funds have restrictions on which programs it can be spent on whereas there are no restrictions on untied funding. Untied income % has increased from 59% in 2016 to 61% in 2017 this is due of the increase in fundraising revenue from bequests.

Looking Forward

The 2018 budget includes limited fundraising revenue growth, and focuses on cost control within our mature events to drive improved net revenue.

Fundraising plans for 2018 are to leverage CRM technology, and to investigate and invest in new and innovative fundraising channels.

We set annual budgets to achieve our strategic plan, maintaining business as usual expenditure within available donor & external funding, and funding new projects and capability building from reserves where appropriate. As a result of surpluses in 2017, an additional $3 million will be invested in additional low survival research, obesity and bowel screening programs in 2018.

We constantly monitor revenue and expenditure against budgets and targets, reporting progress to each meeting of the FRAC and Board.

A full set of Cancer Council Victoria financial audited financial statements can be downloaded from our website at

Jacinda de Witts
Chair, Finance, Risk & Audit Committee


Looking ahead