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Our history

The 2010s

2011 An example of cigarette pack under new plain packaging rules

Todd Harper - CEO of Cancer Council Victoria Todd Harper was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer, 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.



Every single cigarette is now sold in drab coloured packets after the Federal Government’s plain packaging legislation came into effect.

The Victorian Government passes legislation to ban solariums in Victoria by the end of 2014.

The Federal Government announces the National Bowel Screening program will be expanded to include free screening for people aged 60 years of age from 2013 and those turning 70 years of age from 2015.

The McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, a joint initiative between Cancer Council Victoria and the Union for International Cancer Control is launched. The centre is a place where lawyers, legal academics and law students from around the world can connect with cancer control researchers and advocates, as well as other cancer related institutions.


SunSmart celebrates 30 years educating the community about sun protection

Victoria records the lowest levels of smoking amongst adults in Australia (13.3 percent).

SunSmart celebrates 30 years educating the community about sun protection. More than 103,000 skin cancers were prevented in Victoria between 1988 and 2003 and more than 1000 deaths averted since the Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign began.


We introduce new support services, including our pro bono legal and financial referral program, our Holiday Break Program and our psychosexual counselling to meet the needs of a growing number of people living with cancer.

Together with The Heart Foundation we launch the Victorian Government-funded program LiveLighter to encourage Victorians to make healthy lifestyle changes to cut their risk of cancer and heart disease.

We launch the Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study to investigate the causes of cancer and other diseases by working with over 50,000 Australians. The aim is to investigate the role that our genes, lifestyle and environment play in the development of disease in the hope it will lead to breakthroughs that will enable more individualised prevention and screening to occur.

The Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria sign a Memorandum of Understanding to improve cancer outcomes in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

We fund four innovative research projects under round two of our Venture Grants Scheme. The projects have the potential to be ground-breaking and finding the next cancer breakthroughs. 


Quit Victoria celebrates its 30th anniversary

Quit Victoria celebrates its 30th anniversary. Today, 800,000+ Victorians don't smoke, which means more than half a million Victorians have or will be saved from premature death.

From 1 January, solariums are banned in Victoria following campaigning from Cancer Council over many years.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Victorian Cancer Registry releases the most timely state-wide cancer incidence and mortality statistics in Australia - the most current in the world.

We introduce our Reconciliation Action Plan setting out our intentions and goals to further build the organisation's capability to deliver cancer research, prevention and support programs for Aboriginal Victorians. We also sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Victorian Community Controlled Health Organisation.