This week two Cancer Council Victoria staff members were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list: Mr. Todd Harper, Cancer Council Victoria CEO and Dr Michelle Scollo, Senior Advisor, Tobacco. Both Mr. Harper and Dr. Scollo are being made Members of the Order of Australia (AM).
In addition, the Chair of Cancer Council Victoria’s Clinical Network, Professor Clare Scott has also been named.
Mr. Harper has held two roles with Cancer Council, as Executive Director of Quit Victoria from 1999–2007, and as Cancer Council CEO since 2011. In between, he was CEO of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (2007–2011).
As Quit Director, he led a productive period for tobacco control with legislative reforms achieving smoke free shopping centres, restaurants, bars, and clubs. There were reforms to ban tobacco advertising at point of sale along with bans on the display of tobacco products, iconic TV campaigns like this one and one that coincided with the first picture warnings on Australian cigarette packs were developed.
Many achievements have been made during Mr. Harper’s time of leadership at Cancer Council Victoria. These include Cancer Council Victoria becoming the timeliest cancer registry in the world, the adoption of world-first tobacco plain packaging laws, the establishment of the Cancer Council wig service and holiday break program and of our Forgotten Cancers program. During this time, the organisation also introduced the pioneering 2017 bowel cancer screening program, that was taken up by the Commonwealth Government, as well as our commitment to eliminate cervical cancer, among many other achievements.
Dr.Scollo, is being recognised for her significant service to smoking prevention, including her contribution to tobacco control both in Australia and internationally for more than 30 years. She is an accomplished scholar providing unique contributions to the evidence base on which successful tobacco control strategies have been built such as tobacco taxation and plain packaging. Her colleagues note her astonishing work ethic and dedication to achieving outcomes that ultimately prevent avoidable deaths and her willingness and generosity in helping and mentoring others to achieve their goals in tobacco control.