Executive Director's report

Coming of age

The year’s triumph has been bringing to life the innovative, game-changing programs that make up the VCCC Strategic Research Plan 2017-20.

During the reporting period, we have seen the value of connected, strategic planning, translate to performance across all areas of leadership and collaboration, research, clinical trials and cancer workforce development.

The Board of the VCCC, advisory committees and distributed leadership group have maintained a clear focus on strategic priorities as we sought to implement rapid change in an evolving cultural environment. Thank you to the hundreds of staff across the alliance who are focused on delivering tangible outcomes. This work has been enhanced by the contribution of our valued consumers and we expect this to gain greater momentum following the launch of our Consumer Engagement Action Plan later this year.

Practical but essential initiatives have generated new efficiencies, with streamlined governance and ethics approaches set to ensure Victoria is attractive to industry for new research initiatives. We have reinforced our reputation as a global leader with the development of cutting-edge education programs and highly collaborative research programs in transformative areas such as genomics and immunotherapy.

Research translation exciting prospect

One of the many standout achievements has been in the area of health data. Complex problem-solving and technical know-how have enabled us to overcome traditional barriers; using existing data and linkages to explore and improve primary care and hospital systems.

Doors are opening in clinical trials. One example of many is the implementation of SiteDocs Portal, an electronic platform designed to streamline regulatory document management to 15 cancer clinical trial sites in Melbourne and regional Victoria. The portal is empowering our clinical trials units so that more patients can have access to a clinical trial.

The VCCC Building Trial Group Capability Program is capitalising on Victoria’s proven track record in palliative care, extending leadership in the field to enable patients to access specialised interventions and therapies that they may not otherwise have access to. We have contributed to building a robust clinical trials workforce with a successful internship program, business development program and a shared competency framework.

Education on a global scale

This year saw the launch of Australia’s first wholly online degree focused on the latest developments to tackle cancer. The Master of Cancer Sciences will equip the workforce with cutting-edge tools to bring the best of cancer care to Victoria and beyond, as well as taking Victoria’s research to the world.

As we prepare for the next phase of the VCCC’s development, we welcome your feedback and ideas for the future. No doubt this consultation will herald even more challenge and change, and I look forward to our continuing journey of being better together.

Professor Grant McArthur
Executive Director