It's the end of an era here at Cancer Council WA as we farewell our Education and Research Director, Terry Slevin, who will head to Canberra to take on the position of CEO at the Public Health Association of Australia.
Terry's incredible contribution over the past 24 years cannot be underestimated. As well as overseeing a great number of ground-breaking cancer prevention and education initiatives, including our Make Smoking History and SunSmart campaigns, he has been instrumental in the growth of our renowned and well-respected cancer research funding program.
His impact and knowledge extended beyond WA, chairing Cancer Council Australia's Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, Cancer Council's Skin Cancer Committee and Cancer Council's Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee.
Whilst we can't list all of his contributions to Cancer Council WA and the wider community here, it would be remiss of us not to include a small snapshot of his work in the cancer education, prevention and research space over the past two decades. Some of Terry's key achievements include:
- Overseeing the production of the world's first mass media campaign on UV radiation.
- Pulling together and editing the Definitive book on Skin Cancer in Australia.
- Collecting 15 years of longitudinal data on sun protection behaviours resulting in the publication of at least 6 papers in the peer reviewed literature.
- 24 years of advocacy to increase funding for SunSmart campaigns, including presentations to Federal and State Standing Committees on Health.
- Guiding the publication of the Compensation Claims Data for Occupational Exposure to UV Radiation booklet which has been instrumental in shifting sun protection policy in large workplaces.
- Convening the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference in 2015.
- Appointing our first Regional Education Officers (REOs) in Albany and Geraldton in 1994, we now have a Regional Education Officer in every region across WA.
- Guiding the growth of our Research Funding Program which has contributed over $47 million to 966 research projects to find new ways to prevent, detect, treat and defeat cancer since it began.
- Initiating the Improving Rural Cancer Outcomes (IRCO) research project to find out why regional West Australians have poorer cancer outcomes compared with metropolitan patients. This research led to the development of our Find Cancer Early campaign for regional West Australians which recently received renewed funding via a $1.4 million contract with the WA Department of Health.
- Inventing the Best Bang for Your Buck research idea, identifying which media channels are most cost-effective for delivering health promotion messages. This assists health promoters across the state to more confidently venture into the word of advertising on social media.
- Receiving the Individual Community Award in 2004, recognised for his outstanding contribution to public health in WA.
- Leading ‘Avoid the Cure' - Australia's first obesity campaign. He was also instrumental in the development of a community services campaign linking obesity to cancer.
- Leading 15 years of advocacy to get the Bowel Cancer Screening program rolled out nationwide.
- Being recognised as a fellow of the Public Health Association of Australia in 2008.
- Receiving an Individual Award for Service from the Public Health Association of Australia in 2011, recognised for his contribution to health promotion.
- Being named as one of WA's most influential people in 2017.
We know Terry will continue to be a powerful force in health advocacy and action on the national stage, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his role at PHAA to continue to improve health outcomes for our community.
Terry, thank you for your dedication and commitment to improving outcomes for West Australians affected to by cancer. You are responsible for some of our organisation's greatest achievements and you will be greatly missed.