Today we announced our Honours and Masters scholarships, designed to foster the careers of young cancer researchers in Western Australia, will be renamed in honour of our much-loved and greatly missed colleague Paul Katris.
Paul Katris died suddenly and unexpectedly on 18 November 2017 returning from the annual Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) conference in Sydney.
Paul had been with Cancer Council WA for more than 20 years and was an integral part of the fabric of health professional education in this state as the Executive Officer of Western Australian Clinical Oncology Group (WACOG) and member of the COSA Council as Chair of the Complementary Therapies Group.
Paul was highly respected throughout the cancer community as a selfless and tireless advocate for health professional education and cancer control. Through his efforts he helped to make everyone involved in treating cancer patients in WA the best they could be.
During his career, Paul supervised numerous students focused on psychology, public health and health promotion. One of his keenest ambitions was growing interest in the field of psycho-oncology to ensure cancer patients had access to clinical psychology care and that psycho-oncology was considered its own sub-speciality with researchers working to improve care for cancer patients.
Because of Paul’s own work in obtaining his bachelor and master’s degrees and his interest in supporting other students we felt it fitting to name our honours and masters scholarships after him.
From 2019, we will rename these scholarships Cancer Council Western Australia Paul Katris Honours/Masters Scholarships.
Within this funding stream, we will earmark one of the four scholarships awarded each year to a student looking to continue their studies in the area of psycho-oncology.
The recipients of the first Cancer Council Western Australia Paul Katris Honours/Masters Scholarships will be announced at our annual research funding awards in mid-2019.
Our cancer research scholarships are made possible by the generous donations of our incredible donors. Because of their support, we are the state’s largest independent funder of cancer research and have contributed more than $47 million to 966 research projects to find new ways to prevent, detect, treat and defeat cancer since 1963.
Tribute at COSA 2018
Pauls’ contribution to the national and international clinical oncology community was honoured this morning in a tribute at the opening of the 2018 COSA Annual Scientific Meeting by COSA President Professor Phyllis Butow. At the time of Paul's passing, COSA shared these words on their website:
“In every community, there are some rare individuals who stand out for their unassuming, non-egotistical, dedicated contribution to the betterment of outcomes. Paul Katris was one of them”
“Paul was the Executive Officer of the Western Australian Clinical Oncology Group (WACOG) at Cancer Council Western Australia for the past 21 years. In this role, he was a tireless advocate for health professional education and cancer control, always looking for opportunities to provide training and resources to health professionals and support group leaders working in Oncology.”
“Paul was also the Registrar for the WA Cancer Clinical Trials Registry, an online register listing cancer clinical trials open in Western Australian hospitals for the public. He was the Chair of the Complementary and Integrative Therapies Group of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA), and in this capacity a long standing member of COSA Council – a role he held in high esteem. Paul was a member of the organising committee for the 2018 COSA Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in Perth – he was very much looking forward to the conference returning to his home state, and was very excited about what was already planned.”
“Paul cared deeply about the wellbeing of people with cancer, and sought to build bridges between patients using complementary and integrative therapies and health professionals, by summarising the evidence and developing the COSA position statement on the use of these therapies to guide clinical practice.”
“Paul originally trained in Psychology, and became a Registered Organisational Psychologist in recent years. His academic interests included nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, cancer patients’ unmet needs, particularly in rural and regional patients, and skin cancer. Paul was an enthusiastic member of COSA and the Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG), and indeed, was returning home from the COSA and PoCoG annual scientific meetings on the day of his death. He was always looking for opportunities to bring the latest Psycho-Oncology research findings to WA.”
“Paul’s professional reach was exceptional, and he had unfailing support and respect from health professionals and colleagues, not just in WA but right throughout Australia.”
For more information aboout Cancer Council WA's Cancer Research funding program, visit our Research page.