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Cure Cancer reception, Admiralty House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cammeraygal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

It’s great to be among people who are dedicating their working lives to finding a cure for cancer. Your work is incredibly important and makes a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of our country.

Linda and I are delighted to have you here at Admiralty House . We extend a warm welcome to all of you, especially our wonderful researchers.
I’m pleased to continue my patronage of Cure Cancer — a national not-for-profit that funds Australia’s brightest early-career researchers across all areas of cancer research.

I became Patron in 2015 when I was Governor of New South Wales, and I’m pleased to continue that patronage as Governor-General.

Well, you all know the statistics. But let me mention just a few.

  • One Australian dies every 12 minutes from Cancer. Our event today is scheduled to run for 90 minutes. So, by the end of this function, we will have lost seven Australians to Cancer. Seven Australians.
  • This year, more than 150,000 Australians are expected to die from Cancer.

There would not be a person among you who hasn’t been impacted by cancer in some way:

You might have it.

You might have had it.

You might be living it each day through supporting family and friends.

Your parents, siblings or friends may have passed away from Cancer.

But in the here and now, many of you are doing your utmost to find a cure to this insidious disease.

What I like about your organisation is that it supports researchers at the beginning of their careers. In fact, Cure Cancer is the only charity in Australia that funds early-career cancer researchers who are working across all cancers and all areas of cancer research.

Cure Cancer has an impressive track record.

  • It’s raised more than $69 million in its 52-year history — that’s more than one million a year.
  • It’s funded 528 research grants for young researchers — many of whom are at the forefront of medical research internationally and have chosen to carry out their ground-breaking work at our world-renowned research institutes.
  • Last year, Cure Cancer funded a record 20 researchers working across a broad spectrum of cancer types and research areas.
  • Three of the Class of 2019 went to clinical trial for treatments in Childhood Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer and Skin Cancer — treatments that could be used for other cancers in the long term.
  • And this year, Cure Cancer is funding 17 talented researchers.

To the researchers — you’ve done exceptionally well to have received funding  from Cure Cancer and their partners. Your track record and potential has caught their attention. There’s no doubt that your research will help improve the prevention, detection and treatment of cancers for generations to come. Because of research across all cancers, the five-year survival rate for Australians with cancer has increased by 20 per cent in the last 30 years — from 48 to 68 per cent.

The Cure Cancer mission is to ensure that the current generation is the last to die from cancer. That’s where our researchers, donors, fundraisers and supporters help.

On behalf of all Australians, I thank you for the work that you are doing in this field.

We can address these alarming statistics. We can find a cure. But only through research.