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Reception and Presentation Ceremony for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Grant Awards, Government House


I begin by acknowledging that Government House sits on the land of the Ngunnawal People here in the ACT. If you’re a Canberran, you’ll know what a beautiful part of the country this is. We thank them for looking after it for us, for generation after generation, and pay our respects to their elders past and present.

Good afternoon, all.

Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for the Reception and Presentation Ceremony for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Grant Awards.

Today’s ceremony is a formal occasion in one sense, with the presentation of the grant awards. But it’s also an occasion to celebrate – both the coming together again of a group of talented, dedicated and amazing people, and to acknowledge outstanding achievement.

During lockdown it was important to Linda and me to stay in touch with the many organisations we support to get a sense of how things were playing out on the ground.

Not unexpectedly, what became clear very quickly during our calls was the enormous amount of great work being performed by many people and organisations. Whatever the challenges we face, we should acknowledge the ability and determination of Australians to get on with things, to get the job done and to help each other.

The Foundation is a fine example of that.

It arranged for virtual fundraising activities, in lieu of physical events unable to be held because of COVID restrictions.

In September, the Foundation launched ACEMID – a unique collaboration to transform the way we detect melanoma. The Centre was made possible thanks to a $10 million grant awarded in 2018.

Many of the Foundation’s grant recipients have been working on COVID-19 using equipment provided by the Foundation. 

The grant awards have proceeded again, thanks to the Foundation’s philanthropists and donors.

These achievements are considerable notwithstanding the dramatic effect of the pandemic on our community.

I’m delighted to announce that the Foundation will this year provide three grants with a total value of $6.1 million.

  • $1.5 million to the Centenary Institute in New South Wales to enable world-leading research into the use of theranostics to treat cancer
  • $2.6 million to Griffith University Institute for Glycomics in Queensland to enable the development of next generation precision diagnostics and therapies to manage cancer
  • $2 million to The University of Queensland Thoracic Research Centre to enable prevention and early detection research for people who live in rural and regional Australia.

Congratulations to the recipients.

Your work is critical and helps improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Well done. We wish you every success.

My thanks to the Foundation, the Medical Research Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustees.

Over the course of 37 years, the Foundation has provided more than $171 million worth of funding to 81 research projects across 43 institutes, hospitals and universities around Australia.

Your support of the projects is highly valued.

To the philanthropists, donors and corporate supporters, and the volunteers who organise fundraising activities – thank you. It’s a team effort.

Well done to all involved at the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. By ‘backing brilliant’, you continue to pull off amazing achievements .