Cancer Council Tasmania commenced operation in 1995. Prior to that time there were several small organisations which were comprised of people who had survived a cancer diagnosis, their carers, and other interested parties who undertook to advance community awareness of cancers throughout Tasmania.
In 1995 the government of the day decided to create one organisation for the benefit of all Tasmanians whose lives were impacted by cancer.
Premises were secured in Liverpool Street close to where the Menzies Centre is now located; a Board was recruited and appointed and not long after the first three staff members commenced duties. The Council was incorporated on 28 June 1995.
The major functions of Cancer Council Tasmania were to provide a support and information service to cancer patients, their families, carers and practitioners; and to advocate and lobby on behalf of cancer patients. These services were to be provided in a non-discriminatory and non-judgmental manner for all cancers and to as many Tasmanians as could be reached.
Staff members were also recruited to provide community education on health issues that are known to reduce cancer such as SunSmart behaviours, smoking cessation, healthy lifestyle and diet; and the advantages of regular cancer screening.
Cancer Council Tasmania now has offices in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. Support services include the provision of information; transport for patients to and from cancer treatment appointments; personal program support, a wig library; and Pilates classes. The Council funds local researchers to undertake projects which investigate cancer issues in Tasmania and contributes to many other worthy research projects.
The expectation of the government was that Cancer Council Tasmania had to be self-sustaining and apart from a small administration grant, all expenses would need to be covered by monies raised from proposed fundraising events, bequests and donations. These services are funded by generous donations from the public and fundraising events such as Relay For Life, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, Pink Ribbon Day, Daffodil Day, Gala Balls, Breakfasts and Dinners as well as community fundraising events which are initiated, managed and attended by generous members of the public.
There are currently thirty six full time equivalent paid staff members in Cancer Council Tasmania and around 400 hundred volunteers throughout the state. Cancer Council has been well served by past and present Board Members, staff and volunteers since inception. The opening of the purpose built Cancer Support Centre in Launceston in 2012 has seen a higher level of appropriate and varied services to cancer patients in the state of Tasmania.
We will continue to grow to enable us to service the needs of our community throughout the state. We will fulfil our vision to realise the hopes of all Tasmanians for a cancer free future. Your continuous support helps us to make this possible.