Researchers Meeting Will Discuss Future Relationship With NSW Cancer Council – 27 May 1997

Medical research bodies and other interested medical groups will be invited to meet at the Masonic Hospital, Ashfield on Thursday evening 29 May 1997 to discuss their future relationship with the NSW Cancer Council following the recent dismissal of Executive Director Mrs Elaine Henry and her replacement with NSW bureaucrat Dr Michael Frommer.

Professor Richard Kefford, Director of Westmead Institute of Cancer Research will Chair the meeting which will be aimed at formalising a proposal to be put to the Minister on the restructuring of the existing NSW Cancer Council Board of Management.

“I am hoping and quietly confident that the medical research community can agree on the direction that is needed to ensure the NSW Cancer Council is freed of political interference. The Victorian Anti-Cancer Council management model is one structure that will be discussed at the meeting”, Professor Kefford said.

“The NSW Cancer Council Act 1995 gives the Minister power to appoint and dismiss the Board. As such there is no guarantee that this Board or any future Board will not do the Minister’s political bidding”, Professor Kefford said.

The majority of annual donations to the NSW Cancer Council come from private individuals.

“The Cancer Council is not a Government department and a new model is required to ensure the independence of this very important organisation”.

Professor Kefford is the Former Chairman of Professional Education and Training Committee of the NSW Cancer Council. An honorary position he held from 1988-1996.

Chairman of the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Dr Bruce Shepherd, said “Cancer research is too important to be taken over by politicians of any persuasion”.