Our history Cancer Council Tasmania
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 appointed and not long after the first three staff members commenced duties. The organisation was incorporated on 28 June 1995.
The major functions of Cancer Council Tasmania (CCT) 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.
CCT has grown to be a state wide organisation with over 43 staff and is assisted to undertake activities with the support of over 500 volunteers.
CCT has offices in Sandy Bay, Launceston and Devonport and purpose built cancer support centres in the north and south of the state. The northern cancer support centre was opened in late 2012 and the southern support centre officially opened in 2018. The centres provide a unique model of support for people impacted by cancer. Support is also provided from the Icon Cancer Centre in Hobart and the North West Cancer Centre in Burnie.
The transport to treatment service commenced in 2006 with two vehicles. There are now 8 transport vehicles located at Smithton, Burnie, Ulverstone, Launceston and Hobart.
CCT continues to engage with the Tasmanian community on how to reduce their cancer risk and invests into cancer research providing grants to local researchers, invests into clinical drug trials at the Royal Hobart Hospital and the Launceston General Hospital and funds a number of academic research scholarships.
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. This expectation has not changed with CCT needing to fundraise over $4 million each year to sustain its services and activities to the public.
In 2020 it introduced a new commercial enterprise to the organisation with the opening of the first Clothes4Cancer Opportunity Shop in East Devonport.