Set your location
Clear Selection

How we help

Collaborating to provide the best tools for preventing chronic health problems

The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (Prevention Centre) is a national collaboration of researchers, policy makers and practitioners who are working together to identify the best ways to prevent chronic health problems in Australia. This national initiative, supported by Cancer Council since 2018, works to find new ways to build an effective, efficient and equitable system for the prevention of lifestyle-related chronic disease.

A group of people smiling.

First established in 2013 for a five-year period, the Prevention Centre was one of three National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Partnership Centres for Better Health trialing a model of pooled funding for co-produced partnership research. It was funded for a further five years in 2018 through a second Partnership Centre Grant which included funding from Cancer Council Australia.

Through contributing to the work of the Prevention Centre, Cancer Council is leading the way in recognising and supporting the importance of broader chronic disease prevention."

Lucie Rychetnik
Co-Director, Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Chronic disease, including cancer, is one of Australia’s greatest health challenges and is responsible for the most cases of premature death and disability– over 80% of deaths in Australia are due to chronic disease. We know that healthy lifestyle choices – not smoking, good nutrition, regular exercise, avoiding overweight and obesity, and limiting alcohol – will result in significant reductions in national cancer incidence and mortality rates. 

Screening can detect abnormalities early, so cancer can be prevented completely or treated at an earlier stage more effectively, thereby saving lives. If you take bowel cancer screening for example, only 40% of people who are invited, actually participate. However, estimates modelled by Cancer Council New South Wales show that if we could get that participation rate up to 60%, we would save 84,000 lives by 2040.

Our vision is for an effective, efficient, and equitable system for the prevention of chronic disease."

Lucie Rychetnik
Co-Director, Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

The pooled funding model of the Prevention Centre has, to-date, supported 40 now completed research projects, and currently supports another 30 prevention research projects that are examining new ways of understanding what works and what doesn’t to prevent lifestyle-related chronic disease. The work of the Prevention Centre also ensures that the research is relevant and timely for addressing and strengthening prevention policy and that the findings are readily accessible to key decision makers.

People sitting in a room, they are in pairs sitting opposite each other on red seats, talking and smiling.

One key project explicitly focused on cancer prevention that is currently supported through the Prevention Centre is identifying and assessing options for reducing tobacco-related harms for populations with high smoking prevalence – led by Professor Melanie Wakefield and Dr Michelle Scollo of Cancer Council Victoria. This project is investigating ways to increase the effectiveness of tobacco tax policy and health warnings.

I love the collaborative and applied aspects of the work of the Centre. Our lead investigators and other research, policy and practice colleagues are passionate about, and committed to, making a real difference to the heath of all Australians."

Lucie Rychetnik
Co-Director, Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

We know that at least one in three cancers could be prevented through behavioural lifestyle changes. The Prevention Centre understands that successful intervention requires broadening its focus across health and other sectors. With support from organisations like Cancer Council, they will continue to expand the scope of prevention research to incorporate more holistic systems-based approached, encapsulating health, economic, social and environmental outcomes.

Australia is a leader in prevention research and it’s critical for the health and wellbeing of our community that we continue to invest in this research, especially the ‘next generation’ of prevention researchers."

Lucie Rychetnik
Co-Director, Australian Prevention Partnership Centre

Prevention research requires long term thinking and investment from a variety of different groups. The collaborative approach taken by Cancer Council and the Prevention Centre will help fund research that will have long term, significant effects across whole populations. It is this type of research that is helping us achieve a cancer-free future for all Australians.

Looking Ahead 

We won’t rest until we’ve dramatically reduced the significant impact cancer has on every member of our community