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Tanya Buchanan

Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council Australia

Tanya Buchanan

Professor Tanya Buchanan is Cancer Council Australia’s Chief Executive Officer. Tanya joined Cancer Council Australia in November 2020 and brings many years of experience in public health to her role.

Tanya has a proven track record in leading organisations to improve health outcomes, having held the role of Chief Executive Officer of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in Wales, United Kingdom. Here, she worked with the sector on the introduction of smoke-free premises and drove the formation of a Wales-specific tobacco control strategy in collaboration with the Welsh Government. She has also held positions as the CEO of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, Executive Director of the International Association for Public Participation Australasia, and Divisional Manager for Community, Cultural and Economic Development at Wollongong City Council.

Tanya was drawn to issues of social justice and health policy while completing an arts degree at Murdoch University. She subsequently studied Nursing at Curtin University of Technology and an MBA in Health Services at Edith Cowan University. Tanya has completed a PhD focused on tobacco control in Australia and proudly holds a range of qualifications including being a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course (GAICD). 

Tanya commenced her career as a Registered Nurse working in oncology and neurosurgery. She has worked for the Red Cross Blood Service Australia, in academia, local government and the voluntary sector. Tanya is also an Honorary Professor of Practice at the School of Health & Society (Public Health) at the University of Wollongong and continues to be active in public health research and practice.

Tanya has worked hard to grow Cancer Council Australia’s leadership, culture and impact. Since beginning as CEO, she has successfully advocated for Federal Government funding for public health and cancer programs, delivered major national public health campaigns including the award-winning Get2It National Bowel Cancer Screening Campaign, and lobbied to secure Government and community support for evidence-based best practice public health policy.

Professor Tanya Buchanan said:

When we can address factors that influence cancer and cancer prevention, we also have success around respiratory and heart health and other chronic disease. So that public health piece of cancer prevention and control is actually much broader; it’s about improving health outcomes more generally and prevention of chronic disease nationally."

She also navigated Cancer Council Australia through significant change in management processes and built a vibrant, supportive workplace culture that saw the organisation named Voice Workplace of the Year two years running.

I’m really passionate about being at Cancer Council Australia and the changes we can make, and about building teams that share that passion for why we’re here and what we’re working to achieve. I believe that a good leader communicates and collaborates on their vision, creates an environment based on trust, and encourages conversations that bring out different viewpoints on how to achieve the collective purpose."

Tanya is available for interviews about a range of cancer issues including cancer prevention, early detection, support and research. For an interview with Tanya Buchanan, please contact Cancer. Council Australia's Media Team at (02) 8256 4109 (the media hotline is available inside and outside of business hours). You can also email the media team at [email protected].