The MPCCC is delighted to welcome five new community members with lived experiences of cancer to its Advisory Group, whose multidisciplinary representatives will play a central role in providing strategic direction to the MPCCC.

With the addition of its new community members, the MPCCC has now doubled its cohort of consumer and community representatives, which will continue fostering an interactive and mutually beneficial forum for discussion.

Including consumers throughout the MPCCC’s governance and program steering committees has always been considered essential.

“Understanding patient perspectives is fundamental to prioritising new opportunities for cancer improvement programs and research,” said Professor Melissa Southey, Chair of the MPCCC Executive.

“We recognise the importance of having a variety of fora in which members of our community can engage directly with researchers and health professionals, working together to ensure that our collective efforts address issues that contribute to improving the lives of all people impacted by cancer,” Professor Southey added.

The MPCCC’s community representatives generously donate their time, and each of them are passionate about making a difference in the lives of people with cancer. Several of them have existing commitments as cancer advocates across multiple health services and research institutions.

“These are dedicated people with genuine intentions and big hearts, are we are most grateful for their engagement and contribution to our work,” said the Chief Operating Officer of MPCCC, Ms Anna Kilgour.

Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre (Monash Partners) Consumer and Community Involvement (CCI) platform provided a pathway for the MPCCC to reach out to various advocacy groups and invite Expressions of Interest from community members.

Through its COVID-19 Consumer Advisory Committee, Monash Partners is also advocating for the needs of people with cancer amid changes to health service policies in recent months.

“We’ve found their input tremendously insightful during the pandemic,” said Dr Darshini Ayton, Senior Research Fellow at Monash Partners and one of the leaders of the Monash Partners CCI platform.

Professor Helena Teede, Executive Director of Monash Partners, emphasised the importance of creating forums for feedback to government through initiatives like the MPCCC Advisory Committee and Monash Partners COVID-19 Consumer Advisory Committee.

“The community are the funders and beneficiaries of both research and healthcare, so it’s important their voices be  front and centre in codesigning research and healthcare improvement initiatives and in translating these into  policy and practice,” Professor Teede said.

The MPCCC Advisory Group will meet up to three times per year to identify new collaborations and opportunities to improve cancer through innovative and impactful programs.