April 24, 2018

From the CEO

Dear readers,

$1 million of new Lung Foundation Australia research award funding announced in March

I have recently attended the annual Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) conference in Adelaide. This conference brings together clinicians and researchers from across the country and internationally to network and learn from one another. Lung Foundation Australia always has a high profile at this event and takes the opportunity to meet with as many people in our clinical network as possible as well as promote our patient and clinical resources.

For me though, the true highlight of the conference is always the presentation of Lung Foundation Australia research awards. This year, we announced award funding that will support 19 worthy researchers with almost $1 million of scholarships, fellowship and top-up funding. In addition, we announced a new PhD Scholarship in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, supported by a generous gift from the family of Brian Eaton. This scholarship is currently accepting applications, find out more at lungfoundation.com.au/open-research-awards/

These awards are made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and donors. Congratulations to the recipients, including:

  • Lung Foundation Australia/Boehringer Ingelheim Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Research Fellowship 2018/2019: Dr Richard Kim, University of Newcastle, $160,000 over two years
  • Lung Foundation Australia/Deep Manchanda Early Career Fellowship in Lung Cancer: Dr Clare Weeden, Co funder: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research $320,000 over two years
  • Lung Foundation Australia/Better Breathing Foundation Allied Health PhD Scholarship in Chronic Lung Disease: Fiona Coll, Co funders: Better Breathing Foundation and Curtin University WA, $120,000 over four years
  • Lung Foundation Australia Shine a Light PhD Scholarship in Lung Cancer Research 2018 – 2020 Co funder: University of Sydney – Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre, $120,000 over three years
  • Lung Foundation Australia/Bill van Nierop PhD Scholarship in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research 2018 – 2020: Tylah Miles, Co funder: University of Western Australia, $132,000 over three years

For a comprehensive list of our research awards and recipients visit lungfoundation.com.au/awards

Minister for Health funds Lung Foundation Australia to develop National Strategic Action Plan for lung diseases

In March I received confirmation that the Minister for Health has agreed to fund Lung Foundation Australia to consult on and develop a National Strategic Action Plan for lung diseases. This follows on from a Round Table Discussion that we have coordinated to discuss addressing the gap in policy support for lung disease.

Late last year, we held a discussion with the Department of Health and stakeholders from across lung diseases, including stakeholder organisations and health professionals. The purpose was to identify key interventions that could be implemented in a two year timeframe that would make the biggest impact. The outcomes of this discussion are reflected in Lung Foundation Australia’s budget submission, lodged at the end of last year, read more at lungfoundation.com.au/advocacy

We have also recently hosted a Lung Cancer Round Table where we sought the input from consumers, researchers and health professionals on what the priority areas for action are for Lung Foundation Australia to achieve improved outcomes for those with lung cancer and to increase funding directed to lung cancer research. The outcomes of both of these discussions will inform the National Strategic Action Plan.

Changing of the guard

As many of you will know, I will be leaving the Lung Foundation in July. I have thoroughly enjoyed over 13 years with the Lung Foundation and have been privileged to be part of the tremendous growth of the organisation, both in terms of impact and credibility. This has largely been due to the generous contributions of many, including our sponsors, donors, advocates, collaborators and our many clinical and community volunteers. I am also grateful for the leadership and support of our Board. I am proud of what we have all achieved together and feel that it is time for a new CEO to take the Lung Foundation to the next stage of its life.

I will be joining my husband who will be taking sabbatical in London, England and the United States. The results of a national search for my successor will be known shortly and I will be working with the new CEO to ensure a smooth transition.  I want to thank you for all the support you have shown me and my team over the years.