On the tenth anniversary of the prestigious Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Awards, the Australian Government announces the two outstanding recipients of the 2023 Award for excellence in the field of gynaecological cancer. *
Jane Hill, CEO, Ovarian Cancer Australia and Professor Lewis Perrin, Director of Gynaecological Oncology at Mater Hospital Brisbane, have received the Award for their significant contribution to improving the lives of women with gynaecological cancer.
Gynaecological cancers remain the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancers in women in Australia and represent nearly 10% of all diagnosed female cancer cases.
Established in 2013, the Award is named in honour of the late Jeannie Ferris, former Senator for South Australia who was passionately committed to raising awareness about gynaecological cancer in Australia. Senator Ferris was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2005 and sadly passed away in April 2007.
Awarded in the category of those with a personal experience of gynaecological cancer or as a carer (consumer): Jane Hill is CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia, the national consumer organisation taking action for Australians affected by ovarian cancer. It’s the deadliest women’s cancer, with a five-year survival rate of just 49%. Jane is determined to change the story of ovarian cancer and bring it to the forefront of national attention.
Jane was the inaugural Co-Chair of the Australian Patients Advocacy Alliance, an association of 21 consumer health groups representing more than 15 million Australians living with chronic conditions. Jane also served as a Member of the Federal Health Minister’s Expert Advisory Committee on the National Preventative Health Strategy 2022-2030 and is a member of the Medicines Australia Advisory Council. She is also Co-Vice Chair of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
Awarded in the category of the health professionals or researchers working in gynaecological cancer: Professor Lewis Perrin is a gynaecological oncologist and clinician researcher specialising in the care of women with ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vulval and vaginal malignancies. He has worked in Queensland since 1995 both publicly and privately at Mater Health where he oversees a unit that cares for over 450 women each year.
His clinical research focus is on optimal cytoreductive surgery in ovarian cancer and minimally invasive surgery. He is keenly involved with identification of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, and novel treatment targets and therapies. Professor Perrin has senior roles in major current clinical studies including an international HIPEC trial for ovarian cancer, the MRI spectroscopy study for malignant versus benign pelvic masses, sentinel nodes assessment trial of endometrial and vulval cancers, and the fEMME trial for endometrial cancer.
Minister Butler announced that, from 2024, the Awards will be expanded to recognise and promote the value and efforts of consumers, health professional and researchers in improving equitable outcomes for all Australians affected by all cancers. This new approach, which is in alignment with the Australian Cancer Plan currently in development, will continue Senator Ferris’ legacy and provide an incentive to the broader sector to strive to reduce inequities in cancer outcomes.
Quotes Attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler
“I am delighted to announce Jane Hill and Professor Lewis Perrin as the recipients of the 2023 Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Award which recognises their exceptional leadership.”
“Every day this year, 18 women will be diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer in Australia.”
“These worthy recipients have contributed a lasting legacy in improving life for women with gynaecological cancer.”
“The broadening of the Award will recognise and promote the value and efforts of consumers, health professional and researchers in improving equitable outcomes for all Australians affected by all cancers, echoing the core aim of the Australian Cancer Plan. This will continue Senator Ferris’ legacy and provide an incentive to the broader sector to strive to reduce inequities in cancer outcomes.”
Quote attributable to Professor Dorothy Keefe, CEO Cancer Australia
“The dedication, commitment and achievements of Jane Hill and Professor Perrin and have made an invaluable contribution to better outcomes through improved gynaecological cancer awareness, support, treatment and research.”
“I am delighted that the expansion of the Jeannie Ferris Awards in alignment with the Australian Cancer Plan will be in place in 2024, for us to acknowledge some of the enormously dedicated individuals working tirelessly to improve equity of outcomes and the wellbeing of people with cancer.”
*Gynaecological cancer is an overarching term used to describe cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina and vulva, as well as the fallopian tube and placenta (a pregnancy-related cancer).