Cancer Australia is calling for nominations for the 2024 Jeannie Ferris Award. The Jeannie Ferris Award recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving outcomes for people with cancers in two categories:

  • Category 1 - Members of the community: those with personal experience of cancer, as a person with a diagnosis of cancer; or as a community member, family member, or carer who has been involved in the support and care of people with cancer.
  • Category 2 - Health professionals and researchers: researchers and health professionals of all disciplines involved in cancer research or clinical care, including (but not limited to) specialists, primary care practitioners, nursing and allied health professionals.

About the Award

Recognising excellence in improving equity of cancer outcomes

This 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 passed away in April 2007.

The Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Award was established by Cancer Australia in 2013, to recognise outstanding contributions to improving outcomes for women with gynaecological cancers.

To mark the occasion of the 11th Anniversary of the Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Recognition Award, Cancer Australia has broadened the scope of the Award from 2024, 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.

The new direction for the Award will align with the Australian Cancer Plan (the Plan) , launched by the Minister of Health and Aged Care in November 2023. The future-focused, ten-year Plan is a national framework to accelerate world class cancer outcomes and improve the lives of all Australians affected by cancer.

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Selection criteria

In no more than 500 words per question, applications must demonstrate how the nominee meets the following selection criteria:

  1. How has the nominee’s work or service improved outcomes for people with cancers? Please provide specific examples.
  2. How has the nominee’s contribution to people with cancer impacted a particular field, community or group? I.e., has their contribution made a local, national and/or international impact? Please provide specific examples.
  3. Has the nominee's work or service contributed to improving equity of outcomes, particularly for priority populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples? (Note: Please refer to the Australian Cancer Plan - Achieving Equity).
  4. What makes this person’s contribution outstanding? Please provide specific examples (Note: this may include contributions outside their paid work or position). Include any previous awards and relevant committee memberships.

Eligibility criteria

  1. The nominee must be an Australian resident.
  2. The nomination must include a short biography of the nominee (of no more than 500 words).
  3. The nominee, or a member of their family, must give permission for the biographical details provided in the nomination to be used by Cancer Australia in any promotional material, should they be selected as an Awardee.
  4. The nomination must include two written references that support the nominee’s application.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions has been developed to assist nominations. We recommend that you refer to this before submitting a nomination.

Lodging a nomination

Nominations may be made by any individual using the Nomination Form. Each nomination should address the selection criteria. Self-nominations are permitted. All nominations must be accompanied by references from two independent referees.

Nominations are to be sent to Cancer Australia:

By email (PDF attachment) to: jeannieferrisaward@canceraustralia.gov.au 

Nominations must be received by COB Friday, 12 April 2024. Late applications will not be considered.

Nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee which will provide a recommendation to the CEO and Cancer Australia Advisory Council.

The Awards will be announced in August 2024. Information about the successful Award recipients will be posted on the Cancer Australia website in August 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to be nominated for the Award?

The Jeannie Ferris Award recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving outcomes for people with cancers in two categories:

  • Category 1 - Members of the community: those with personal experience of cancer, as a person with a diagnosis of cancer; or as a community member, family member, or carer who has been involved in the support and care of people with cancer.
  • Category 2 - Health professionals and researchers: researchers and health professionals of all disciplines involved in cancer research or clinical care, including (but not limited to) specialists, primary care practitioners, nursing and allied health professionals.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes. Self-nominations are permitted but must be accompanied by references from two independent referees.  The referees must not be immediate family members.

How many Awards are given?

Two awards will be offered – one in the ‘Members of the community’ category and one in the ‘Health Professionals and Researchers’ category. 

If someone has been nominated for the Award previously, can they be nominated again?

Yes. Cancer Australia welcomes re-nomination of those who were unsuccessful in previous years.  Previous recipients of the Award are not eligible for nomination.

I wish to nominate someone who has passed away.  Is that possible?

Posthumous nominations will be accepted. 

Can the nominee live outside Australia?

The nominee must be an Australian resident.  A nomination of someone who contributes to improving outcomes for people with cancers in Australia would be favourably viewed by the Selection Committee. It is anticipated that the nominee will not live and work solely outside Australia.

What should be included in the biography?

It is designed to give the Selection Committee a snapshot or highlights of the nominee’s experience, activities or career.  If the nominee has published articles or material that you wish to bring to the attention of the Committee, an abridged list of key publications is preferred.  The biography should not exceed 500 words.

Does the nominee need to approve the biography provided?

It is a condition of nomination that each nominee MUST give permission for the biographical details provided to be used by Cancer Australia in any promotional material, should they be selected as an Awardee.  A note to this effect must accompany all nominations. 

The suggested wording is:

This biography has been approved by the nominee and permission is given for the biographical details provided to be used by Cancer Australia in any promotional material about the Jeannie Ferris Award should they be selected as an Awardee.

In the instance that a nominee has passed away, a member of their family must provide consent for the biographical details and photos provided to be used by Cancer Australia in any promotional material, should they be selected as an Awardee.

Can someone be nominated more than once?

Yes. One nominee may be nominated by more than one person; however, each nomination must be supported by separate, independent references.

How is the Award determined?

Nominations will be reviewed by a Selection Committee, which will provide a recommendation to the CEO and Cancer Australia Advisory Council for noting.  Members of the Selection Committee are not eligible to be nominated for the Award and must decline if approached to do so. 

How will the Award be announced? 

The successful nominees in each category will be contacted by phone.  Cancer Australia will liaise with the Awardees about the publication of their names and biographical details, on the website and through media, as appropriate. The details of the announcement will be discussed with Awardees.