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  • History

    Every day since 1928 Cancer Council SA has been working towards a cancer free future. 

    1928 – First established as the Anti-Cancer Campaign Committee, what was to become today’s Cancer Council SA, was formed on the initiative of the late Dr F S Hone, with the support of the Faculty of Medicine and the Council of The University of Adelaide. Its objectives were to facilitate cancer research and to provide the most modern methods for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in South Australia.

    1930-40 – During this time, the Anti-Cancer Campaign Committee provided the medical staff, medical physicists, and equipment and supervised the treatment of patients in the Radiotherapy Department of the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

    1954-57 – The RAH took over the employment of the medical and other staff working in the Radiotherapy Department. The Campaign Committee purchased the first Linear Accelerator for the RAH Radiotherapy Department at a cost of £70,000.

    Early 1960s – The Committee was renamed the Anti-Cancer Foundation of the University of Adelaide and its focus moved to gaining a better scientific understanding of cancer. During this time equipment and research was funded in a number of institutions including the Waite Agricultural Research Institute and the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS).

    1964 – A Patient Care Committee was formed to oversee the provision of non-medical support to cancer patients. This resulted in the initial development of a visiting nurse service that was later handed over to the Royal District Nursing Service.

    1979 – The first ever Cancer Education Officer was employed, through funding from The Lions Club of South Australia and the Northern Territory, to provide information about cancer to school children and the general public.

    1980s – The Foundation was renamed The Anti-Cancer Foundation of the Universities of South Australia after the joining of Flinders University. During this time, the first Fundraising Officer was appointed whose role it was to increase public donations to the Foundation.

    1991 – The Anti-Cancer Foundation of the Universities of South Australia was incorporated and subsequently took over the role of Trustee from The University of Adelaide.

    1993-1994 – The Foundation introduced the much loved Daffodil Day and Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea events.

    1995 – The Anti-Cancer Foundation of the Universities of South Australia bought its first motel (what is now called Cancer Council Lodge - Greenhill) - a 55 unit motel next door - and a few years later it bought a group of nine self contained units at Fullarton (Cancer Council Lodge - Seaview). These facilities provided (and still provide) affordable accommodation for country patients and carers who required specialist treatment for their cancer in Adelaide.

    1997 – The Foundation became The Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia with a community based Board of Directors and an independent Chairman, but to this day retains a close affiliation with both The University of Adelaide and the Flinders University of South Australia.

    2002 – The Foundation was renamed The Cancer Council South Australia with a daffodil logo, in line with The Cancer Council Australia and most of its state members. The Cancer Council South Australia was registered as the business name of the Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia.

    2008 – An updated logo was adopted by all Cancer Councils across Australia and our name changed to what it is today, Cancer Council SA.

    2009 – The Ambassador Project was introduced as an innovative experiment to better engage and inform the South Australian community about the work of Cancer Council SA. Ambassadors were tasked to use their personal skills and experience to represent Cancer Council SA within their local communities. It has become one of our most successful community engagement projects.

    2012 – Cancer Council SA embarked on a landmark cancer research partnership with the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the SA Government to lead a new era in the fight against cancer for South Australians. Between 2012 and 2017, Cancer Council SA is investing $10 million into the partnership, aiming to deliver more cancer breakthroughs and bring the defeat of cancer closer.

    NOW –,  Since 1928, the organisation has kept evolving. Today it comprises three departments: Cancer Control, which encompass cancer prevention (including QuitSA), cancer support and behavioural research activities; Corporate Services, which comprises human resources, motel administration, IT and payroll; and the Business Development Unit, which is where all donor relations, fundraising events, marketing communications and ambassadors are coordinated.

    We are made up of 151 passionate staff, assisted by 230 active volunteers and 139 dedicated Ambassadors. We are supported by the extraordinary generosity of South Australians. In the financial year ended 30 June 2012:

    • more than 38,500 South Australians made a donation to Cancer Council SA or bought an item such as a pin, pen or daffodils.
    • almost 24,000 people visited a Cancer Council SA shop.
    • the generosity of 4,188 hosts, 9,155 supporters and 230 active volunteers resulted in more than $3.6 million raised towards cancer research, prevention programs and support services.
    • more than 690 members of the community held their own fundraising events ranging from head shaves, raffles and quiz nights to a state wide cycling event, raising more than $673,000.
    • more than 5,000 people participated in Relay For Life events, arranged with the assistance of no less than 150 organising committee members.

    From the ‘power of one’ to mammoth team efforts, the South Australian community along with Cancer Council SA is working towards a cancer free future. This combined effort allows Cancer Council SA to fund life saving research, deliver cancer prevention programs and provide support services that together aim to reduce the impact of cancer for all South Australians.


    Today at Cancer Council SA

  • Aboriginal Quitline

    Aboriginal Quitline

    The Aboriginal Quitline Team are available to help you give up the smokes for good. Yarn with an Aboriginal Quitline Counsellor today on 13 78 48. Call us to get in touch, or we can call you.

  • Cut Your Risk

    Cut Your Risk

    June is Bowel Cancer Month, a great time to make simple lifestyle changes that can help you reduce your bowel cancer risk and improve your general health and wellbeing.

  • Do you have a cancer question?

    Do you have a cancer question?

    Cancer causes questions. Call us for the answers.

  • Fundraising Events

    Fundraising Events

    We have a wide range of exciting events that give you the opportunity to support our vision of a cancer free future in a fun, easy yet symbolic way.

  • Support 13 11 20

    Support 13 11 20

    Hear from Sam about how 13 11 20 has supported her and her two young boys through a terminal cancer diagnosis.

  • Volunteer with us!

    Volunteer with us!

    Register today to help us support people affected by cancer. Together, we’re making the difference.