New CEO at Cancer Council Australia


26 Nov 2020

Tanya Buchanan

The former CEO at the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) Tanya Buchanan is moving her expertise and energy across to lead Cancer Council Australia.

She replaces Professor Sanchia Aranda AM who was CEO at the Cancer Council for more than five years.

Cancer Council Australia’s board chair Professor Hugh Harley said in a statement that Professor Aranda had brought energy, focus and expertise to Cancer Council’s mission since 2015.

“She has been a particularly strong voice for cancer control at the national level, both in government and medical circles, and in the wider media. She has also built strong relations with other cancer charities and institutes, both in Australia and overseas.”

“The benefits of Sanchia’s approach has been particularly evident in the COVID-19 crisis, where her collaborative style has seen a tremendous level of cross-charity collaboration,” he added.

Her successor Ms Buchanan told the limbic she was motivated by “doing something positive” and “making a difference to people’s wellbeing” in all her work.

“Cancer Council is not a membership organisation or a professional body like TSANZ but it is still very much focused on health – prevention, ensuring patients are getting the best care they can get if they have got a cancer diagnosis, right through to looking at how to improve policy and support mechanisms.”

“The big attraction for me was a very strong focus on prevention – the whole issue around one in three cancers are preventable through healthy lifestyle changes.”

With her background at TSANZ and before then a role as CEO with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in Wales, she has her sights set firmly on addressing lung cancer – Australia’s biggest cancer killer.

Ms Buchanan said one of the highlights of working at TSANZ had been the strong teamwork.

“The thing that really drives TSANZ is passion. Members are passionate, the board is passionate, and so when they have good ideas they make them happen.”

“And the thing I am proudest of is we were actually able to help people make their greatest ideas happen whether that was laboratory accreditation, or the education offerings, or guidelines … I don’t think there was an area of TSANZ where we haven’t touched at some point because members had great ideas.”

Ms Buchanan said the Society had long benefited from a board with a strong commitment to ensuring TSANZ was welcoming and inclusive.

“And it shows in the level of engagement by members, in the growth in membership beyond clinicians into researchers, allied health and nurses, and in people finding their voice and using it in the Society.”

“And the fact of the matter is that TSANZ is run by volunteer power – so there is a small office team but the heavy lifting is done by the members.”

“They are completely focused on supporting the profession to develop and making sure patients get best practice care. So it’s an absolute joy to work with people who are really doing the best they can for their colleagues and their patients.”

Ms Buchanan starts at Cancer Council on November 30.

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