Message from Chair of ANZSA - July 2021
On behalf of the ANZSA Board of Directors, I would like to thank, recognise and acknowledge the sarcoma community and ANZSA members for their continuous support and contribution during 2021. Much has been achieved notwithstanding the many and continuing obstacles presented by the pandemic in all jurisdictions around Australia.
The ANZSA Board, Board Committees and team have been productive despite the disruptive nature of the pandemic.
The 2016-2021 strategic plan which included 34 milestones have all been completed or addressed as we conclude the first strategic plan for ANZSA. The progress on quality research has been impressive on many fronts.
The collaboration with eight groups domestic and international is important for ANZSA’s access to important larger clinical trials. The development of the database resources has been remarkable.
The governance rhythm established by the Board is proving effective with regular reviews of progress against strategy, risk assessment and close oversight of ANZSA’s finances.
Many thanks to each director who is responsible for stewarding various portfolios within ANZSA’s activities. Despite the effect of the pandemic, funding has been maintained at reasonable levels including with Cancer Australia and through relationships with various key groups.
Many thanks to ANZSA supporters for your continuing commitment. Communication activities have intensified as ANZSA has matured with enhancements to the website, active social media, initiation of the new sarcoma journal club and the twice-yearly newsletters. Overall an excellent outcome all around and a positive reflection on the sarcoma community passion and dedication to improving patient outcomes.
One of the more noteworthy undertakings this year has been the development of the ANZSA Strategic Plan 2022-2024. The process has been deeply consultative seeking input from various internal stakeholders such as ANZSA members, the scientific advisory committee (SAC), the consumer advisory panel (CAP) and the orthopaedic committee to share short and long term goals for considerations.
In May 2021, a strategy workshop was held involving the Board directors, committee members and representatives from the sarcoma community to brainstorm and discuss the input from members as a first step to shape the new Strategic Plan. The meeting was productive, collaborative and fruitful, and I would like to thank all who took the time to join us in person and virtually.
The feedback has been considered and is reflected in the strategic plan the first draft of which was shared with the community soon after. At the August meeting of the Board, the plan reflecting all final feedback was considered and approved. Details will be advised in a separate communication in the coming period and the new strategic plan will be presented and discussed at the Annual General Meeting in November 2021.
Pleasingly, we have had many other positive developments in 2021. Among some of these is the successful Medical Research Future Fund grant funding of the STRASS 2 trial worth almost $1 million. On behalf of the Board and the sarcoma community, I would like to congratulate ANZSA Director, Associate Professor David Gyorki, and his team for this wonderful news and wish them every success as they undertake this important trial.
I also would like to congratulate ANZSA Director, Professor Angela Hong, for her role in leading the SARC032 clinical trial. The team had successfully recruited 28 patients for the trial, which is doubled the recruitment target for this trial.
Thanks also to ANZSA Director Geoff McKinnon for the vital role he played in arranging for ANZSA to receive over $100,000 for a new Ewing sarcoma clinical trial from the GPA Andrew Ursini Charitable Fund Grant 2021.
Professor Peter Steadman and Professor Richard Carey-Smith have been active and passionate in representing the interests of the orthopaedic community and are progressing exciting education initiatives that are key deliverables in the new strategic plan.
Associate Professor Marianne Phillips together with Geoff McKinnon are providing wise guidance and counsel to the fast-growing Consumer Advisory Panel, whose contributions are proving valuable. Many thanks to Marianne, Geoff and the panel members.
Lastly, the Board recognises the amazing efforts of our Chief Executive Officer, Dr Denise Caruso, and her team for their excellent work in progressing our research, education, governance, funding and awareness objectives. It has not been easy, however under Denise’s leadership and pastoral stewardship the team continues to excel – many thanks
I look forward to the rest of 2021 and thank every member of the sarcoma community for their continuing trust and support.
Adrian Cosenza | Chair of ANZSA