Ian Olver Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care

2019    Ian Olver, AM, MD, PhD, has been awarded the Tom Reeve Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA). The award, announced in September 2019 by COSA CEO Marie Malica, is the most prestigious national award in Australia in the field of clinical oncology.

Prof. Olver trained in medical oncology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, and the University of Maryland Cancer Centre in Baltimore (USA). He worked for 6 years at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, where he jointly developed the oncology clinic at Bendigo Base Hospital and then moved to Adelaide to become the Clinical Director, Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre, and the first Cancer Council SA Professor of Cancer Care at the University of Adelaide. He established the first oncology clinic in Alice Springs and developed a telemedicine link for multidisciplinary cancer care between Adelaide and Darwin. He also trained the first oncologist for the Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore, India and continues to support that hospital via mentoring and chairing the Friends of Vellore fundraising group in Australia.

From 2006 to 2014, Prof. Olver served as the Chief Executive Officer for Cancer Council Australia, Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Sydney, and Honorary Associate, Department of Medical Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. During that period, he published regularly in cancer-related public policy, continued his research in supportive cancer care, and among many other things, led the development of a novel wiki platform for translating cancer research into online clinical practice guidelines that could be easily disseminated and updated.

In 2015, Prof. Olver became Director, Sansom Institute Health Research (which became the University of South Australia Cancer Research Institute in 2018) and developed a psycho-oncology research team. He is moving to the Psychology School at the University of Adelaide in 2020. He holds an emeritus appointment to the medical oncology unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre and appointments on several national and international cancer control and bioethics boards and committees.

As one of the nominators stated "Professor Olver is a national leader who has made a significant contribution to cancer care over the past 38 years, making him a very worthy recipient of this prestigious award. He is a renowned oncologist, cancer researcher, bioethicist, and leader of cancer-control organisations. Professor Olver’s contribution to oncology has spanned clinical and administrative leadership in the government, not-for-profit, and university sectors, as well as community service and research, shaping numerous aspects of cancer care and prevention at a national and international level."

Ian Olver is a long-time member and Immediate Past-President of MASCC, a member of MASCC’s Executive Committee and of MASCC Study Groups on Antiemetics, Palliative Care, and Psychosocial Issues. He is also the Editor of the MASCC Textbook on Cancer Supportive Care and Survivorship, now in its second edition. He will receive the Tom Reeve Award and present an address at the 2019 COSA meeting on Wednesday, November 13th in Adelaide, Australia.

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