Hi Hannah! Can you please tell us a little bit about your research?

I work with a great team on research to improve the care for people affected by cancer. A diagnosis of cancer can be distressing and there are inequities in the type of cancer care people receive. We aim to promote best practice cancer care across the disease and treatment trajectory. The research we conduct is very diverse, we conduct qualitative studies, systematic reviews, clinical trials and evaluations of existing cancer services or supports. We are fortunate to partner across government, health services and community groups to drive change. Recently, our research program has expanded to include access to screening programs and in 2022, we completed some work for government to advise on the feasibility of a national lung cancer screening program. The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) have now recommended introduction of a lung cancer screening program so there is more work to do in that space.

How is your research going to make health and wellbeing easier for everyone to achieve?

The patterns of cancer vary across different groups and populations. In Australia, people from rural and regional areas have worse outcomes. There are also other priority groups we focus on such as those with high levels of distress. We work to inform existing services and develop new programs to make best cancer care accessible for all Australians. I enjoy the variety in the role between internationally relevant recommendations and local service delivery levels; in this sense we are working to make best cancer care easier for everyone to achieve.

What inspired you to work in research?

I never intended on working in research, but throughout my studies I have been incredibly fortunate to have had some wonderful experiences which led me to consider research as a career path. I continue to enjoy working on exciting projects and partnering with groups across and external to IHT.

If you could recommend one book for everyone at IHT to read, what would that be?

Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales is one of my favourite books. Leigh speaks with individuals whose lives have changed unexpectedly and despite describing sadness and tragedy, all the stories are uplifting and heart-warming.

What is your favourite podcast? (Apart from the IHT podcast, of course!)

I dip in and out of podcasts, but I always find the imperfects with Hugh, Ryan and Josh is a good one that touches on important topics but is light-hearted at the same time. Mum Says My Memoir is a Lie is another one which is hilarious and insightful, regardless of whether you have read Rosie’s book the anti cool girl before.

You’ve got a Saturday afternoon completely to yourself, what would we find you doing?

I usually like to keep the weekends to spend time with the people I love, with good coffee and music. I am also lucky to live in a beautiful area, so getting out for some fresh air is also great.

And finally, what is the best lesson you have learned so far during your research career?

The best lesson I have learned so far is to enjoy all the opportunities research can present, whether that’s gaining knowledge, learning new skills or collaborating with great people.