Professor Helen Zorbas AO has assumed the Chair at the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) on 8 March 2020, succeeding Ms Elaine Henry OAM, who was Chair since 2012.
Professor Zorbas stepped down from her role as CEO of Cancer Australia in 2019 after nine years. Prior to this, she was CEO of the National Breast Cancer Centre, which then became the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, for 12 years. Her clinical experience includes almost 40 years as a General Practitioner and a specialist breast physician in the public and private health sector. She has a focus on improving the survival and wellbeing of individual patients through translation of best evidence and research.
In addition to her extensive experience as a physician, Professor Zorbas has chaired and held other positions in national, government cancer and health organisations, including Chair and Member of the Board, Cancer Institute NSW (2006-2009); Chair, BreastScreen Australia Evaluation Advisory Committee (2007-2009); and Member of the Health Care Committee, National Health and Medical Research Council (2009-2015).
In 2013, Professor Zorbas was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of her distinguished service to public health through leadership in the delivery of improved information and services to cancer patients and their families and contributions to research and clinical trials.
“I have a high regard for the enormous contribution which Elaine Henry has made to public life over many decades, including as Chair of NBCF since 2012. I am delighted to now succeed her in this role knowing she has left a great legacy and a strong and capable organisation which will continue to provide leadership in cancer research,” says Professor Zorbas.
“NBCF has a clear vision and an audacious goal. NBCF provides leadership in breast cancer research in Australia with its priorities and directions informed by national and international evidence and by the best and brightest in our country.
“This is a most exciting time to be working in cancer research where we have a more sophisticated understanding of the genomics and biology of cancers. I’m excited by the opportunities this presents to identify cancer earlier, treat it more effectively and with fewer side effects, and ultimately ….the holy grail… to prevent it. There is a cancer research momentum that must be nurtured and fostered. NBCF is seizing this opportunity and supporting this momentum to reduce the lives lost to breast cancer to zero.”