A message from the CEO

A message from the CEO

Owen Finegan reflects on a successful year at The Kids’ Cancer Project despite many challenges.

At the start of the new financial year, Owen Finegan reflected on a successful year at The Kids’ Cancer Project despite many challenges.

Firstly, I want to start by thanking all our donors, supporters, corporate partners, community fundraisers, volunteers, board and staff – The Kids’ Cancer Project has been able to achieve some remarkable results over the last 12 months.

This financial year The Kids’ Cancer Project celebrated a significant milestone – the commitment of more than $50 million to childhood cancer research since 2005. We continue to celebrate that one person can make a difference just like our founder, Col Reynolds OAM, when he stopped his bus outside a children’s hospital 26 years ago.

In the face of external challenges, we encouraged our donors to help keep up the momentum of scientific discovery for kids with cancer. I’m proud to report that collectively everyone stepped up for science enabling The Kids' Cancer Project to celebrate the growth of our research commitment from 22 studies funded in FY2019 to 36 in FY2020. 

We pledged more than $2.8 million into science that included nine clinical trials, 11 new projects and a 25 studies that were continuing to receive multi-year funding. In addition, as part of our ongoing $2.65 million commitment to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission this year, The Kids’ Cancer Project funded nine targeted studies into brain cancer research.


Read more: Nine of the boldest clinical trials in Australia right now


Our commitment funded 47 scientists, representing some of the most brilliant minds across the country.

The Kids’ Cancer Project takes pride in being able to seed-fund bold, innovative science that has the greatest chance of clinical success in the improvement of treatments of childhood cancers. Our funded researchers report that this year alone, our grants directly stimulated a further $8.5 million from other funding bodies into childhood cancer research.

In May this year we were thrilled to learn that the Zero Childhood Cancer program secured a 4-year, $67 million joint-investment from the Federal Government through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and Minderoo Foundation.


Read more: Zero Childhood Cancer Program: What's happened so far


The program is close to our hearts because back in 2014 The Kids’ Cancer Project was one of the first charities to support personalised medicine in children by funding the initial staffing resources required to establish the program. Since then, The Kids’ Cancer Project has committed over $2 million to what has now developed into Zero Childhood Cancer, a program which through collaboration will be expanded to give every Australian child diagnosed with cancer access to the program’s core precision medicine platform by 2023.

In early August, we also learned that the Re-engage program funded by The Kids’ Cancer Project from 2015-2018 was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the Government’s Australian Brain Cancer Mission, the program is part of a $9.9 million investment in brain cancer survivorship research announced by the Australian Government.


Read more: Re-engage


With thanks to all our supporters, despite devastating bushfires and a global pandemic, The Kids’ Cancer Project finished in a solid financial position to continue to fund bold scientific research. And we look forward to continuing to achieve our vision by launching our most ambitious fundraising initiative ever – to raise $1.7 million by 31 October through a matched giving appeal that has engaged our entire supporter base and has stimulated conversations with like-minded organisations that value making an impact.

We have committed to disperse the appeals revenue to eight research projects across Australia in partnership with the Federal Government through Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme – ensuring all dollars donated will be driven even further.


Read more: Driving donated dollars further


Thanks again for your ongoing support and bringing us closer to our vision of 100% survival of children with cancer while eradicating the harmful impact treatments can bring.