Charity announces Chair transitions

Charity announces Chair transitions

The Kids’ Cancer Project announces Adrian Fisk’s decision to retire from the charity’s Board.

The Kids’ Cancer Project announces Adrian Fisk’s decision to retire as Chair of the charity’s Board of Directors after five years in the position to focus on a career change. 

Adrian joined the Board in 2012 and was the elected Chair in 2015. Over the ensuing years, he oversaw many creative and strategic innovations at The Kids’ Cancer Project.

  • Rebrand from Oncology Children’s Foundation in 2012
  • Redevelopment of the mix of fundraising activities to ensure more cents in every dollar donated go childhood cancer research
  • Diversification of research funding to help even more children diagnosed with cancer
  • Expanded relationship with corporate Australia to drive more funding into kids’ cancer research
  • Strengthening government relations with Federal politicians; engaging them in raising awareness during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Digital transformation projects to ensure the sustainability of the charity

 

Owen Finegan, the charity’s CEO, described Adrian as generous with his time as well as being a strong advocate, passionate fundraiser and donor.

“Throughout Adrian’s tenure as Chair on our Board he’s been hugely supportive and a great sounding board, always graciously sharing his business acumen to guide the strategic focus of the charity,” said Owen.

The Kids’ Cancer Project has experienced tremendous growth enabling greater impact on childhood cancer during Adrian’s time on the board, including:

  • Research studies funded growing from 12 in 2014 to 31 in 2020
  • Institutes supported from 9 in 2014 to 21 Australia-wide in 2020
  • Only one clinical trial was funded in 2014 versus 11 in 2020

Col Reynolds OAM pictured left with Aiden and his dad Adrian Fisk. 

Adrian says he is incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Col Reynolds and The Kids’ Cancer Project over the years. 

“It is a wonderful charity that has gone from strength to strength and continues to make a difference, through science, to the lives of kids with cancer, their families and communities,” he says. “We are in great shape with Doug transitioning into the Chair role and supported by an outstanding Board.’’

Adrian will be succeeded by Doug Cunningham who was unanimously selected by the Board and has already made a significant contribution to the charity by serving on it since 2017. 

Doug recognises the importance of the work of The Kids’ Cancer Project as he has faced the tragedy of childhood cancer first-hand through the loss of his son Murray in 2016. 

Doug Cunningham has served on The Kids' Cancer Project Board since 2017.

Currently Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark Australia/New Zealand, Doug has held senior management roles with Johnson & Johnson in Singapore and the USA, where he was General Manager of Walmart. Doug and his family also spent almost four years in Cape Town, South Africa, as he served as the company’s Area Managing Director, with another three years as Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Pacific, in Sydney, before accepting his current role with Kimberly-Clark.


Read more: Meet the Chair | Doug Cunningham


It took a year or two to “recalibrate” his life, Doug says, after losing Murray. One thing he recognised was a strong urge to use his skills to give back to people going through what he’d suffered. And so, he made contact with The Kids’ Cancer Project.

The big challenge for the future, Doug says, is not only navigating through the challenges of the COVID-19 period but also driving awareness of what The Kids’ Cancer Project does.

“The more we can do that, the more people will buy into the philosophy around the science that drives solutions, which in turn drives survival,” he says. “This is a long-term play – it has been running for over 26 years and has funded over $50 million of research, with lots of wins along the way. Now we need to showcase what we have achieved.”