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GICS Website
Improving patient experiences and outcomes by connecting cancer care 
and driving best practice.
GICS Website
We welcome you to the autumn edition of our newsletter, we've definitely hit the ground running this year and are excited to share our latest news and updates.

First up, we're officially launching the GICS Small Grants Program for 2024-25; we are looking forward to hearing about your small scale improvement ideas. We also have a number of updates on local projects that the team have been working on with great outcomes. 

We are sad to be saying farewell to a long term member of our team, Glenn Reeves, and we also have updates on some of the projects GICS have funded as part of our Grants Program that have been occurring throughout the region. Last but not least, we will be sharing statewide project updates along with new cancer resources and upcoming cancer events.

GICS Updates

GICS 2024 Planning Day

Each year, the GICS team come together to plan, outline and set our work priorities for the next 12 months. It is a fantastic opportunity for the team to share ideas and set targets for the year ahead.

This years planning event was held on Thursday 25 January and the primary focus of the day was to revise and update our Work Plan. The GICS Work Plan, an operational tool, is used to track our activities and deliverables to our stakeholders, as well as reporting against the Victorian Cancer Plan, the VICS Implementation Plan and the Optimal Care Pathways. 
This event was a great way to start the year fresh, the team came away feeling energised and excited about the year ahead, with many opportunities identified, including ways to increase our engagement and some innovative and high value work for members of the team to lead, or be a part of. 
GICS Small Grants Program 2024-25

We are excited to announce a new initiative; for the first time GICS will be running a Small Grants Program. This grant program will support small scale projects aimed at improving access, experiences and outcomes for cancer patients and / or carers living in the Grampians region.

Projects are time limited, up to three months' during, with a funding allocation up to the value of $10,000. Applications will be open from Monday 6 May 2024 and projects are to be completed by Monday 30 June 2025.

For more information about eligibility and how to apply please visit our website -
GICS 2023 Grants Program Information Poster
GICS Professional Development Grants

Apply Now!

GICS still have limited funding available to support professional development grant applications to staff who provide cancer care in the Grampians region.

Applications are open for relevant conference or training opportunities until 30 June 2024 or until available funds have been fully expended, whichever occurs first.

To be eligible you must work in cancer care at any of the following organisations:

  • Ballan Health & Care Services
  • Ballarat Austin Radiation Oncology Centre (BAROC)
  • Beaufort & Skipton Health Service
  • Central Highlands Rural Health
  • East Grampians Health Service
  • Grampians Health
  • Maryborough District Health Service
  • Rural Northwest Health
  • St John of God Hospital (Ballarat)
  • West Wimmera Health Service.

Please visit our website for further information and if you would like to register your interest please email GICS Admin.  

Staffing Update

New Data Role

In March, GICS advertised a new position within the GICS team for a Data & Information Lead role. This role will primarily manage local and statewide health data sets and will analyse, translate and communicate data to our key internal and external stakeholders.

This role provides the opportunity to expand our data portfolio to assist in identifying variations in optimal cancer care for our region.

We look forward to announcing the newest member of the GICS team and sharing their profile in our next edition - Winter Newsletter. 

Congratulations Wasek

Earlier in the year, our Clinical Director, Dr Wasek Faisal was formally recognised for his work in lung cancer research and was awarded a Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 

Wasek has been specialising in medical oncology for over 11 years with his area of expertise being thoracic malignancies and rare tumours. He has been running clinical trials at Grampians Health since 2017.

As well as being awarded this prestigious fellowship, Wasek received an Inspirational Research Grant from the Thoracic Oncology Group of Australia (TOGA) to continue his research into lung cancer.

Well done Wasek, we are very lucky to have you as a part of our team. 

Farewell Glenn

Glenn Reeves, after taking long service leave to relocate from Ballarat to the south-west coast, has decided to resign from GICS. 
We are sad to be saying farewell to Glenn, who has been a long term member of our team, working with GICS for almost 9 years. Good luck with all your future endeavours Glenn, we will miss you!

Governance Group Update

The GICS Governance Group is made up of representatives from across the Grampians including staff from health services, clinicians and consumers. The group meet on a quarterly basis providing leadership, vision and overall accountability for GICS, ensuring an integrated and collaborative approach to consistent high quality cancer care in our region.  

We welcome our newest representative, Dr Vince Russell from St John of God Hospital - Ballarat.

Grampians Health 'Talking Haematology Education Dinner'

On Tuesday 27 February, GICS proudly sponsored an education dinner attended by over 40 nurses from across the Grampians region, on the little known, but emerging use of Bispecific T-cell Engagers (BiTEs) in Haematology

Dr Adam Facey provided an engaging presentation; generating thought provoking questions on the indications and optimal use of Bispecific T-cell Engagers in this population cohort, and the wider challenge of caring for patients in regional and rural areas with complex medical needs. 

Local Updates

Below are some of the recent works that have been occurring at a regional level, within the Grampians footprint.

Supportive Care E-Form

A new project at the Wimmera Cancer Centre is saving considerable nurse time to deliver quality supportive care for cancer patients.

Donna Bridge, Cancer Service Improvement Facilitator (Horsham), has been working closely with the Grampians Health - Horsham cancer nursing and Clinical Information Application Support teams to digitise the Modified Adelaide Supportive Care screening tool in the electronic medical record (EMR). 

The patient’s screening information can be entered directly via tablet by nurses during the screening consultation.  This then allows the data to be uploaded via dynamic data into a Supportive Care Multidisciplinary Report – without double handling the information.

The report is then ready for the fortnightly Supportive Care Multidisciplinary Team meeting with members spread across all hospitals in the Wimmera.  The team can access the report in the EMR (OPAL/Bossnet) for the relevant patients to be discussed.

Previously these processes were conducted manually and now saves between 3-5 hours of work a fortnight.
Image above: The new e-form screening tool in practice at the Supportive Care MDM held at the Wimmera Cancer Centre - Horsham on Thursday 28 March 2024.
This project has been selected for a podium presentation at the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (COSA) Annual Conference at the Gold Coast in June 2024.

For more information contact via email at  

GICS Grants Program - Project Updates

BADAC Cancer Calendar Launch

On Wednesday 31 January, Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC) launched their 2024 BADAC Health & Art Calendar. This calendar is free to community and highlights a different cancer screening each month, aligning with the Cancer Councils screening month and colours to promote cancer screening and detection.
Image above: BADAC Calendar April Artwork (Immunisation Week). 
GICS are very pleased to support this grant funded project in acknowledgement that:

  • Aboriginal people in the Ballarat region die younger from cancers than the broader community. 
  • When our Aboriginal community are diagnosed, the cancer is usually more progressed than in the wider community, which leads to higher fatality rates.
  • Cancer council indicate 60 percent of Aboriginal people are likely to die from a cancer diagnosis than non-aboriginal people. Yes - This is of a National scale. However, high fatality rates of cancer are also seen in Ballarat. 
  • We know that in many cancers, prevention & early detection saves lives. Where one in three cancers can be prevented through regular exercise, quit smoking, eating a balanced diet, maintain a healthy body weight, reduce, or limit alcohol intake, and being sun smart - We can help ourselves stay free from cancer. 

Cancer screening can save lives - our mob needs you. Through BADAC’s Health and Art Calendar, they want tell Aboriginal people (our mob) that cancer screening and checks are culturally safe. Each calendar month has QR codes to Cancer Australia’s resource page for further discussions points, factsheets, and symptoms. (Content taken from BADAC Newsletter - Platypus Tracks Autumn 2024)

Through-out the year, BADAC will host Cancer Information Sessions to highlight the importance of cancer screening, increase cancer screen levels, and increase health literacy in cancer.

Upcoming sessions include:
• Friday 21 June 2024 - Alfred Health presenting Bowel Cancer
• Friday 20 September 2024 - Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia presenting Prostate Cancer
• Wednesday 16 October 2024 - Breast Screen Victoria presenting Breast Cancer
• Friday 22 November 2024 - Victorian Lung Registry presenting Lung Cancer. 

Rural Northwest Health visit Wimmera Machinery Field Days

As part of the GICS funded Cancer Awareness, Support & Early Detection Project, the team at Rural Northwest Health held free  skin checks for the community at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days event held earlier this month. 

The primary objectives of the event were to promote skin health awareness, to encourage screening and early detection of most common and prevalent skin cancers in the region, offer free skin checks, and educate the community on the importance of early detection of skin issues.

The day was a great success with a good number of local community members passing through the clinic, with referral for further review actioned where required.
Pictured from left to right: Emma Kealy, Donna Bridge, Bernie O'Connor & Dr Zernain Athar 

Statewide Updates

Below are some of the recent works that have been occurring at a statewide level, within the Victorian Integrated Cancer Services (VICS) network, that are heavily focused on addressing the Action Areas within the 2020 - 2024 Victorian Cancer Plan.

VICS External Stakeholder Survey 

Last April, we asked health professionals across Victoria about finding information on best-practice cancer care. We learned a lot from your answers, including:
  • Your most trusted sources for information are the VCCC Alliance, Cancer Council Victoria, and the VICS
  • Preferred channels for such information are medical journals, conferences, and emails
  • Health professionals’ main barrier to finding and using such information is time.

We have used those insights to design updates to our website (coming soon!) and communications practices, to better connect you to initiatives and resources in your area and across Victoria.

To continue that evidence-based improvement, we invite you to fill in this 5 minute survey by Monday 22 April 2024. Please also pass on this survey to any other cancer stakeholders in Victoria.
Fill in the Survey

MDM Quality Framework Audit Webinar

We invite your attendance at a webinar to cover the Multidisciplinary Meeting (MDM) Quality Framework Audit Project. Findings, recommendations and an outline of the objectives of the VICS related work in this area will be covered in the session.

This webinar is scheduled for Monday 22 April 2024 from 12noon - 12.45pm. RSVP's will be required by Monday 15 April, all queries and RSVP's are to be directed to Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service via email 

Cancer Resources

Cancer Council Victoria - My Cancer Guide 

This is a great resource available in both hard copy and online, for both consumers and clinicians to know what services are available across the state.

If there is a local service or organisation not currently listed that you are aware of, please visit the link below and provide the relevant information. Please note that the online resource is updated regularly.

Suggest a support service

Caring for Someone with Cancer

Cancer Council Victoria have developed a Caring for Someone with Cancer booklet which supports people who are looking after someone with cancer. 

This newly updated resource provides helpful information such as understanding the carer role, managing emotions and relationships, and self care for carers. 

If you need extra support, the Cancer Council 13 11 20 nurses are available to support anyone affected by cancer, including carers.

Caring for Someone with Cancer Booklet

Cancer Events

We'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the below upcoming education opportunities.

PC4 Ca-PRI 2024 Conference 

 Equity, Policy and Transforming Care | 17 - 19 April 2024

The 2024 Ca-PRI Cancer in Primary Care Conference is coming to Melbourne, Australia, bringing together leading clinicians and researchers from across the globe. 

From prevention to palliative care, we will explore how primary care researchers and health professionals can contribute to improved outcomes in cancer care.

The program includes interactive workshops and presentations showcasing work in cervical cancer elimination, the implementation of shared care models, and much more.  This will be a fantastic opportunity to network with prominent primary care professionals and researchers from the US, UK, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials group (PC4) is hosting this event at the Melbourne Connect Precinct.
Ca-PRI Conference Registration

Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team Conference

Back to the Future - Past, Present & Future | 1 - 3 May 2024

The conference will be held at RACV Goldfields Resort in Creswick, Victoria from 1 - 3 May 2024. The theme for 2024 is ‘Back to the Future – Past, Present and Future – directions in palliative care’. 

The conference will focus on the growth of palliative care models in Australia over the past forty years, and enhance our knowledge and skills of current and future innovative healthcare practices for people with a life limiting illness. 

GRPCT Conference Registration

CNSA's 26th Annual Congress 

 Innovative Quality Care in a Digital Era | 19 - 21 June 2024

The upcoming Cancer Nurses Society of Australia (CNSA) Annual Congress, set against the backdrop of our shared commitment to excellence in cancer care, promises to address the challenges and opportunities of our digital age. The program features sessions that deep dive into education innovations, advancements in cancer nursing and treatment, and the integration of digital health technologies. 

Join CNSA at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 June 2024 - register via the button below.
CNSA Conference Registration

Lymphoma Australia - National Nursing Conference 2024 

Advancing Lymphoma Care: Educating for Better Patient Outcomes | 26 - 27 July 2024

Topics include: CAR-T cell therapy, Bispecifics, Fertility after lymphoma, Clinical Updates, The Emotional Impact of Lymphoma, Regional Case Studies and the most popular session, The patient experience. 

This event will be held at the Grant Hyatt Melbourne from 6 - 27 July 2024 - register via the button below.
Lymphoma Australia Conference Registration

COSA Annual Scientific Meeting

Bridging gaps, building progress, breaking down disparities | 13 - 15 November 2024

This years Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) program highlights include: 

- Equity, access and advocacy
- Removing barriers of access to care with technology
- Cancer care in vulnerable populations
- Prevention and promotion in my practice
- Gender and access to care
- Implementation and evaluation through an equity lens
- Transitions in cancer care
- Looking after yourself whilst looking after others
- The elephant in the room – uncomfortable conversations
- Artificial intelligence

This years event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre from 13 - 15 June 2024 - register via the button below.
COSA Conference Registration

Happy Easter

Wishing all our readers a happy and safe Easter!

Sharing News

Please feel free to share or forward our newsletter to your networks, family and friends.

If you have any forthcoming events or information, you would like us to share, please forward your content to GICS Admin.
Contact Us
Grampians Integrated Cancer Service
PO Box 577, Ballarat, VIC 3353

Ph: (03) 5320 4782
Email: (GICS Admin)
The Grampians Integrated Cancer Service is supported by the Victorian Government