Paula Fox Melanoma And Cancer Centre

Prime Minister

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, and I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

I had the great privilege of launching this project in June 2022, during my first visit to Melbourne as Prime Minister.

Back then this Centre was still very much a vision.

A vision of hope – for patients and their families.

What a transformation there’s been since.

The Alfred isn’t a newcomer to healthcare, or research. It’s been at the forefront for more than 150 years. And this building is a masterclass in both.

From the ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach to research, to the concern for patient wellbeing that shaped every design decision.

I congratulate everyone involved – your expertise, ingenuity and forethought is clear in each detail.

Today, as we celebrate the vision that conceived of this magnificent facility, we also recognise the generosity of the benefactors who helped make it a reality. Your willingness to walk the talk makes such a difference.

Of course, the name of the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre gives a clue to the identity of at least one of those donors.

I’ve heard Lindsay say that ‘whatever Paula wants, Paula gets’.

Paula, I’m delighted that this is the case. And that you chose this project as your passion.

I congratulate you, too, on your partners on the journey.

Together with the Fox family, Minderoo Foundation, Monash University and the Victorian and Australian governments, the Alfred Hospital has been able to build something tremendous.

Chris Glanville, a melanoma survivor, knows the Alfred well.

He’s been working with the team to make sure that wellness – in body, mind and spirit – is at the heart of this building. And of every patient’s journey.

Chris’s experience as a patient taught him that:

“Time is precious when you’re dealing with cancer.”

And, when it comes to skin cancer, we’ve got no time to waste.

With some of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, it takes an unacceptable toll on our nation.

Two out of every three of us will receive a skin cancer diagnosis in our lifetime.

Each year, more than 1000 Australians die from it.

They call it Australia’s cancer. And it’s our challenge to beat.

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world, and that is not a happy accident. It’s the result of deliberate decisions over multiple generations.

Decisions that are true to the Australian spirit, made in the knowledge that their outcomes will lift us all together.

And that’s the spirit we see embodied here in this centre, which lifts us to a new level of excellence and sets the standard for cancer care into the future.

Where we stand today is living proof that partnerships between governments – and collaboration between government and philanthropy – can make great things happen.

On that note, today I am pleased to announce that my Government will invest $12 million to purchase and install a Quadra PET/CT Molecular Imaging scanner.

And working in partnership together, the Victorian Government and the Alfred will match our investment.

This scanner will mean Victorians have access to a cutting-edge scanner which will support cancer research, diagnosis and treatment, and will be able to detect cancers earlier.

This scanner will reduce wait times for Victorians who need a PET/CT scan and double the number of scans performed in Australia each year.

It’s believed this will be the only scanner of its kind in Australia that is used for research, and cancer treatment and diagnosis.

It is expected to be operational by June 2025. And it belongs here.

Thanks to care with which it has been designed, the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre is a building that lets the light pour in.

Thanks to all that has gone into it, I am confident that, in time, it will become a building that makes its own light shine out.

And in what has been at times a dark week for our nation, we can all do with more light.

/Public Release. View in full here.