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Minister Skinner visits Prince of Wales Hospital

Last Friday, 7th September 2012, NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Jillian Skinner joined staff, patients and supporters to break ground for the construction of a new $76 million facility that will include the new Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre (Centre) and the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Australian Advanced Treatment Centre (AATC) at the site of the Edmund Blacket Building at Prince of Wales Hospital.

Named in honour of Ms Nelune Rajapakse, Co-Founder of the Nelune Foundation and a cancer survivor, the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre will provide a patient-focused approach to the treatment of patients with cancer and blood disorders in one centralised location.

The new Centre will bring ambulatory, outpatient and radiotherapy services currently spread across eight sites on the Randwick Hospitals Campus (Campus) into one centralised main building; and will also play a major teaching role in the training of oncologists, radiation therapists, physicists and nurses across the Campus.

The AATC will be the first purpose-built early phase clinical trial facility in NSW, which will provide the opportunity for stand out medical treatment and cures-of-tomorrow to be tested. It will conduct clinical trials and provide an opportunity for medical treatments to be tested, meaning that more patients will be able to access state-of-the art medications for all diseases, including cancer.

Joining Minister Skinner at the event were:

  • Mr Terry Clout, Chief Executive, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District
  • Professor Robyn Ward, Director of Cancer Services SESLHD, Director, Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre, POWH, Head of School, Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW
  • Professor Peter Smith, Dean, UNSW Medicine

Professor Ward spoke of the current and future services of the Centre and the difference the new building will make to patient services and teaching facilities within the new Centre. Professor Smith provided detailed information on the new AATC and what this will mean for medical research in NSW going forward.

Other attendees at the event included:

  • Associate Professor Peter Gonski, Deputy Chairperson, SESLHD Board
  • Mr Bruce Notley-Smith MP, Member for Coogee
  • Heather Walker, Acting Director of Operations, POWH and Community Health Services
  • Kay Schubach, cancer patient from Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Lisa Forrest, cancer patient from Royal Hospital for Women
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital cancer patient, 12 year old Matthew Panayiotou and his mother Vassilia Panayiotou
  • Many other staff members and supporters of the project.

The project will be carried out in two stages and involves the construction of four new radiotherapy bunkers, transfer of linear accelerators from the existing facility and demolition of the current Radiation Oncology building at Prince of Wales Hospital. The NSW Government has contributed $47million to the development of the project. The Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation has contributed $10.7 million, of which the Nelune Foundation has contributed $5 million. Funding has also been made by the Commonwealth Government and UNSW.

The contract for the early works construction on the building has been awarded to Australian construction company, Richard Crookes Constructions. Completion of the new radiotherapy bunkers expected to be completed in March 2014. The second stage of the project is expected to be completed in 2015.

This new specialised facility was another major improvement for cancer patients and a huge coup for medical research throughout South Eastern Sydney, and is indeed a significant investment in improving the lives of those affected by cancer and in progressing medical research in NSW.


The above article and photo was adopted from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District weekly newsletter dated 12th September 2012.