A message from our Founder and CEO

A message from our Founder and CEO

Dear Solaris supporters,  

The Board and staff of Solaris Cancer Care hugely appreciate the generosity and faith of our donors which has made our “Let the Story Continue” campaign a success, raising an impressive $480,000 of our $500,000 target. We thank you for your wonderful support.  

Solaris Chair, Dr David Joske said: “As a direct result of the campaign, we will be able to keep the doors open and continue to provide complementary cancer support services to Western Australians as they navigate diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to our cause or helped raise awareness, especially our staff and dedicated team of volunteers.” 

But unfortunately, this great result has not avoided some difficult decisions being made by the Solaris Board. While the campaign has been a success, Solaris Cancer Care, like many not-for-profits, has an ongoing challenge regarding long-term financial sustainability. Philanthropic and donor support for the Not-For-Profit sector has fallen, while operating costs have increased, reflecting the broader economic situation here in Australia. 

In light of this, and without long-term government funding, the Board has reviewed our operations to identify opportunities to streamline our services and improve our financial position, with a goal of ensuring we can endure long into the future. This review, combined with the loss of recurrent funding from St John of God (SJOG) Hospital due to their own financial problems, has resulted in the difficult decision to close the Solaris centre at SJOG Subiaco. We will continue to service patients in the Perth region through our centres at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands, and the Cancer Wellness Centre in Cottesloe. Unfortunately, we will also be closing our centre serving the Great Southern region in Albany, although will still offer online courses and counselling services to cancer patients in this region. 

The Board has also decided to reduce paid psychosocial support services, reduce the marketing team, and reduce administrative support.  

These decisions were not easily nor lightly taken; we know there will be disappointed clients and staff and to these people, we sincerely apologise. The Board has made these decisions to ensure that Solaris can endure and continue to service the WA Community. We will continue to monitor our financial situation and may look to expand access to our free services again in the future as and when more permanent funding or partnerships are secured. We will also continue to work with cancer service providers across the state to identify opportunities to provide support for patients in the regions. 

We have a proud history and know that the services we provide have a significant impact for Western Australians with cancer, and we will continue to fight for what Solaris does and stands for. 

The Board and leadership of Solaris extend our thanks to all the volunteers of the Albany and SJOG Subiaco centre for the wonderful work they have done supporting clients in the community for the last 15 years. It is thanks to your dedication and commitment that we have been able to service people in these areas – and we sincerely value all the work that you have done. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries about these changes – feel free to reach out to  

Dr David Joske, Founder & Chairperson of the Board

Francis Lynch, Chief Executive Officer