About Us | Solaris Cancer Care

About Us

Solaris Cancer Care is the leading Western Australian cancer support service provider caring for people with cancer and their families.

About Solaris Cancer Care

Solaris Cancer Care's philosophy is simple: everything we do is centred around assisting a person diagnosed with cancer to live well.

Evolving out of a clear demand from cancer patients for a wellness approach to cancer in Western Australia, Solaris Cancer Care is a leading authority on integrating natural and complementary therapies with conventional care.  Solaris Cancer Care offers a holistic combination of

  • professional counselling
  • evidence based education
  • facilitated workshops
  • regularly updated library
  • seminars
  • wellness coaching
  • extended courses
  • regular news updates
  • home and hospital visits

Solaris Cancer Care offers unconditional support to all people in Western Australia affected by cancer, including carers and family members, through all stages of the illness, including long term survivors and bereaved families.

Solaris Cancer Care's programs cover important areas of wellbeing for individuals with cancer and their families.  In offering personalised support services, Solaris Cancer Care can personalise programs to integrate with chosen lifestyle and treatment regimes.


Solaris Cancer Care is is governed by a Board of Directors and led by Managing Director and CEO, David Edwards.  

Clinical Professor David Joske MBBS FRACP FRACPA, Chairperson, Independent Non-Executive Director 

Graduating from UWA in 1983 with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery, Dr Joske, now a Clinical Haematologist and Medical Co-Director at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has dedicated his career to cancer care and helping those with the disease.

In 2001 he established Solaris Cancer Care, a dedicated service offering support to cancer patients and in 2016 was named EY’s (WA) Social Entrepreneur award for this work.

Professor David Joske was Head of Haematology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital from 1994 to 2012 and remains very active in clinical practice and research. Dr David Joske is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia and senior Haematologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. His research and clinical work focus on the role of supportive care in the management of cancer.

Dr Joske is a leading expert in the field of integrative cancer care, influencing its mainstream development across Australia. He is dedicated to the exploring the value of complementary integrated therapies in counteracting adverse side effects experienced by people living with cancer. His clinical and research interests include the treatment of lymphomas; palliative care in Haematology; and supportive care in cancer. 

He is a UWA Clinical Professor of Medicine; was the Haematology sub-editor for the Internal Medicine Journal 2002-2009 and has published 75 peer-reviewed publications plus three book chapters. He launched the SolarisCare Foundation in September 2001 and is currently its Chairman and Chief Medical Officer. He is the Lead Clinician for the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Survivorship Collaborative Network. He was awarded the John Curtin Medal in 2005 and has been a finalist four times for Western Australian of the Year. He plays guitar in a blues band and sometimes busking for Solaris Cancer Care.

Mr Patrick Ryan, Non-Executive Director

Patrick Ryan is a professional engineer working in Perth who has had a 30 year career as a commissioned officer in the Australian Army Reserve. 

Pat considers himself fortunate in that he has not directly experienced cancer himself, or in his immediate family. However, he has experienced cancer indirectly through a very close neighbour and a valued family friend. For Pat, the experience of cancer has been a mixed one, in which he has seen one friend flourish and the other sadly pass away.

Pat is a passionate believer in empowering individuals and community toward wellness and sustainable health.  He believes that the Board ’should bring professionalism, guidance and management skills to the organisation whilst remaining open and approachable.

Mr Graham Laitt, Non-Executive Director 

For 13 years Graham was a partner with a major law firm, dealing mainly with commercial law and international business transactions.  1987 saw him migrate to business and for 14 years he was the CEO of the Peters & Brownes Group. This company grew to become the largest ice cream company in Australasia and the biggest dairy company in Western Australia.

In 2002 Mr Laitt established Milne AgriGroup one of the largest integrated agribusinesses in Western Australia. AgriGroup comprises of Milne Feeds, livestock feed operations which also include Mt Barker Free Range Chicken and Plantagenet Pork. These brands are the strongest in WA and have been built on high animal welfare values. Animal welfare is core to Milne’s business with successful free range farming models for chickens and pigs.  Liveringa and Nerrima Stations are also an integral part of AgriGroup.

Graham was instrumental in the promotion of the Peters & Brownes Commoonity (sic) Milk Campaign and it was through this funding that enabled the founding of the SCGH Brownes Dairy Cancer Support Centre (SolarisCare Foundation) in 2001.  Graham has remained a loyal advocate and supporter of the Foundation and continues to offer his guidance though ongoing commitment as Director of the Solaris Cancer Care Board.

Ms Patricia Williams, Non-Executive Director

Patricia Williams has been in the medical industry since 1977. She has a Bachelor of Nursing Degree and currently works as a Registered Nurse at Royal Perth. Patricia also has a Diploma in Yoga Teaching and was the Director for Pranic Healing in UK, Ireland and Western Australia. She is a Senior International Instructor and currently the Vice President for the Pranic Healers Association of WA.

Patricia’s extensive experience in orthodox medicine encompasses; burns, plastics and surgical nursing, renal, respiratory, acute medical, neurology and more recently oncology and palliative care. 

Patricia has been a volunteer therapist and member of the research committee at Solaris Cancer Care since February 2002. She is the Manager of Special Projects & Education and Carers Course for the foundation. Patricia wrote the Solaris Cancer Care Mentoring Program and co-authored the Volunteer Orientation Guidelines, Standards and Protocols for therapists and the Carers Course Training Manual. 

Patricia brings a broad knowledge base of orthodox and complementary therapies to Solaris Cancer Care and is an advocate for complementary integrative therapy provided by qualified therapists in a safe and nurturing environment.

Ms Kirsty Danby, Non-Executive Director 

Kirsty Danby has 18 years’ experience in the corporate communications and public relations arenas. She has worked as an in-house consultant for BHP Billiton, Woodside Energy and Alcoa. 

Kirsty is currently the Director for Platform Communications, a vibrant strategic communications and graphic design firm specialising in the global resources sector. She is the Chair of Curtin University's Faculty of Humanities Advisory Board, the President of the WA Mining Club, a Board Member of the Petroleum Club of WA and is on the AOG Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Kirsty brings with her diverse skills in many areas including communication, management and public relations.  Under Kirsty’s guidance, Solaris Cancer Care will increase our media exposure, build new connections, streamline our communications, and develop robust brand development. 

Mr John Hassell, Non-Executive Director 

John has exceptional business expertise and is a great asset to the organisation. He brings a wealth of experience in strategic development and corporate governance as well as great insight into regional communities and organisational structure. John currently serves as a Non-Executive Director for Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd and holds a leadership position with the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority Advisory Board and AgriBusiness Council of Australia Ltd. 

A passionate man of the land and farmer, he has a shrewd view of the business world and an acute understanding of modern governance issues.
In 2008 John established his own company, Perpetual Energy a biodiesel processing facility, where he continues as CEO. True to his roots John perseveres as a crop and livestock primary producer in the Pingelly region. 

John holds a Bachelor of Business in Agriculture from Curtin Muresk Institute of Agriculture and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Business Administration at the University of Western Australia.

Mr David Edwards, Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer 

Mr David Edwards was appointed to the position of Solaris Cancer Care CEO in November 2009, and in 2017 was promotedto the position of Managing Director/CEO.

David has extensive business and management experience across the private, government and community sectors including a National Board Member of the Australia Indonesia Business Council, General Manager of Clinical Training and Education Centre and Director, Western Australian Trade and Investment Office, Indonesia.

Dr Rebecca Howman

Mr Chris Whitaker

Ms Clare McNeill

Clare McNeill has 14 years legal, risk management and commercial experience across a range of industries, having worked at Macquarie and law firm, Allens.   Clare draws on her previous experience as a director of a London-based health and social care charity, legal adviser to boards and participation in the 2019 Emerging Leaders in Governance Program run by Southcare Inc. Clare is currently commercial legal counsel at Wesfarmers.

Clare is inspired by Solaris' creation of community and fostering of well- being and support around those affected by cancer.

Clare brings her passion and experience in governance best practice to Solaris Cancer Care and creates impact through her ability to enhance risk, legal and strategic frameworks.

Ms Diane Porteous

Diane is Head of Global Marketing for ASX company IMDEX Limited, responsible for the strategic planning and im21`plementation of the global marketing plan across its world-wide footprint.

She has previously held positions for a range of technology and telecommunications companies globally, ranging from MICROSOFT UK, Telefonica (O2), British Telecom, HTC Europe to local Australian based organisations including Tourism WA and MICROMINE.

Diane is an experienced executive manager with 20 years' experience in senior management and marketing positions in Australia and Europe. Her roles have focused on strategic planning and execution, brand development, integrated campaign development and execution.

Diane has a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University, with a double major in marketing and public relations, also a Graduate Diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) London.

Location and Opening Hours

Opening Hours are Monday - Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

Cottesloe - 80 Railway Street, Cottesloe, WA  Tel:  (08)  9384 3544

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital - DD Block, Ground Floor, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands WA  Tel:  (08) 6383 3475

St John of God Hospital - 12 Salvado Road, Subiaco, WA Tel:  (08) 9388 9788

South West - 72 Brittain Road, Bunbury, WA   - Open  Monday - Thursday (08) 9791 1559

Great Southern - Albany Health Campus, Warden Avenue, Albany  - Open Tuesday - Thursday (08) 9892 2600