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COGNO: Message from the Chair

Dear COGNO members,

I’m writing today to let you know that I will be stepping down as COGNO Chair from the October COGNO AGM. At the beginning of this week I started a 5 year secondment to a new role within my faculty, Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Western Australia - Deputy Executive Dean and Associate Dean for Research. I must say that on paper, either one of the job descriptions look dauntingly large, let alone both. In order to take on this new role, I am relinquishing clinical sessions that will mean I will no longer be directly involved in the care of patients with brain cancer. Because I will no longer be directly involved with brain cancer care, and anticipating a new and challenging set of time commitments, I have decided not to seek re-election as COGNO Chair for a further three-year term.

My decision to step down as COGNO Chair comes with mixed feelings. Whilst I’m excited about the possibilities of my new role and the new learning journey it takes me on, it will not be easy to step back from COGNO. It has been an honour and privilege to serve as COGNO Chair for these three years. Over this period, the additional federal focus on brain tumours with the Australian Brain Cancer Mission has provided extraordinary opportunities for our group. We have seen an explosion of trial funding (MAGMA, PICCOG, SEQUITUR, CODEL, FIG, i-WOT, PersoMed) as well as funding to enhance our international clinical trials collaborations. New funding towards supportive care research in brain cancer, whilst not led by COGNO, includes many COGNO investigators and researchers. We have reached the milestone of over 800 members. I am incredibly optimistic about the next decade of brain cancer research in Australia. Most importantly, I can see that this funding and energy will translate into very real benefits for our patients and their families. Changes in awareness, attention to survivorship, and the more hopeful narrative around a brain tumour diagnosis are positive outcomes in themselves.

The COGNO Management Committee has recently conducted the process of electing a new Chair. I am delighted to announce that Eng-Siew Koh has been elected as the incoming COGNO Chair, a decision which will be formally ratified at the upcoming AGM. I will continue as Chair until then, although a handover process is underway. Siew needs no introduction; she has been an extraordinary contributor to COGNO through her roles as Deputy Chair of both the Management Committee, and the Scientific Advisory Committee. Through these roles, she already has a great deal of insight into COGNO operations and leadership. I wish to personally thank Siew for her support as Deputy Chair, and congratulate her warmly on her election as COGNO Chair. We can all be confident that COGNO is in very good hands.

Professor Anna Nowak MBBS FRACP PhD MAICD