Richard Vines to step down as chief executive of Rare Cancers Australia

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After 11 years leading the organisation, the co-founder of Rare Cancers Australia, Richard Vines, will step down as its chief executive at the end of 2023.

General manager Christine Cockburn will succeed Mr Vines as chief executive.

“Over the past 11 years Kate and I have been fortunate to build a strong organisation that is staffed by passionate and talented professionals,” said Mr Vines.

“RCA provides care and navigation for many thousands of Australians living with rare and advanced cancers and is very proud that we can provide them with the love and support they desperately need and deserve. Additionally, RCA provides a strong voice to government and the cancer community ensuring that the needs of the rare community are heard and acted on.”

Mr Vines will remain chair of the Rare Cancers Australia board. The organisation said he will continue to advocate for better care and access for rare cancer patients. He will also share his knowledge and experience with other patient groups through the RCA Pinnacle program.

“Establishing and operating a Patient Organisation brings unique challenges and much of available course material completely misses the elements most important to POs. Over the past seven years we have carried out substantial and ongoing work in this area, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. I am excited to see an increasingly strong patient voice emerging. There is, however, still a great many challenges to be addressed locally and in the region. I am very much looking forward to making an ongoing contribution to RCA’s work in this space.

“Building RCA with Kate has been a wonderful experience and we are both very proud of the organisation it has become. We are fortunate that we can step back in the knowledge that Christine will lead the RCA team with vision and commitment to achieve continued impact and improved outcomes for the rare cancer community," added Mr Vines.