CAP Member Profile: Ruth Lilian OAM

13 March 2017
TCRN CAP Member Ruth Lilian

A new addition to the TCRN Consumer Advisory Panel - Ruth Lilian OAM.

Ruth Lilian OAM has administered and managed conferences for a number of specialist medical societies including the Australian Society for Medical Research where she spent 17 years working with some of Australia’s most well respected medical and scientific researchers. A component of her work there was to lobby state and federal governments for more funding for medical research. Her journey continued in the medical and scientific area, having managed medical and scientific conferences across all specialty areas for over forty years, fifteen of these in the cancer arena.

“Through this work, I have always shown a great deal of interest in all medical research”, said Ruth. 

She has closely cared for a number of family members and friends who are and have been on the cancer journey – some more fortunate than others. 

Ruth has always wanted to help others and make a difference to their lives, especially when they have been affected by ill health.

When Ruth received an email from the TCRN through the university network seeking volunteers for the Consumer Advisory Panel ("CAP"), she didn’t wait to respond.

After she was endorsed to be a member of CAP by the TCRN Senior Leadership Group and attended the first CAP meeting and the consumer researcher engagement workshop in February, once again she didn’t wait. Right away she volunteered to get involved with two research projects.

Now Ruth has been partnered with Professor Liz Sullivan and Dr Chen, both of UTS on their Cancer in Pregnancy research project and Professor Jane Phillips' (UTS) research on improving cancer patients’ reported pain outcomes. Ruth met with them separately to discuss the projects and provided her input towards their funding applications.

“I am interested in all tumours, but perhaps more the silent ones that we don’t know that much about. If there was an opportunity to channel more research funds across to these areas, it would at least be a start enabling more health promotion and awareness being delivered to community”. Ruth is also interested in family history, genetics/DNA, ethics and the euthanasia debate.

Through the work of TCRN and CAP, Ruth is interested in working with community and educating people to understand the translation of research into practice.

“I would like to assist to make their [cancer patients’] condition easier for them to manage through available resources they may not be aware of. Being able to assist researchers to translate their research to the lay person is something I hope I can contribute to.”

“I would like to see the communication links between health professionals and patients improve. Many patients need to be empowered to ask at every opportunity about their condition and I would like to see health professionals listening and providing the answers wherever possible.”


Learn more about Consumer Engagement and the TCRN CAP