Our mission is to outsmart cancer by providing world-class scientists with the equipment they need to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer.

ACRF was founded in 1984 by the late Sir Peter Abeles and the late Lady Sonia McMahon. Thanks to our generous supporters, we have awarded 69 grants totaling $136.8 million to world-class Australian research initiatives.

There has been great progress in research into many cancers in the last few years; however, more funds are needed to ensure that researchers have the latest and most sophisticated equipment they need to help end cancer.

The donations we receive go to research with the power to outsmart cancer. Our esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee ensures that only the most promising cancer research initiatives in Australia receive our funding.

Our funding trustees

Founding Chairman

The Late Sir Peter Abeles AC

April 1924 – June 1999

Former Holocaust survivor and The Australian’s ‘Australian of The Year’ in 1987, Sir Peter Abeles established the Australian Cancer Research Foundation in 1984.

Founding Trustee

The Late Lady [Sonia] McMahon

August 1932 – April 2010

A Founding Trustee and Life Member, Lady McMahon had a very significant impact on the Foundation and its mission to fund Australian cancer research projects at the forefront of medical science.

Founding Trustee

The Late Mr John Boettcher OAM

September 1931 – September 2012

Mr Boettcher was an unwavering enthusiast for ACRF’s work, and a significant part of our growth and achievements. He was much-loved and a highly respected member of the ACRF team.

Founding Trustee

The Late Sir Ian Turbott AO CMG CVO

March 1922 – August 2016

Sir Ian Turbott was Chairman of the I T Graham Investments Pty Limited. Director of the Australian Youth Trust; Commonwealth Day Council and Ted Noffs Foundation. Emeritus Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney.

  • What your donations have achieved

    Cervical cancer vaccine

    We gave initial seed funding to Professor Ian Frazer’s research into the cervical cancer (HPV). Over 150 million doses of vaccine have been delivered worldwide to date.

    Help fund cancer research
  • What your donations have achieved

    The pill that melts away cancer

    Our long term support of cancer research at WEHI has led to a treatment that melts away certain advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It has been approved for clinical use in the US, European Union and Australia and is being trialled for other types of cancer.

    Help fund cancer research
  • What your donations have achieved

    Personalised cancer diagnosis

    In 2015, we awarded $10 million seed funding to an ambitious cancer proteome project that aims to provide each cancer patient a personalised treatment plan within 36 hours. This will improve treatment outcomes and help avoid unnecessary treatments.

    Help fund cancer research
  • What your donations have achieved

    Zero childhood cancer

    We are one of the founding partners of the initiative that will tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer in Australia. It is a key step towards the program vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer.

    Help fund cancer research