2018 – Australian Cancer Atlas Launch and FrontierSI Rebrand

Australians can now discover the impact of cancer in their suburb or town, with the launch of a new cutting-edge Australian Cancer Atlas.

Australian Cancer Atlas

Australians can now discover the impact of cancer in their suburb or town, with the launch of a new cutting-edge Australian Cancer Atlas.

The interactive digital cancer atlas showed national patterns in cancer incidence and survival rates based on where people live for 20 of the most common cancers in Australia such as lung, breast and bowel cancer, likely reflecting the characteristics, lifestyles and access to health services in the area.

This world-leading project, led by researchers from Cancer Council Queensland, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and FrontierSI, gave health agencies and policy makers a better understanding of geographic disparities and health requirements across the country.

In 2018, an estimated 138,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer, but we know that some people face greater risks of diagnosis and death than others, due to a mix of lifestyle, behaviour, genetics and other unknown factors. The atlas enables readers to easily visualise those differences and offers critical insight into patterns of cancer and outcomes in Australia, depending on where people live, which can be used to drive research and policies going forward.

Australians were given the ability to filter down to look at the impact of various types of cancer in the region where they live, to understand cancer patterns across the country. One of the most revealing patterns in the atlas was the severe disparities in Australia with liver cancer, with incidence rates significantly higher than the national average in many areas in Northern Australia and many metropolitan areas of Sydney and Melbourne, due to differences in the distribution of known risk factors such as hepatitis, intravenous drugs use and excess alcohol consumption. Other findings confirmed that melanoma incidence rates were higher than the Australian average in many areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Estimates within the Australian Cancer Atlas were calculated using sophisticated statistical models and spatial analyses, developed by statisticians from QUT and Cancer Council Queensland, using data from each of the Australian state and territory Cancer Council registries. The online atlas is powered by myGlobe, a state-of-the-art digital system that has been developed and enhanced specifically for the atlas by the Visualisation and eResearch team at QUT.

The Australian Cancer Atlas was a collaborative project developed by statisticians, cancer researchers, visualisation experts and IT specialists from Cancer Council Queensland, QUT, FrontierSI and representatives from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, with additional input from government, community members, consumers and the media. The atlas has been endorsed by the Australasian Association of Cancer Registries and Cancer Council Australia, and investigators access expertise from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers (ACEMS).


CRCSI rebrands as FrontierSI

2018 saw the successful completion of the transition activities from CRCSI to FrontierSI including acceptance of the final reporting submission to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and culminating in a one-day conference to celebrate the legacy of CRCSI and to launch FrontierSI.

The focus of the CRCSI was to develop a collaborative research environment that could build teams and access the expertise needed to tackle the big, cross-sectoral spatial research challenges that underpin infrastructure development in today and tomorrow’s digital economies. The CRCSI built effective collaborations among some 500 specialists drawn from over 120 partnering organisations. The CRCSI delivered over $1.07 billion in benefits arising directly from its research and development (R&D) outputs.

FrontierSI seamlessly continued to build on the track record of successful research outcomes and transformed to a more partner focussed organisation developing, brokering, managing and delivering user-led applied collaborative spatial research initiatives. In its first month as FrontierSI, new partners were signed, new governance structures created, a new board was established, new agile research directions were set, and new collaborative initiatives developed.

Core partners included NSW Spatial Services (through the Department of Financial Services), Geoscience Australia, Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Queensland University of Technology, Curtin University, RMIT University and University of Canterbury. Our support partners include Western Australia Department of Health, Victorian Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning, and the University of New South Wales.

A very strong and engaged group of industry partners was also established who were with us for several years. Partnerships continued with NGIS Australia, Spatial Vision, InsightGIS, Mercury Project Solutions, Position Partners, Fugro, PSMA, VPAC, Omnilink, Thinkspatial, Photomapping Services, e-Spatial, Alexander Symonds, Spookfish and GHD.