About the

The Tom Reeve Award  for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care, offered annually by COSA, formally recognises a national leader who has made significant contributions to cancer care.

The successful nominee will be presented with a Gold Marryalyan at the 50th COSA Annual Scientific Meeting where they will be invited to deliver an address highlighting appropriate aspects of their area of professional interest.

Nominations have now closed for the 2023 Tom Reeve Award. 


Award eligibility & criteria

To be eligible nominees must:

  • have made significant contributions to cancer care through research clinical leadership and/or community service
  • have made substantial contributions over a relatively long period of time
  • be nominated by a COSA member and have support from a member of COSA Council
  • be an Australia resident

Each nomination should include:

  • an explanation of the nominee's work in the area of cancer control or research
  • an evaluation of the accomplishments of the nominee
  • letters of reference from two individuals from outside the nominees' institution (where applicable). These letters should contain a critical appraisal of the nominee's work

 Nominations closed 5:00pm (AEST) 3 July 2023

Prof John Thompson

Past Award recipients

Professor Thompson is a surgical oncologist who has spent a career focusing on the improvement of outcomes for patients diagnosed with cancer, and is recognised as an expert in the diagnosis and evidence-based management of melanoma. 

As one of his nominators said, “There is no surgeon in Australia, with an interest in cancer and treating patients with malignant disease, with the profile held by John, nationally or internationally. I believe he would truly be a worthy recipient of this award and I sincerely believe that Tom Reeve would be delighted and very proud to see John receive it.”  

Professor Thompson is Emeritus Professor of Melanoma and Surgical Oncology at The University of Sydney and Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Western Australia. He was the Director of the Sydney Melanoma Unit from 1998 and from 2007 was the Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia until the end of 2016. He has been author of over 950 peer-reviewed research articles in the scientific literature.

Professor Thompson is a past President of the International Sentinel Node Society, and was Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group for 15 years. He is a member of the Melanoma Staging Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer, and chairs the Working Group that developed and regularly updates the Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Cutaneous Melanoma. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association and the American College of Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Thompson is an outstanding and committed clinician, researcher, educator and mentor. He generously and liberally shares his experience and time with others and has acted as a teacher and mentor to successive generations of medical students, doctors in training, researchers, and senior clinicians. Many of his mentees over the past 20-30 years have themselves become accomplished international clinical and research leaders in the field of oncology, an objective testament to his tireless efforts to promote scientific achievement and clinical and translational research collaboration worldwide.

One of Professor Barton's nominators said: “As a pioneer of academic radiation oncology in Australia, Michael has made, and is still making, outstanding contributions to clinical care, in oncological research, and cancer services policy throughout his career. He would be a very worthy recipient of the Tom Reeve Award.” And the COSA Board agrees.

Professor Barton will be well known to the COSA community. He is a clinical academic specialist Radiation Oncology at Liverpool Hospital, Cancer Therapy Centre and Research Director of the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CCORE), who has dedicated his lifetime’s work to the improvement and innovation in the field of radiation oncology and cancer care.

Michael’s greatest contribution to radiation oncology in Australia and internationally may be considered his work in providing the evidence on which to base health policy and advising governments on frameworks for cancer services and then evaluating the impact of those services. A pivotal study was the determination from evidence-based treatment guidelines of the percentage of cancer patients who should receive radiation therapy at some time in their treatment, which enabled planning of radiation services.

Throughout his career he has mentored, educated and researched all the while providing excellent, team-based clinical care. This has provided an environment that has brought on another generation of researchers and provided clinical care in the more resource-challenged areas of Greater Sydney.

Michael initiated the Basic Science in Oncology Course (BSOC) which has continued to grow and thrive since its inception in the early 1990’s. Countless clinicians from a range of oncology and palliative care backgrounds have benefited from this work. Most recently, he brought together the three cancer streams through the Translational Cancer Research Centres (TCRC) at the University of New South Wales into a cohesive team working closely together on research and translation of research into clinical care.

Michael has written 42 commissioned reports for a wide variety of agencies on the delivery plans for various health jurisdictions, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Global Taskforce for the use of Radiotherapy for Cancer Control (GTFRCC), an international collaboration to advise and plan for expansion of radiotherapy facilities around the world to better cater for the cancer needs of every country, especially those countries with serious health service delivery deficits. He chaired the Australian guidelines for the management of Adult Gliomas.

In terms of individual research output, as Research Director of CCORE he has been awarded over $20M in peer-reviewed funding. He has published 200 original scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, 43 published abstracts, 9 editorials, 2 books, 15 book chapters, 8 electronic publications, and has over 9048 citation and an h-index of 46.

And the list goes on!

Professor Barton OAM was presented with the Tom Reeve Award and delivered his oration, during the 2021 COSA ASM on Wednesday 17 November. The presentation and oration are available for ASM delegates to view as recorded content.

Professor, Translational Cancer Research, Director, Sansom Institute for Health Research
Dean, Research Strategy, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia

Executive Director, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

COSA President 1992-93

COSA President 2021-22 
Medical Oncologist, North Sydney’s Mater Hospital
Director of the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research
Professor of Medical Oncology, University of Sydney 

COSA President 2006-June 2006
Professor, Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University
Chief Cancer Officer, New South Wales
Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute of New South Wales

COSA President 2000-01
Professor, Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University
Chief Cancer Officer, New South Wales
Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute of New South Wales

Chief Executive Officer and Director of Research, Translational Research Institute

Chair of Lung Cancer Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

COSA President 2017-18
Director of the Medical Psychology Research Unit, The University of Sydney

Professor of Surgical Oncology, University of Newcastle

Director of Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queensland University of Technology

Professor of Radiology, University or Melbourne

COSA President 1981-83
Professor of Cancer Medicine, The University of Sydney

COSA President 1994-95
Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council Australia

Executive Officer, the Australian Cancer Network

About Emeritus Professor
Tom Reeve AC CBE

Professor Tom Reeve AC CBE is Emeritus Professor in Surgery of the University of Sydney where he graduated in 1947. After working in Sydney and Queensland, he trained in General and Thoracic Surgery at Albany Medical College, New York. In 1958, the American Board of Surgery certified Professor Reeve and he became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1967. He was Chairman of Surgery at The University of Sydney from 1982-1988 and chaired the Northern Sydney Health Area from 1988-1996.

On retirement, Professor Reeve became President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Executive Officer of the Australian Cancer Network. In this role, Professor Reeve was involved in the development of Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Early Breast Cancer, the first evidence-based cancer management guidelines produced in Australia.


Tom Reeve