Top Awards for Cancer & Reef Projects

Two projects involving ACEMS researchers just picked up prestigious honours at the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA).

The Virtual Reef Diver team won the APSEA Award for People & Community. The Australian Cancer Atlas team won the APSEA Award for Spatial Enablement and, also the top award, the JK Barrie Award for Industry Excellence.

“The Australian Cancer Atlas is a world-first innovation that uses cutting-edge digital technology to map patterns in cancer diagnoses and survival across over two-thousand small geographic areas across Australia. It is the most comprehensive examination of cancer patterns that has ever been achieved,” said Daniel Harvey, Chair of SIBA|GITA, the peak body representing the Spatial Industry.

“The Australian Cancer Atlas reflects the collaborative efforts of a very large multidisciplinary team,” says Project Co-Leader, Professor Peter Baade, a Senior Manager with Cancer Council Queensland who accepted the award on behalf of the team.

The Cancer Atlas project is a collaboration between Cancer Council Queensland, QUT and Frontier SI, with additional funding from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). ACEMS team members from QUT include project co-leader Distinguished Professor Kerrie Mengersen, Dr Susanna Cramb, and Dr Earl Duncan, who provided statistical expertise for the project.

“The Australian Cancer Atlas demonstrates Australia’s leadership in spatial technology while using health data in fresh and creative ways to guide research, advocacy and health service delivery,” says Professor Kerrie Mengersen, a Deputy Director and Chief Investigator for ACEMS.

The Virtual Reef Diver team won the APSEA Award for People & Community. The award recognises products or projects that make a difference to issues that affect communities via ‘grass roots’ initiatives.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by our peers in the Spatial Industry as an example of what can be achieved when you use innovative spatial technologies and stats to provide people at home with the opportunity to engage in citizen science and contribute to marine science and management,” says Virtual Reef Diver Project Co-Leader, Dr Erin Peterson.

Virtual Reef Diver is a QUT-led project with multiple partners and stakeholders, including FrontierSI and ACEMS. ACEMS team members from QUT include Erin, Kerrie, Dr Julie Vercelloni, Dr Edgar Santos-Fernandez, and Dr Ross Brown.

“This Award is a wonderful recognition for the contribution of thousands of citizen scientists who took reef images and classified corals for Virtual Reef Diver," says ACEMS Associate Investigator Dr Julie Vercelloni, a Chief Investigator with Virtual Reef Diver.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the APSEA held a virtual awards night to hand out its honours.

ACEMS Media Contact: Tim Macuga 07 3138 6741