Aim, Vision, Conceptual Framework and Guiding Principles


The future-focused, ten-year Australian Cancer Plan is a national framework that will accelerate world-class cancer outcomes and improve the lives of all Australians affected by cancer.


World-class cancer outcomes and experiences for all Australians.

Conceptual Framework

This vision is underpinned by a Conceptual Framework (Figure 1) that identifies six Strategic Objectives where national focus and effort are required to deliver better outcomes for the next decade and beyond. Each Strategic Objective has a 10-year Ambition Statement, and each 10-year Ambition is underpinned by a 2-year and a 5-year Goal.

Figure 1: Australian Cancer Plan Conceptual Framework

OCP conceptual framework

The Strategic Objectives are informed by empirical evidence and data, national, state and territory cancer plans, tumour-specific initiatives and plans, other national health plans, and extensive consultation with stakeholders across the cancer care continuum.

The six Strategic Objectives of the Australian Cancer Plan (the Plan) are:

  1. Maximising Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
  2. Enhanced Consumer Experience
  3. World-Class Health Systems for Optimal Care
  4. Strong and Dynamic Foundations
  5. Workforce to Transform the Delivery of Cancer Care
  6. Achieving Equity in Cancer Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at the heart of the Plan, which aims to address inequities and priorities across the whole cancer journey for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Other priority population groups that the Plan focuses on are those at risk of poorer outcomes, including:

  • adolescents and young adults
  • children
  • people from CALD backgrounds
  • people living with disability
  • LGBTIQA+ people
  • people in lower socioeconomic groups
  • people living with a mental illness
  • older Australians
  • people living in rural and remote areas.

People identifying as belonging to diverse populations may identify across multiple priority population groups. This intersectionality can result in compounding impacts of social, cultural, commercial, and environmental determinants of health on cancer experiences and outcomes.

Consumer needs are at the forefront of the Plan, which is underpinned by cancer-specific Optimal Care Pathways[9] and by the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer,[10] already embedded as national standards of best practice care.

Guiding Principles

Eight overarching principles have guided the development of the Plan. These principles have played a critical role in informing the development of the Plan – from defining the Strategic Objective ambitions, goals, and actions to informing stakeholder engagements.

They will guide implementation over the life of the plan.

Person-centred: The Plan is designed with, and for, all people affected by cancer. This includes people at risk of cancer, people diagnosed with cancer, and their families and carers.

Equity-focused: The need for equity in cancer outcomes and experience is at the centre of the Plan. If the Plan does not ‘shift the dial’ for people whose outcomes are poorest, it will not be successful.

Future-focused: the Plan addresses both current and future cancer and health trends and challenges, so Australia can take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve cancer outcomes.

Strengths-based: the Plan adopts a strengths-based approach which identifies gaps and issues in the system, and builds on the strengths, opportunities, and the diversity of Australia’s population groups and our cancer care system.

Evidence- and data-driven: the Plan is evidence-informed, and promotes better, ongoing use of data to drive, understand, and evaluate the performance of Australia’s cancer care system.

All cancers: the Plan addresses issues relevant to all cancer types, with a focus on addressing disparity of experience and outcome.

Encompassing the cancer control continuum: the Plan addresses the whole continuum of cancer care – spanning prevention and early detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship care, end-of-life care, and supportive care.

Collaborative: the implementation of the Plan, as with its development, will encourage and involve system-wide, cross-sector, inter-jurisdictional, and national collaboration.

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