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Tracey O’Brien: Sheetal Challam, a multicultural health guru, and Zahra Shahabikargar, a cancer data and statistics whiz, are champions in their field
Mar 28, 2024, 14:16

Tracey O’Brien: Sheetal Challam, a multicultural health guru, and Zahra Shahabikargar, a cancer data and statistics whiz, are champions in their field

Tracey O’Brien recently shared a post on LinkedIn:

Sheetal Challam and Zahra Shahabikargar are champions in their field. Sheetal is a multicultural health guru, respected in the community and Zahra is a cancer data and statistics whiz. Both bring their own personal passion and experiences to every part of their work at the Cancer Institute NSW, and together, they are the driving force behind the Institute’s new Multicultural Demographics Data Explorer.

A one-stop shop for anyone working to deliver culturally safe and targeted initiatives or programs for multicultural communities, the new interactive dashboard uses Census data to paint a clear picture of NSW residents’ birthplace, ancestry, language spoken at home, and indigenous status – data that is also broken down to local health district, local government and suburb level.

In NSW alone, around 30 per cent of people were born overseas, with more people speaking another language at home than in any other state. When it comes to cancer, we know multicultural communities can experience inequitable access to health care and often poorer health outcomes. How we break down barriers and bridge the gaps that exist in our community is a big task, but something that so many individuals and community groups are focused on tackling.

If you work to support multicultural communities, the new dashboard may help support your work. Access the dashboard and find out more.”

Source: Tracey O’Brien/LinkedIn

Dr. Tracey O’Brien is the NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Australia. Before her current role, Tracey was Director of the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, and Director of the Transplant & Cellular Therapy Program. Tracey has held numerous high-profile national and international leadership positions, including Advisory Chair, Cancer Australia; V/Chair (Africa, Asia and Australasia) International Centre for Bone Marrow Transplant Research and V/President of the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Oncology Group. In recognition of her exceptional contributions, Tracey was profiled in 2023 as one of the world’s foremost women in paediatric cancer by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology. In 2019 Tracey was named in the Australian Financial Review’s prestigious Top 10 Women of Influence, winning the Innovation category. In addition to her medical expertise, Tracey has a Master of Law (Health) and executive MBA and serves as a conjoint Professor in Clinical Medicine (UNSW) and Honorary Professor in Science and Engineering (Macquarie University). Dr. O’Brien remains committed to mentoring the next generation of clinician leaders and maintains an active clinical practice in cancer survivorship at Sydney Children’s Hospital.