Lauaki Jason Annandale has returned as the President of the Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S.).
He was re-elected during the Society’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday.
Other office holders for 2018 elected include Vice President- Tauiliili Alise Stunnenberg, Treasurer- Lemauga Hobart Vaai, Secretary- Kilisitina Best, and Executive members: Susie Poort, Audrey Brown-Pereira, Dr. Malama Tafuna’i and Kerrie Punivalu.
A lawyer by profession, Lauaki acknowledged the Society for the honour for him to continue at the helm.
In his foreword in the Society’s Annual Report for 2017, he thanked the outgoing Executive Board for their commitment and service.
He was grateful for “the privilege to have been able to engage and work alongside a group of selfless and committed people and organizations.”
He welcomed the new Executive Board members and is looking forward to working alongside them all.
A fitting quote he used in his foreword sums up how he views the relationships with and within the S.C.S. It reads: “Teamwork is what makes common people capable of uncommon results” and that “...collective determination and commitment, together with an appropriate vision, corresponding planning and resourcing and effective implementation will ensure that we achieve the best possible uncommon results for those that the S.C.S. serves.”
In reflecting on 2017, both Lauaki and Shelley Burich, S.C.S. Chief Executive Officer, agreed that it had been a busy year, one marked by transformation and transition.
“We continued to provide support to cancer patients and their families as part of our core mandate and continued to provide education on cancer signs and symptoms and risk factors to all sectors of the community, including schools, churches, villages, the private sector and Government,” the Society said in a statement.
“The success of the S.C.S. Vave Campaign, funded by the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P.) and Pinktober, the breast cancer awareness month, has helped raise the profile of the S.C.S. and raised awareness of the work of the S.C.S.
“Both of these events, provided openings to share important messages and marked a change in attitude toward cancer discussions in general.
“The generous support and contributions, both monetary and in-kind, from government, donors, partners, businesses and individuals, allowed the society to increase the level of awareness and contribution it was able to make towards providing education, support, leadership and advocacy in cancer control in Samoa.”
Lauaki noted that the future looks positive and exciting, partly as a result of the platform that the past year has provided.
There were also challenges for the S.C.S., including determining how best to convert the positive attitudes toward S.C.S. to effective and meaningful outputs, leverage off initiatives and partnerships, remain relevant to all stakeholders, further build and transform the S.C.S. organizational capacity, and contribute to “building the evidence.”