Deloitte partner Meghan Speers chair of Ovarian Cancer Australia

28 November 2021 2 min. read
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Non-profit organisation Ovarian Cancer Australia has appointed Deloitte financial services partner and cancer survivor Meghan Speers as its new chair. Speers replaces the retiring Marina Go.

An ovarian cancer survivor herself, Speers has been associated with Ovarian Cancer Australia for more than a decade, and has spent more than two decades in the professional services industry. She joined the board of the non-profit support organisation in mid-2018.

According to OCA statistics, three women die from ovarian cancer in Australia every day (including this author’s grandmother at age 64), with a further five women diagnosed with what is the most lethal of any of the women’s cancers. Despite its lower frequency (and as such awareness), survival rates sit below 50 percent, making the disease the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia.

Meghan Speers, Chair, Ovarian Cancer Australia

“Over the next three years, I’ll work tirelessly to bring ovarian cancer to the forefront to ensure that the 1,720 women diagnosed in 2021 and those diagnosed in the future have access to gold standard supportive care and information,” Speers said, having last year spoken of her at times unbearable survivor’s guilt at OCA’s annual awareness-raising event at Parliament House in Canberra.

“There was no specific ovarian cancer support at my hospital. Mine was the cancer people whispered about,” she related, before describing the go-ahead for her return to work in London following 12 months of difficult treatment as her darkest hour. “I was frightened, I was vulnerable, and no longer the career-climbing chartered accountant and solicitor I was before my cancer.”

Eventually, Speers got in touch with Ovarian Cancer Australia, where she gained the support of and connection with other survivors, since becoming an advocate. Her career has evidently flourished again since then too, with Speers admitted to Deloitte’s partnership in 2016. Currently, she serves as the firm’s Tax & Legal business leader for Victoria, a role she has held for the past three years.

“Meghan has served on our board for three and a half years. As an accomplished business leader and cancer survivor, she brings passion and know-how to ensure that OCA delivers on its vision to save lives and that no person affected by ovarian cancer walks alone,” said Ovarian Cancer Australia CEO Jane Hill, who also spent time at the Big Four in a senior manager role at KPMG.

Indeed, the OCA board is awash with high-level advisory and strategy consulting experience, including Speers’ current and former Deloitte partners and colleagues Marise Maltman and Juliet Bourke. Further, Marco D'Avino is a partner at Bain & Company and head of the firm’s APAC Performance Improvement practice, while Jo-Ann Hicks spent three and a half years at BCG.