Founder: Dr David Joske

“When everything is under a cloud – jobs, friendships, relationships, lifestyle and indeed life itself – we ask people diagnosed with cancer to negotiate hospital mazes, a whole new language, learn something about biology and then to decide on treatment.”


Clinical Professor David Joske  MBBS FRACP FRCPA

Graduating from UWA in 1983 with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery, Dr Joske, now a Clinical Haematologist and Medical Co-Director at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital has dedicated his career to cancer care and helping those with the disease.

In 2001 he established Solaris Cancer Care, a dedicated service offering support to cancer patients and in 2016 was named EY’s (WA) Social Entrepreneur award for this work.

“Although excellent resources have long been available to treat cancer medically, it became clear to me that the emotional and supportive care needs of cancer patients and their families were often overlooked.

“So Solaris Cancer Care was born – a drop in centre in Sir Charles where cancer patients could receive free support and advice and supervised complementary integrated therapies that would support their mainstream treatment.

“It was a radical idea at the time, and still is in some respect. But the idea has continued to grow and over the last 15 years we have opened three additional clinics in Albany, Bunbury and St John of God,” he says.

Dr Joske says the clinics are filling a role that had traditionally been ignored by mainstream medicine.

Professor David Joske was Head of Haematology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital from 1994 to 2012 and remains very active in clinical practice and research. Dr David Joske is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Australia and senior Haematologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. His research and clinical work focus on the role of supportive care in the management of cancer.

Dr Joske is a leading expert in the field of integrative cancer care, influencing its mainstream development across Australia. He is dedicated to the exploring the value of complementary integrated therapies in counteracting adverse side effects experienced by people living with cancer.

His clinical and research interests include the treatment of lymphomas; palliative care in Haematology; and supportive care in cancer. As local Principal Investigator or Associate Investigator on over 15 clinical trials, he has been involved in the development of several important new drug therapeutics for haematological malignancy in WA. He has held two NHMRC Grants, one examining models of palliative care in Haematology and also an RCT of his shared cancer model.

He is a UWA Clinical Professor of Medicine; was the Haematology sub-editor for the Internal Medicine Journal 2002-2009 and has published 75 peer-reviewed publications plus three book chapters. He launched the SolarisCare Foundation in September 2001 and is currently its Chairman and Chief Medical Officer. He is the Lead Clinician for the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Survivorship Collaborative Network. He was awarded the John Curtin Medal in 2005 and has been a finalist four times for Western Australian Of The Year. He plays guitar in a blues band and sometimes busking for SolarisCare.


Watch Dr Joske’s TEDxPerth talk ‘Bringing humanity to healthcare’.