27 June, 2024

Credit: Middlesex University

Thalie Martini, Breast Cancer UK CEO, has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Middlesex University during its Graduation Week 2024 at a special ceremony on Wednesday 26 June.

Thalie has been CEO of charity Breast Cancer UK since 2019. Educated in New South Wales in Australia, she has more than 20 years of experience working in senior roles in the public and third sectors in the UK and Australia.

On receiving her award, Thalie said she was “absolutely delighted” to have forged links between Middlesex University and Breast Cancer UK. Students from the University are supporting the charity’s social research into prevention of breast cancer while the charity is helping students and staff adopt habits to reduce the lifelong risk of developing the disease, which sees about 56,000 new cases a year in the UK.

Last year, the two organisations collaborated in Breast Cancer UK’s first annual Breast Cancer Prevention conference which focused on exploring the links between chemical, environmental and lifestyle factors and breast cancer development.

During her career, Thalie has run a number of high-profile health programmes including a national initiative with the charity Diabetes UK to transform care for children with diabetes in schools; a transformation project at Sydney’s Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences; and numerous state-wide public health prevention programmes for the New South Wales State Government. Her proudest moments include supporting Magpie Dance, the UK dance charity for people with a learning disability where she was previously CEO, to achieve Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation status.

Since 2019, Breast Cancer UK has grown three-fold, increasing research funding and reaching tens of thousands of people with a personalised, self-guided breast cancer prevention quiz.  Having lost her mother to breast cancer in 2007, Thalie is committed to making prevention a policy and public health priority, and to empowering people of all ages and backgrounds to become more aware of the disease.

Reflecting on what she gained from attending university as a student, Thalie said: “The greatest gift was learning how to learn. Going to university unlocked a desire to question, listen and challenge my own ideas and opinions, as well as others. Ultimately I understood that the nuggets of knowledge I had gained at university were a template for the lifelong learning ahead.”

Thalie’s advice to graduates is: “Be inquisitive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to let people know that you don’t know. Think what you can learn from those around you. As you progress in your career, think what opportunities you can create for others and how that might help you progress.”

Contact: Soraya Madell, PR Officer at Middlesex University, [email protected], 07770 871059.

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