Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples'* health is everyone's responsibility at Cancer Council Victoria.
Cancer Council Victoria works with Victoria's Aboriginal community to reduce the number of cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths. We do this through our cancer prevention and screening programs and by providing support services to people during their cancer journey.
Cancer Council Victoria's compassionate, professional cancer nurses are here to help with with any questions you've got about cancer and cancer treatment. They've all completed cultural safety training and you can call them for free, Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, on 13 11 20 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone can chat with the nurses: families, friends, carers, people with cancer or cancer survivors.
In this video, local community members yarn about their cancer journeys. They talk about their own cancer experiences, or caring for someone with cancer, and share messages of strength and wisdom. (Please note this video contains footage of someone who has passed).
In this video, community members and staff from VACCHO and Cancer Council Victoria talk about the success of their partnership.
If you or your family are experiencing financial hardship following a cancer diagnosis, we can provide a small, one-off grant to help ease the pressure. Call 13 11 20 or email email@example.com
If you're in need of financial planning, legal advice, or guidance with work-related issues as a result of your cancer diagnosis, we can connect you with a professional for free advice. Please note eligibility criteria apply and you will be asked for some financial information to see if you are eligible; if you don't qualify, we can connect you with paid advice. Services include:
For more details, call 13 11 20 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It can be difficult to afford a holiday after a cancer diagnosis. We can help by offering free accommodation for a short break for you and your family at a difficult time. The break can provide quality time with loved ones, away from hospitals and treatment. Holidays are within Victoria and can usually be offered reasonably close to home to minimise travel. Call 13 11 20 or email email@example.com for more information.
This free service is for men, women and children affected by hair loss due to cancer treatment. Select a wig of your choice and have it fitted by an experienced cancer nurse. If you're not able to come into our Melbourne office, we can post wigs out to you. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 13 11 20.
If you'd like to meet others facing cancer and get practical information from health professionals, come along to one of our Living with Cancer Education Programs. These free information and support sessions are held regularly in hospitals and treatment facilities across Victoria. You can expect an open and informal discussion in a friendly setting. Family and friends are encouraged to come along. Call 13 11 20 or email email@example.com to find out when there's a session on near you.
Our Aboriginal Cancer Prevention team has eight staff focusing on cancer screening and prevention activities with community.
Manager, Aboriginal Cancer Prevention Program Brad Brown – call 03 9514 6697
Program Coordinator, Aboriginal Tobacco Control Jethro Calma-Holt – call 03 9514 6442
To contact one of the Aboriginal Quitline Advisors (Tokerau or Tristan) call 13 7848
Screening Coordinator Clare O'Reilly – call 03 9514 6320
Project Officer Justine Holmes – call 03 9514 6414
Aboriginal Liaison Officer Robyn Bradley – call 03 9514 6547
HPV Vaccine Program Coordinator Heather O'Donnell – call 03 9514 6426
We work with community and health workers to increase their awareness of national cancer screening programs:
PapScreen Victoria works across the state to increase knowledge and participation in Pap tests in the Aboriginal community. Activities include:
Having three doses of the HPV vaccine greatly reduces your chances of getting genital cancers and genital warts. HPV protection through immunisation is really important for our people as we have higher rates of cervical cancer (caused by HPV) than non-Aboriginal people.
The HPV vaccine is offered free to all Victorian Year 7 boys and girls at school.
We are working with health and education workers to make it easier for Aboriginal teens and their families to know more about the HPV vaccine, and get the free vaccine either at school or through a community provider.
If you are unsure if you or your child has had the HPV vaccine, or completed all 3 doses, call the HPV register on 1800 478 734.
To see if the HPV vaccine is right for you, speak with your Aboriginal health worker, doctor or nurse, or get more information at www.hpvvaccine.org.au.
Quitline has proven to be one of the most successful methods to support people to quit for good, and it is an increasingly popular support method for Aboriginal Victorians to cut down or quit.
Quitline has two Aboriginal advisors available to take calls from the Victorian Aboriginal community when you call 13 7848.
Tokerau and Tristan are ready to listen to your story and have a yarn about how they can best support your journey to cut down or quit. The Quitline call back service is free - to have an Aboriginal Quitline Advisor call you back, simply call or fill in some brief details on our Quitline callback page.
Quitline is a safe space to talk about smoking; everything yarned about on Quitline is strictly private and confidential.
Information on cancer facts, cancer growth, the difference between benign and malignant tumours, and who to speak to.
A glossary of key words doctors may use about types of cancers, treatment, and the roles of different health professionals.
Information and answers to common questions about the three main cancer treatment types:
Overviews of the five cancer types most likely to affect Aboriginal people:
This factsheet provides a brief overview of key support services available through Cancer Council Victoria. It was developed in response to community requests.
This hard copy pack includes all the above factsheets, plus personal stories about cancer experiences and information about cancer prevention. You can order this free pack on our resource order page.
This Cancer Australia publication has been developed for health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help prevent lung cancer, improve knowledge of the symptoms and support Indigenous people through the lung cancer treatment pathway. You can download a pdf or order a copy at the Cancer Australia website.
We've created a series of brochures and posters targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women:
These websites provide information relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
Aboriginal people experience poorer cancer outcomes than non-Aboriginal Victorians and we are committed to changing this. Our commitments are set out in our Reconciliation Action Plan and our Memorandum of Understanding with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisation.
Cancer Council Victoria's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) (pdf, 1.7Mb) reflects the organisation's commitment to acknowledging and respecting Australia's First Peoples and traditional owners of the land and waters; and the recognition of their loss of land, children and families, languages and health.
The RAP provides a framework in which Cancer Council will continue to build relationships, demonstrate respect and create opportunities for Victorian Aboriginal communities.
We will do this through embedding existing activities, increasing efforts and identifying opportunities in research, prevention, support, fundraising, advocacy and organisational activities to support Aboriginal people.
Reconciliation is an essential element of who we are and what we aim to achieve as an organisation. This is reflected in our core values, and our commitment to Closing the Gap and to diversity, in order to deepen respect and to provide greater opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Reducing the prevalence, impact and morbidity related to cancer for Victorian Aboriginal communities is a priority for Cancer Council Victoria and to assist us in this work we have partnered with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO). In September 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding was developed between VACCHO and Cancer Council Victoria. The two organisations signed a revised MOU (pdf 6.1Mb) in 2015. The MOU underpins the work of the two organisations to achieve this common goal.
Cancer Council Victoria commissioned Dixon Patten Jnr, a Yorta Yorta and Gunnai man to develop a piece of Aboriginal art depicting the cancer journey. This artwork is now proudly displayed in the foyer of our building. Read our full artwork description.
* Where the term Aboriginal is used in this document, it is inclusive of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples.