Cancer Council Victoria is calling on all Australians who have been touched by cancer to share their experiences creatively by entering the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Awards.
A community event that promotes hope for people facing life after a cancer experience, the Arts Awards is open to artists of all standards. Entries are accepted in visual art, short story, film, poetry, Indigenous art, and children's writing and art.
Cancer Council spokesperson Irene Manitta said that the Arts Awards were also an opportunity to learn about the many ways cancer impacts our community.
"With one Australian diagnosed with cancer every 5 minutes, many Australians will one day feel the impact of cancer," Ms Manitta said. "By sharing these experiences creatively, we can learn from each other and create hope for the future."
2008 Outstanding Film Entrant Genevieve Bailey agrees.
"I first entered the Arts Awards in 2004, after having lost my father to cancer," Ms Bailey said.
"When I went to the Arts Awards exhibition, I was stunned at how many entries there were. I know that most people are impacted by cancer in some way, but I was 22 at the time, and people in their twenties don't really seem to talk about those sorts of things," she said.
The theme of shared but unspoken experience is one that Ms Bailey carried through to her 2008 Arts Awards entry, a short film called The Last Time I Cried.
"What interested me is that crying is something we all do, but it's never really spoken about," Ms Bailey said.
"We all have these common experiences, but they're not often left unspoken," she said.
As well as connecting with others' cancer experiences, Ms Bailey said that the Arts Awards helped her to understand the kinds of support services that she can access through the Cancer Council.
"When Dad died, I didn't really know much about cancer, and I think even he knew very little," Ms Bailey said.
"I've since learnt so much, and I think it makes it a lot easier. Now I make sure I tell friends to find out all they can," she said.
The 2009 Arts Awards theme is ‘embrace,' and entries are open to all Australians who have experienced cancer, whether directly or indirectly. In addition to cash prizes for Outstanding Entrants, a diverse range of works will be displayed in a touring exhibition that begins in Melbourne, and travels throughout regional Victoria in 2009.
Entries close on Friday 3 April, so why not embrace this opportunity today? For more information or to download an entry form, visit our Arts Awards pages or call 1300 65 65 85.
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