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Cancer in the school community

Finding further support

Friday 1 June, 2018

If you are supporting students, parents or colleagues affected by cancer, you are not alone. Cancer Council can provide information and support, and can point you in the right direction for more specialised assistance. This section lists many different organisations that can help your school community.

Support from Cancer Council

Cancer Council offers a range of services to support people affected by cancer, their families and friends.

Cancer Council 13 11 20

This is many people's first point of contact if they have a cancer-related question. Trained professionals will answer any questions you have about the situation in your school community.

Practical help

Your local Cancer Council can help people access services or advice to manage the practical impact of a cancer diagnosis. This may include access to transport and accommodation, practical assistance in the home (short-term cleaning, gardening, childminding), or legal and financial support. Call 13 11 20 to find out what is available in your state or territory.

Support services

It can be helpful to share experiences with other people affected by cancer. Some people join a support group. Others prefer to talk to a trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience. Cancer Council can link people together by phone, in person (Cancer Connect) or through the Cancer Council Online Community. Call 13 11 20 to find out what services are available in your area.

Life after cancer

It's natural to feel a bit lost after finishing treatment. Cancer Council can provide support and information to people adjusting to life after cancer - call 13 11 20 for details.

Printed, online and audiovisual resources

Cancer Council produces easy-to-read information on more than 20 types of cancer, as well as treatment, emotional issues and recovery. All publications are developed in consultation with health professionals and consumers, and content is reviewed regularly.

School support services

Schools can access support from several different areas, including:

  • student wellbeing teams
  • learning and support teams
  • school psychologists or counsellors
  • pastoral care teams
  • learning and engagement officers or special education teams
  • staff wellbeing officers
  • health resources from your school's education authority
  • local support networks through your school's education authority.

Related publications

You might also find the following free Cancer Council publications and resources* useful:

Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or download copies from your local Cancer Council website.
* May not be available in all states and territories.

Not-for-profit support organisations

Camp Quality

Provides programs and services to develop life skills and strengthen the wellbeing of children aged 0-13 growing up with cancer, and their families: 1300 662 267 |

Cancer Council

Provides a wide range of support and information services for people affected by cancer (see above for more details): 13 11 20


Supports young people aged 12-25 living with cancer, their parents, siblings and friends: 1800 226 833 |

Carer Gateway

National service providing practical information and resources for carers and links with local support services: 1800 422 737 |

Leukaemia Foundation

Offers free services and information to support people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders, and their families: 1800 620 420 |

Make-A-Wish Australia

Grants wishes to young people with a life-threatening illness: 1800 032 260 |


Offers financial, emotional and educational support for children and young people aged 0-24 with cancer, as well as their families and networks: 1800 REDKITE (1800 733 548) |

Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia

Provides a learning program for young people whose education has been disrupted by a serious illness, professional development for teachers, and accommodation services: 1300 307 642 |

Starlight Children's Foundation Australia

Supports seriously ill children by providing in-hospital programs, granting wishes and organising family escapes: 1300 727 827 |

Work After Cancer

Provides information about working during cancer treatment and returning to work after treatment:

Young Carers

Works with the carers association in each state and territory to provide information, support and counselling for people under 26 who care for a family member with a serious illness: 1800 242 636 |

Online cancer information

Cancer Council

Clinically reviewed information about cancer by topic and by type; PDFs and ebooks of Understanding Cancer booklets and fact sheets; links to local support groups, programs and services

Cancer Australia Children's Cancer

Information about children's cancer by type, how to find clinical trials, and guidance about what to expect once treatment is finished from the Australian Government's cancer control agency:

Cancer Advisor

Moderated by Redkite, provides links to reliable information resources about children's cancer, support services and a place for people to share their experiences:

Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS)

Information about diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer, finishing treatment, and survivorship:

Youth Cancer Services

Information about cancer, hospital-based cancer treatment and support services for young people aged 15-25:

Macmillan Cancer Support

Information about many aspects of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment from the leading United Kingdom cancer charity:

American Cancer Society

Detailed information about cancer types and topics from the largest voluntary health organisation in the United States:

Support and information directory: Workplace relations

Fair Work Ombudsman

Information and advice about Australia's workplace rights and rules, including awards, entitlements and national employment standards: 13 13 94 |

Australian Human Rights Commission

Information and advice about Australia's discrimination legislation and disability standards; investigates complaints about discrimination: 1300 656 419 |

Cancer Council

Articles, fact sheets and booklets about cancer and work for workplaces, employers and employees: 13 11 20

Education bodies


Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory


Support and information directory: Education bodies

South Australia



Western Australia

Fundraising options

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

Every May, more than a million Australians come together at school, work, home and in their community to donate money for cups of tea and coffee. Cancer Council uses this money for cancer research and to support those affected by cancer.

1300 65 65 85 |

Daffodil Day

The daffodil is a sign of hope, and Daffodil Day is a day to remember people touched by cancer, celebrate survivorship, hope for a brighter future and raise money to fight cancer. Daffodil Day is held by Cancer Council every August.

1300 65 65 85 |

Hospital fundraisers

Many hospitals coordinate fundraising events that support them directly. Contact your local children's hospital (or general hospital providing cancer treatment).

National Bandanna Day

Organised by CanTeen, this event sells bandannas as a symbol of cancer's impact on young people. It is held each year in October.

1800 226 833 |

Girls' Night In

Girls' Night In is a fun, simple way for women to raise funds and awareness for women's cancer research, prevention programs and support services while getting together with friends.

1300 65 65 85 |

Relay For Life

Relay For Life is a fun, outdoor community event where teams of 10-15 people take turns walking or running around a local oval or school campus to raise funds for Cancer Council.

1300 65 65 85 |

Starlight Day

Each May, the Starlight Children's Foundation Australia holds a fundraiser for children and families who live with a serious disease and need to stay in hospital.

1300 727 827 |

Expert content reviewers:

Claire Tobin, Principal Medical Advisor, Department of Education and Training, VIC; Dr Antoinette Anazodo, Paediatric and Adolescent Oncologist, Sydney Children's Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital, Director of The Sydney Youth Cancer Service, and Conjoint Senior Researcher, University of New South Wales, NSW; Lisa Barrow, Clinical Nurse Educator, Children's Cancer Centre, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC; Margo Bulic, Psychosocial Support Worker, CanTeen, ACT; Amber Copeland, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Donna Drew, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Paediatric Oncology/ Palliative Care, Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, NSW; Allesha Fecondo, Education Consultant, Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, and Education Liaison, Ronald McDonald Learning Program, Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia, VIC; John Friedsam, General Manager of Divisions, CanTeen Australia, NSW; Pina Hutcheson, President, Catholic Primary Principals' Association of WA; Cara Irvine, Year 8 Coordinator, Alfred Deakin High School, ACT; Andrew Long, Assistant Director, Policy and Research, Independent Schools Council of Australia, ACT; Dr Alistair Lum, Post-doctoral Research Fellow – Behavioural Sciences Unit, Sydney Children's Hospital, University of New South Wales, NSW; Kristine Luszczynski, Learning Program Manager, Quality and Standards, Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia, NSW; Anita Neville, National Manager, Ronald McDonald Learning Program, Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia, VIC; NSW Department of Education, NSW; Mandy Roney, Consumer; Shannon Rush, Primary School Program Manager, Camp Quality, SA; Luke Wade, Education and Career Support Consultant, Redkite, QLD. 

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