What are these services?
Services to support the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are located throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs). ACCOs exist across the state and can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer. They provide programs and services to support health and wellbeing.
Finding support at the hospital
Many hospitals have an Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer (AHLO). They can assist in finding the right services for patients with an Aboriginal background. They can also be the first point of contact for any concerns or questions regarding your treatment and care.
Ask your treatment team about making contact with your hospital’s AHLO.
Questions to ask about this service
When looking at a service it is important to ask questions about how the service works before you decide to engage with them. Below is a list of questions you might like to ask when enquiring about a service.
Am I eligible?
Some services have specific criteria that a person must meet before they are able to use a service, for example location, means testing or a specific cancer type. It is important to know if you are eligible to access a service right from the start.
How much will this cost me?
Some services are free, and some come at a cost. At a time when people should be focused on their treatment and recovery, the cost of cancer can be a source of stress and worry for many. It’s a good idea to ask about the fees attached to a service and if there are any subsidies or benefits you might be eligible for before committing to the service. It’s important to know that you are within your rights to ask about the cost of a service or treatment before agreeing to take part. For more information you can visit cancer and your finances.
Is there a wait time?
Sometimes demand for a service is high which can cause wait times. You might find it helpful to ask if there are any wait times for the services you are looking at, especially if you require support as soon as possible.
What services do you offer?
Some organisations provide a range of services for people affected by cancer, their family, friends and carers. It is a good idea to ask about exactly what services are available to you.
Cancer Council Victoria's commitment
Aboriginal 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.
We are implementing a Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to continue our work in building relationships, showing respect and creating opportunities for Victoria’s Aboriginal community. Our vision for reconciliation is for an Australia that recognises the effects of colonisation on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and embraces and supports Australia's First Nations people's approach to wellness as an integral part of the work to achieve equity in health, improved life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and a reduced impact of cancer on the community.
Visit our Aboriginal Communities portal for a copy of the RAP and to find information about preventing and managing cancer, including:
- support services for those affected by cancer
- prevention programs to improve cancer screening rates
- Aboriginal Quitline
- information about cancer types and treatments
- other useful web resources
Search for a service