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First Nations cultural safety at Cancer Council Victoria


Aboriginal and/or Torres Straits Islander peoples’ health is everyone’s responsibility at Cancer Council Victoria.

We’re dedicated to creating a culturally safe space for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples to encourage the use of our services around screening, early detection, prevention, the Quitline, and our nurse and financial support lines.

Cancer disproportionately affects First Nations people in Victoria, with Aboriginal Victorians twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer and three times as likely to die from cancer than non-Aboriginal Victorians.

To address this disparity, Cancer Council Victoria has for many years worked with organisations like the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) within a framework of self-determination to support the development and delivery of high-quality care in a culturally appropriate way to First Nations Victorians.

Aboriginal Partnerships and Programs Coordinator, Colin Darcy, with representatives from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VACCHO and St Vincent’s Hospital.

Watch this video for a snapshot of the work being carried out. You can also read our Statement in support of a Voice to Parliament.

Colin Darcy, Aboriginal Partnerships and Programs Advisor, says Cancer Council Victoria is proactively creating a culturally safe and identifiable space through implementing education, training, and other services to staff through our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) targets with VACCHO.

'We’re focusing on making our services more culturally identifiable to redress the low percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples using our support services,' he says.

‘The work being done through education is necessary to equip people with knowledge of Aboriginal people, culture, and history, and make them aware of the gaps that need to be filled. Passing on knowledge to staff around the correct ways of working in partnership with Aboriginal communities and organisations, by using correct cultural protocols, is key to moving things forward.'

Discover cancer resources and services available to Aboriginal communities.

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