Cancer Screening & Support

According to the Victorian Cancer Registry, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria are twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer than other Victorians. Our people are also three times more likely to die from cancer than other Victorians

VACCHO is committed to a culturally safe, evidence-based, best practice cancer journey model. We want to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria receive the best care throughout their journeys – from cancer prevention to end-of-life care.

VACCHO has developed the Victorian Aboriginal Cancer Journey Strategy 2023-2028, which aims to identify areas of the healthcare system which require investment and development to improve cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Strategy has been developed in response to the widening gap in cancer outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians. With the support of the Victorian Department of Health, VACCHO has commissioned and directly undertaken wide ranging research and Community engagement in the development of a pathway to Closing the Gap. This strategy presents that pathway.

Developed within the principles of trust and the social, cultural, political and historical determinants of health, the Strategy is comprised of four Strategic Directions:

  • Self-determination
  • A strong and supported Aboriginal workforce
  • Cultural connection
  • A culturally safe and responsive health system.

The strategy highlights the importance of partnership frameworks between ACCOs and mainstream acute and sub-acute services and cancer agencies to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait people with cancer and their families are supported throughout their cancer journey.

VACCHO continues to explore opportunities to develop and lead initiatives aimed at reducing the rates of cancer, increasing life expectancy and improving the quality of life for Community in Victoria diagnosed with cancer.

The Beautiful Shawl Project

A collaborative, Community-led initiative providing safe and empowering breast screening experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Information and advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and people with a cervix on health checks to prevent cervical cancer.

Don’t miss a moment

A Community focused initiative  encouraging Mob to get health checkups and cancer screening.

Listen to Uncle Jack! Get checked you mob!

Let’s keep our Mob healthy and happy.

If you’re aged 50 – 74 make sure you speak to your local Aboriginal health worker about bowel screening.

And for women, ask about having a breast screen and cervical screen / pap smear.

Finding cancer early means more successful treatment and better quality of life.

Resources For community


Breast Cancer and Screening 

The Take the Lead brochure and poster provide culturally appropriate breast screening information for Mob.


Our Mob and Cancer – Our Mob and Cancer is the first Australian co-designed website developed to provide a central source of evidence based cancer information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer and their families and communities and the health professionals who care for them. This interactive and culturally safe website provides information and resources grounded in the knowledge systems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


Aboriginal Quitline – Aboriginal Quitline offer free telephone counselling and support service, to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quit smoking or vaping and be strong in health and wellbeing.


Keep our Mob HPV Free

  • Developed by Cancer Council Victoria, this poster and brochure inform Community about the HPV vaccine.

Cervical Cancer and Screening

  • The Women’s Business Booklet features artwork from Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gamiloroi artist Madison Connors and contains step-by-step information on cervical screening.
  • VACCHO and the ACPCC have culturally appropriote resources for clinicians available here.

Bowel Cancer and Screening 


Skin Cancer and Melanoma

  • The Skin Cancer Rates poster shows statistics about skin cancer and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.

Journey to Dreaming Palliative Care

Resources and training for ACCOs and Members


Increasing Bowel Screening in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: ACCO social media toolkit – A toolkit developed by Cancer Council Victoria to assist ACCOs encourage Community to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.


Cancer Council Victoria: Working with Community – A range of helful resources, tips and advice on working with Community to help prevent or understand cancer. ACCOs can also also download and order brochures, posters and flyers directly from Cancer Council Victoria – click on the Resources link at the top of the Cancer Council Victoria website.


Cancer Australia: Resources for Health Professionals – A range of resources designed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and health professionals who work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. These resources provide evidence-based information on early detection, referral and cancer care, and information guides to support your work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer. All resources have been developed in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations.


Cancer Council Victoria Learning Hub – A guide to access courses delivered by Cancer Council Victoria. 


National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) Provider Portal – Quick Reference Guide for healthcare providers registering to use the NCSR Healthcare Provider Portal


TRAINING COURSE: Talking to Community about Breast, Bowel and Cervical Screening

A FREE self paced online training course available to Aboriginal Health Workers, Health Promotion Officers and allied health professionals to increase knowledge and build confidence to discuss screening, early detection, and immunisation messages with Community.

It features three interactive modules highlighting key messages on breast, bowel and cervical screening. Each module takes 30 minutes.

Artwork by Yorta Yorta and Gunnai Artist, Dixon Patten Jnr

Contact VACCHO’s Cancer Journey Team

Got a query? Get in touch by filling out and submitting the form below or by phone 03 9411 9411.

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