Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders
Painting credit: Marissa Mulcahy
Cancer is one of the leading causes of burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience significantly poorer outcomes in cancer compared with non-Indigenous Australians and have much higher cancer mortality rates.
Evidence supports the positive impact of Aboriginal Liaison Officers in providing cultural support, expertise, and safety in hospitals and also that of Cancer Care Coordinator roles to assist patients and families with navigating services.
Working with and guided by an Aboriginal Community Advisory Group consisting of First Nations Community members with experience of cancer, Aboriginal Health Workers and cancer clinicians, a First Nations Cancer Coordinator role has been established to assist Aboriginal people with cancer and their families.
Funded by Western Central Integrated Cancer Services, the Palliative Nexus team are proud to be working with the First Nations Cancer Care Coordinator and to assist in reporting the implementation processes and the impact of this position.
Involving involve patient-facing elements, staff support/mentoring, and ongoing liaising with First Nations Health workers, cancer staff, palliative care staff and community groups including the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service and Victorian Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisation, the goal is to ensure that people with cancer and their family members can navigate services within a culturally safe environment, providing better health outcomes for First Nations peoples across a cancer illness.
Our Research Publication
Panozzo, S., Bryan, T., Mason, T., Garvey, G., Lethborg, C., Boughey, M., & Philip, J. A. (2023). Bridging cultures in palliative care: A qualitative study of the care of Indigenous Australians with advanced illness. PALLIATIVE MEDICINE, 10 pages. doi:10.1177/02692163221137929