Aboriginal Cancer Grants

This grants program provides funding to build and strengthen effective partnerships for registered not-for-profit, government and non-government organisations in NSW to develop culturally safe cancer services for Aboriginal people. At a minimum the project must ensure a partnership between the Local Health District / Specialty Health Network and an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

The grants are available to implement the objectives of the NSW Cancer Plan, with the aim of addressing equity issues for Aboriginal people thereby improving the experiences of those affected by cancer and ultimately improving cancer outcomes.

The focus of these grants is to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies which aim to support Aboriginal people across the Optimal Care Pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer.

2020 Round

Project title: Yarning for Life Without Cancer in Far West NSW
Recipient: Far West Local Health District (FWLHD)

The project will involve a partnership between FWLHD Cancer Services as the project lead, working with local Aboriginal Health Services (AHS) Maari Ma, CHAC and Aboriginal health staff from FWLHD. 

The project has a two-prong approach:
a) Cancer Australia's 'Yarn for Life' program will be adapted for local context, and the project guided by the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with Cancer (Cancer Australia). Cancer Services staff and Aboriginal Health Practitioners will travel throughout the District to yarn with community members, AHS staff and FWLHD staff about cancer risk reduction, lifestyle factors, screening and prevention, early detection and related topics in an attempt to improve health outcomes related to cancer.
b) The yarning will identify, explore and scope service gaps, challenges, enablers and barriers to supporting the Optimal Care Pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer.

Timeframe: 15 months
Funding amount: $30,000


Project title: Smoking Cessation in Pregnancy
Recipient: Central Coast Local Health District

Of Aboriginal women in NSW, 50% are tobacco smokers compared to 9% of non-Aboriginal counterparts. Tobacco smoking is the most preventable risk factor in maternal and infant health, linked to growth restriction, miscarriage and preterm birth.

Family/kin support can improve an Aboriginal woman's success in smoking cessation in pregnancy, however the Central Coast lacks information about this. Focus groups with stakeholders will be conducted to highlight perspectives and experiences, and culturally sensitive resources highlighting local stories relating to smoking cessation during pregnancy will be developed, used to educate local Aboriginal health staff, patients and GPs.

Timeframe: 13 months
Funding amount: $30,000


Project title: Identifying and responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Cancer accessing cancer care in the NSLHD
Recipient: Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD)

The project will provide an important opportunity for the Network to determine and understand the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are accessing cancer care within the NSLHD. The project will focus on identifying Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander patients; service mapping; and care pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people with cancer.

Timeframe: 15 months
Funding amount: $30,000


Project title: Learning together to improve Aboriginal cancer outcomes in Western NSW
Recipient: Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD)

The project will focus on equipping primary care and specialist teams with skills and knowledge to ensure the WNSWLHD has culturally responsive teams and increased awareness of Cancer Services, referral pathways and support services for Aboriginal people with cancer. 

The project will: 

  • Improve the knowledge of cancer services and pathway access points for our Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Services partners and for our district Aboriginal Health Worker and Practitioner Workforce.
  • Provide education for Cancer Services teams to empower them to provide culturally considered and appropriate care and support to Aboriginal people.

Timeframe: 15 months
Funding amount: $30,000


Project title: Direct Access Colonoscopy
Recipient: Sydney Local Health District (SLHD)

This project aims to strengthen relationships between RPA and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and general practitioners within SLHD serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in order to ensure that as the new Direct Access Colonoscopy Service at RPA Endoscopy Unit is developed, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the District are afforded access to this new program. The ultimate aim of this project is to increase the early detection of colorectal cancer in this group and reduce the morbidity and mortality related to this disease.

Timeframe: 15 months
Funding amount: $25,000


Project title: Shirley for the Mob
Recipient: Coast Connections Operations Ltd

Coast Connections manage a cancer transport service for Central Coast residents called the 'Shirley Shuttle'. ‘Shirley Shuttle’ is a Monday to Friday door-to-door service for cancer outpatients (and their carers) to appointments within the Central Coast for a small fee if it can be afforded, or no fee if it is problematic. There is no means test. Coast Connection’s vision for this project is to provide a co-branded vehicle, specifically for the transport of our local Aboriginal community with the hope the community feel more at ease travelling to and from their appointments and make them more likely to have their treatment.

Timeframe: 16 months
Funding amount: $30,000


Project title: Enhancing Cancer Journeys for Aboriginal People on the Mid North Coast
Recipient: Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD)

The project will explore issues impacting upon community access to Cancer Services in a regional setting, identify opportunities to enhance community engagement with culturally appropriate and culturally safe Integrated Cancer Services. 
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Aboriginal people. Whilst 11.6% of the total population in Kempsey LGA identify as Aboriginal, only 2.4% of Kempsey cancer patients are identifying as Aboriginal. To help align services and pathways with needs of the community, which will have a tangible positive impact on Closing the Gap for Cancer outcomes, MNCLHD seeks to better understand the reasons for this gap

Timeframe: 15 months
Funding amount: $25,049