Aboriginal communities

We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.

We aim to work with Aboriginal Western Australians* to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer.

Cancer statistics, publications and health professional training and resources.

Aboriginal Western Australians experience poorer cancer outcomes than non-Aboriginal Western Australians and we're committed to changing this.

For more information about cancer statistics in Aboriginal Western Australians, see our Cancer in Aboriginal peoples fact sheet on our cancer statistics page.

For Aboriginal publications see our Aboriginal publications page.

For Aboriginal health professional training and resources see our Aboriginal Health Professionals page.

Our commitment to closing the gap

Shockingly, cancer death rates are 30% higher for Aboriginal Australians than other Australians.1 In some remote areas, the rate is as high as 65%.2

Our vision for reconciliation is to work together with Aboriginal Western Australians to close this gap and contribute to reconciliation. 

Our commitments are set out in our Reconciliation Action Plan (pdf, 1113kb)

Our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2016-2017 was launched on Monday 14 November 2016 to clearly articulate our commitment and response to reconciliation with Aboriginal Western Australians.

Watch the video of our RAP launch below.

Aboriginal Advisory Group 

The Aboriginal Advisory Group, established in February 2017 consists of key Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal health professionals, whose role will be to work in partnership with the executive and staff at Cancer Council to:

  • Develop and implement a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in consultation with Reconciliation Australia.
  • Monitor the ongoing use and effectiveness of the RAP
  • Be a voice for Aboriginal Western Australians for activities and resources that aim to address cancer issues.
  • Provide direction and scope for culturally secure supportive care. 
  • Develop and sustain community-related activities including relationships with professional bodies, community groups and community service organisations

The members of the group are: Professor Neil Drew, Dr Mick Adams, Dr Sandy Thompson, Leanne Pilkington (Deputy Chair), Associate Professor Ted Wilkes (Chair), Kevin Cox, Deanne Lewis, Denice Kickett, Sharon Bushby.

Aboriginal Advisory Group

(Photo: Sandy McKiernan (Director CISS Division), Professor Neil Drew, Dr Mick Adams, Dr Sandy Thompson, Leanne Pilkington (Deputy Chair), Associate Professor Ted Wilkes (Chair), Terry Slevin (Director E&R Division), Cassandra Clayforth (Education and Research Services Manager). Missing from the photo: Louise De Busch, Deanne Lewis, Denice Kickett, Sharon Bushby and Kevin Cox.

For more information about the Aboriginal Advisory Group, please contact the Aboriginal Projects Officer on (08) 9388 4382 or email ldebusch@cancerwa.asn.au

RAP artwork - winner of our State-wide Art Competition

As a part of the RAP process, we ran a competition to develop a piece of Aboriginal art depicting the experience of Aboriginal Western Australians with cancer. The winner of the competition was Meena (Peta Ugle), a direct descendant of the Bibbullmun tribe.

Meena's artwork represents how we look to provide education, training, support services and promotion of healthy lifestyles to eradicate cancer across WA. This artwork is now proudly displayed in our main office.

Artwork design

 

Artwork by Meena (Peta Ugle) from Mandurah

‘Walking together, learning together, working together’ – You, me – Our Journey

 

Meena's design represents the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with cancer, the importance of supporting the individual with a variety of services and working to eradicate cancer across Western Australia.

The 10 circles represent the 10 regions across WA. The sun-like design above the person represents Cancer Council WA. The same way the sun gives light, we give light to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and individuals by providing services and programs to assist those affected by cancer.

The artwork represents us, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, the individual and other organisations, walking, learning and working together. You me – our journey.

The colours represent the land and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Meena’s artwork will be used on the RAP and a new and revised range of our Aboriginal resources.

Please see the end of this page for a more detailed description of the elements of the artwork.

Artist Profile – Meena (Peta Ugle)

Meena was born in Subiaco, Western Australia and is currently living in Mandurah. She is a direct descendant of the Bibbullmun tribe, also known as Noongar nation; whose territory stretches to the whole area of the South West of Western Australia. Inspired by her father Coco and other prominent Aboriginal artists, Meena developed her own unique artistic style after being taught to paint, and use other mediums. Meena has lived and travelled throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where she has learnt to incorporate the different techniques to enrich the uniqueness of her artwork. Meena’s artwork reflects her heritage, family, travels and land.

Meena has developed logos and designs for the following Aboriginal Health Services and Programs: Nidjalla Wanngan Mia, Waangkininy Health and Mooditj Nungan Koolongah's.

Meena’s artwork is displayed at Nidjalla Waangan Mia in Mandurah, Aboriginal Art Galleries throughout Western Australia and Northern Territory as well as many personal collections throughout Australia.

Logos and designs are Meena’s expertise, and where her passion is when developing as an Aboriginal artist.

 

More detailed description of the elements of the artwork

 

Explaining the meaning behind Meena's artwork

  1. This represents Cancer Council WA as the sun, giving light, and feeding down services and programs to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and individual.
  2. The 10 circles represent the 10 regions throughout Western Australia: Gascoyne, Goldfields- Esperance, Great Southern, Kimberley, Mid West, Peel, Perth, Pilbara, South West, and Wheatbelt.
  3. The red and black line, like our veins, represents the strong link between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the importance of strong relationships between services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  4. The figure represents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as an individual and the community.
  5. The hand connected to the red & black lines represents the services being delivered and the journey and feedback given back to us.
  6. These designs/patterns represent the different education, training and support programs/services that we provide to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout WA.
  7. The black bold circle represents security and growth of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, it represents all the information being sustained in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

 

Artwork by Meena (Peta Ugle) from Mandurah

“Walking together, learning together,
working together” –
You, me – Our Journey.

*  Throughout this page we use the term Aboriginal Western Australians, it is inclusive of people of Torres Strait Islander descent.

 

References

1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat no. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.

2. Condon JR, Xiaohua Z, Baade P et al. 2013. Cancer survival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: a national study of survival rates and excess mortality. Population Health Metrics 2014 12:1.