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Throughout this eBulletin we use the term Aboriginal Western Australians to include also people of Torres Strait Islander descent.

Welcome to the third edition of ‘Let’s Talk'!

'Let's Talk' is published quarterly to keep Aboriginal health professionals and those working with Aboriginal communities proudly leading the way to a cancer-free future up-to-date with the latest news and information about Cancer Council WA.
The bulletin is designed to keep you updated on Aboriginal cancer education and research programs in WA, Aboriginal cancer events, cancer issues and trends, and the support services available.
Aboriginal Health Professional Profile: Kristie Taylor

We'd like to introduce Kristie Taylor, an Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer (AHLO) at Fiona Stanley and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospitals.
“I've been working as an AHLO for the past five years, providing services to the hospitals' Aboriginal in-patients and out-patients. My
role is vitally important as it brings my cultural expertise into health service, ensuring culturally-sensitive care and appropriate referrals for Aboriginal patients are conducted. I'm part of the hospital health team and provide a range of services, depending on the needs of the individual client, including:
  • Support with hospital admission
  • Cultural support/awareness
  • Advocacy/interpretation
  • Patient/family support
  • Discharge planning support
  • Linking patients to appropriate health care services
  • Routine visits as required
  • Coordinated approach to patient care
  • Ensuring a patient centred approach is established
  • Navigating around the hospital
If an Aboriginal cancer patient would like to access the services while in hospital or if they are attending the outpatient department at Fiona Stanley or Sir Charles Gairdner Hospitals they can do so by:
  • Calling the services themselves (self-referral)
  • Asking ward staff or the Social Worker/Nurse to contact the AHLO office (SCGH) or send an e-referral (FSH)
  • Getting a family member to call us
Fiona Stanley Hospital services operate on daily e-referrals and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital services operate using a daily inpatient list.
“After attending the Cancer Education Course at Cancer Council WA, I feel more equipped to provide better support and assistance to cancer patients. I'm more aware of the support and services available to cancer patients including counselling, financial support and accommodation, and the rural and metropolitan Cancer Nurse Coordinator roles. Another aspect of the course I felt was beneficial was networking with other AHLO’s and Aboriginal staff working with Aboriginal patients in rural areas of WA. This allowed time to build rapport and discuss how we could better work together to support the patient and their journey through the health system.”
You can contact Kristie on (08) 6152 5524 or
The next Aboriginal health professional profile is with Melanie Howard from Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Ltd in Broome.
If you would like to submit a profile for this section of the eBulletin, please refer to our Contribution Guidelines.
New National ATSI Cancer Framework

Cancer Australia has developed the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework to identify national priorities for the many communities, organisations and governments whose combined efforts are required to address the disparities and improve cancer outcomes for Indigenous Australians.  

The Framework provides high-level guidance and direction to all sectors to harness, maximise and leverage collaborative arrangements to improve cancer outcomes for ATSI people.

Watch Professor Tom Calma, AO explain the Framework. 

We invite you to share the Framework with your networks.
Coordinating cancer care – linking the country and city

The cancer pathway can be complex to navigate. With multiple teams involved, a large number of health care providers along the way and varying settings, there's a risk of patients being lost in the system.

The free WA Cancer Nurse Coordination Service is part of the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network and comprises 10 tumour-specific, metropolitan based Cancer Nurse Coordinators with a Rural Cancer Nurse Coordinator based in each of the seven regions. The service is available to people with a cancer and their carers. 

The Coordinators are able to assess the patient’s needs, provide disease and treatment specific information and link patients to appropriate resources. They don't have the resources to case manage but do act as a point of contact throughout the patient journey.

Cases are prioritised by complexity and need. Click here for more information.
Next tobacco excise increase

The tobacco excise was increased by 12.5% on September 1, pushing the average price for a pack of 25 cigarettes over $25 - more than $1 per cigarette stick. The increase was the third of four planned increases. There has never been a better time to quit. 

You can help Make Smoking History

Aboriginal people carry a larger and unjust burden of death, disease, grief and financial stress caused by high smoking rates.

Though many Aboriginal people want to quit smoking, there can be many barriers that make it difficult. If you work in health or community services, you're well placed to provide the additional support people may need to quit or cut down with a quick, 3 minute conversation. Click here to find out how.
New cancer fact sheets
Brand new Aboriginal fact sheets about cancer now available on our website!
Cancer Council NSW and Menzies School of Health Research in conjunction with a Clinical Advisory Group and an Indigenous Consultation Group have collaboratively produced more detailed fact sheets about cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, covering the following topics:
·         Leukaemia
·         Lymphoma
·         Cancer of uterus
·         Head and neck cancer
·         What men should know about cancer
WA Aboriginal cancer statistics

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Aboriginal Australians. In 2009-2013, 175 new cases of cancer were diagnosed. Slightly more women than men were diagnosed; 53% (93 cases) in women and 47% (82 cases) in men. In 2009 - 2013, there were 83 deaths from cancer in Aboriginal Western Australians. Lung and liver cancers were the most common causes of cancer-related death in men; and lung and breast cancers for women.

For more information about cancer in Aboriginal Western Australians, see our Cancer in Aboriginal people fact sheet.
New ATSI Guide to Healthy Eating

The Department of Health is pleased to announce the release of a new Eat for Health resource, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Guide to Healthy Eating.  The guide is intended for use by health professionals and educators throughout Australia for a range of Indigenous community settings.
The development of the new resource included consultation with a small stakeholder group representing several states and territories, analysis of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Nutrition Results – Foods and Nutrients 2012-13, on-the-ground pilot testing throughout Australia, and an online public consultation period. 

The new Indigenous guide will complement the existing Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, with copies for print available on the Eat For Health website.
Events and courses
Free Palliative Care Education Workshops
28 October, Perth
23 September, Port Hedland

Do you care for people who have a chronic or advanced illness and are unlikely to get better?
The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) is offering free palliative care workshops for Aboriginal health professionals around the state.

The practical workshops discuss the palliative approach, holistic end of life care path, and supportive care for individuals and families dealing with chronic or advanced illness. Topics covered include communication, symptom management and advanced care planning.

PEPA Placements
We also offer two day placements in a specialist palliative care setting, for you to gain skills and confidence in working with people who have a chronic or advanced illness. Placements can be planned at any time of the year in metropolitan or rural areas at no cost.

Comments from a past participant:
“It was deadly doing my placement because I was 100% supported during my placement and if there was something I didn’t want to see or do the Placement Coordinator changed her schedule so we could do the stuff I was comfortable with. I learnt a lot and found it to be really helpful in my current role dealing with death and dying, knowing there is a Palliative care team there willing and able to help. I'd recommend it to any Aboriginal Health Worker, ALO, or health worker that gets the chance, to do the PEPA placement”

For further information visit the website, or contact Alicia King on (08) 9382 9335 or

Yorga’s Health Day – Women in Partnership event
23 September
Medina Hall, Pace Road, Medina

Aboriginal women are invited to attend a free Yorga’s Health Day to find out how to improve their and their family's health!

Information will be available on breast screening, cancer, asthma, diabetes, heart diseases, and much more. Health professionals will also be available to discuss concerns and provide information in a holistically and culturally appropriate way.

Come along and enjoy health information, displays, craft, activities, door prizes and resources to take home. Morning tea and lunch will be provided, and a crèche is available for children under five. To RSVP, contact Grace Ninyette on (08) 6174 7000 or

Picnic in the Park
27 October, 10am - 2pm
Vietnam Pavilion, Kings Park, Perth

Breast Screen WA is holding a Picnic in the Park for Aboriginal women to raise awareness about screening. All women are welcome to attend, with morning tea, lunch and refreshments provided. To RSVP, contact Leanne Pilkington on (08) 9323 6709 or
We would like to acknowledge and say thank you to Zainab Zaki our Cancer Smart, Education and Research Intern who contributed and worked tirelessly to the publication of this edition.
Email us
Our next edition is due in December!

Cancer Council Western Australia acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of country throughout Western Australia and pay our respect to them, their culture and their Elders past and present.

Copyright © 2015 Cancer Council Western Australia, All rights reserved.

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