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How we help

Cancer Council providing a safe place to come together

Community support groups help those affected by cancer not to feel alone by connecting them with like-minded members of the community to share ideas, thoughts, and information

Cancer Council Indigenous Support Group

Phone and face-to-face group support for all communities 

Cancer Council helps facilitate hundreds of community support groups across the country, delivering support, both over the phone and face-to-face, to provide safe spaces for anyone affected by cancer. 

Community support groups are essential for those recently diagnosed and their family and friends, especially in isolated communities where cancer may not be spoken about often. In 2018, Cancer Council supported 695 groups that met face-to-face across the country to help those affected by cancer. 

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

 Among the many face-to-face support groups we bring together are dedicated groups for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 60% more likely to die from a cancer diagnosis than non-Indigenous people, so it’s vital that we provide support groups and information about cancer direct to these communities. 

Cancer Council works with community leaders to provide support group facilitator training so they can run effective support groups in their own communities. Cancer Council New South Wales Engagement Manager, Brenna Smith recently supported Aboriginal Health Workers Carol Hart and Eva Cubby. Both these women attended Cancer Council Support Group Leader Training to facilitate their own group. 

Being able to offer Eva and Carol an opportunity to do support group facilitator training has allowed them to bring the skills that they learned from that training back into their community and apply it to the women’s yarning circle."

Brenna Smith
Community Engagement Manager, Cancer Council New South Wales
Community support group

The importance of belonging & sharing 

Part of what drove Eva to get involved is the lack of accessible cancer support evident in her own community. 

Where I come from, there's no support whatsoever, and that's sort of driven me to want to do this and be a support person for those that are going through a rough time and we'll just make their journey a lot easier."

Eva Cubby
Community Support Group Facilitator

Together with Carol, she has found yarning circles to be an effective and culturally appropriate setting for women to share personal, intimate stories about cancer loss and grief. 

These yarning circles make people feel comfortable enough to share their stories and their journeys not only with us but with the group and they feel safe to actually talk in there."

Carol Hart
Community Support Group Facilitator

Our community support groups help make the cancer journey an easier one by assisting women to talk about the grief of their own experiences and that of losing someone from cancer. 

Getting people to actually come along and talk about their cancer journey is... a healing process as well."

Carol Hart
Community Support Group Facilitator

Thanks to the support of the Australian public, Cancer Council can continue bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other community groups together to support members with their cancer experiences. 

Availability of our services varies around the country. To find out about support services for people affected by cancer in your local area, get in touch with your local Cancer Council or call 13 11 20.

Looking Ahead

We won’t rest until we’ve dramatically reduced the significant impact cancer has on every member of our community.