Cancer Council NT – Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Cancer
Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Cancer was a pilot program to support cancer patients in the Gulf region through each stage of their experience with cancer. It is the first program of its kind in Australia that addresses the Aboriginal cancer gap at a grass-roots community level.
“The Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Cancer Program is an innovative model of care to improve the cancer survival rates of Aboriginal people through early detection, supported care coordination and ongoing survivorship programs in the Borroloola community and the wider Gulf region”
-Mr Mike Reed, McArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust Chairperson, 2020.
As part of the program Cancer Council NT created an Aboriginal Cancer Unit, including one Project Coordinator and Aboriginal Cancer Health Worker to assist in the culturally appropriate delivery of cancer awareness, following direct feedback on the program from CBT local Directors. The program encompasses education, early detection, and improved standards of care to reduce mortality levels in the Gulf.
“Cancer is the number one killer of Aboriginal people in the country surpassing cardiovascular diseases. The people in the Territory’s Gulf region have a 76% higher cancer death rate than the average national rate.”
-Ms Tanya Izod, Chief Executive Officer Cancer Council NT, 2020
This partnership between Cancer Council NT and the McArthur River Mine Community Benefits Trust was a pilot for a new and innovative process for prevention and early detection, creating referral pathways and improving access to treatment. One of the possible outcomes of this contribution is meaningful data to support CCNT implementing the program on the national scale to ‘Close the Gap’ in Cancer treatment for Indigenous Australians across the country.