Better access to cancer screening for refugee communities in NSW

May 2, 2022

The Refugee Cancer Screening Partnership Project will receive $340,000 to support people with a refugee background to take part in potentially life-saving screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancers.

Sarah McGill, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute NSW says the project will help Cancer Institute NSW raise much needed awareness among these vulnerable communities.

“We know people from a refugee background are less likely to participate in cancer screening,” Ms McGill says.

“By partnering with organisations like the NSW Refugee Health Service and the Settlement Council of Australia to create targeted community-led programs, we can reduce the health gaps for this at-risk group.”

Working together for better cancer outcomes

The project is the first to launch under the newly released NSW Cancer Plan, which focuses on addressing inequities in cancer outcomes.

Sandra Elhelw Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Settlement Council of Australia welcomes the announcement.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Cancer Institute NSW on this very important project,” Ms Elhelw Wright said.

“Cancer elimination efforts within refugee communities require an approach that is trauma-informed and adapted to specific cultural and linguistic and migration needs.

“This project is significant as it factors in post settlement issues such as social exclusion and isolation, cultural differences and financial barriers.”

The project will be delivered locally by four non-government organisations across NSW – Illawarra Multicultural Services, Northern Settlement Services, Metro Assist, and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).

Find out more about cancer screening and early detection. 

The NSW Cancer Plan

The NSW Cancer Plan provides a whole-of-sector perspective on cancer control and describes how our key stakeholders across the state, including NSW Health, will work together to deliver better outcomes. Read more about the 2022-2027 NSW Cancer Plan.


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