LGBTQ people in NSW will get more support to prevent and detect cancer early through a $1.2 million grant from the Cancer Institute NSW to the state’s leading sexuality and gender diverse health organisation ACON.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the grant, to be delivered over three years, will bolster efforts to raise greater awareness of lifestyle and other factors that can help prevent cancer and, importantly, encourage better participation of LGBTQ communities in cancer screening programs.
“We know, for many people in our communities, risks associated with cancer are higher than the general population. Often, we smoke and drink more, and screen less than we should, if at all. We know that early detection of cancer is vital for effective treatment and survival, so this work is fundamental to the health of our communities,” Mr Parkhill said.
“For some of us, concerns around inclusive health practices mean that we may be reluctant to seek out health services.
“Since 2016 ACON has been working with the Cancer Institute NSW to develop a range of community-led engagement initiatives around cancer screening and prevention. This work has been vital to raising awareness of our communities’ cancer risks, ways of reducing these risks, and screening options.
“This three-year partnership is an incredibly important next step for the partnership between ACON and the Cancer Institute NSW, and our work in addressing cancer within sexuality and gender diverse communities. We are extremely grateful to the NSW Government and the Cancer Institute NSW for funding this initiative.”
The new partnership acknowledges the great success of campaigns delivered by ACON and funded by the Cancer Institute NSW – a relationship which has been fostered over many years. The most recent cancer campaign from ACON, Our United Front, aimed to increase knowledge and participation in breast screening among LGBTQ people. The campaign included an online and social media presence, four health promotion events in regional NSW, and outdoor advertising in the heart of Sydney’s Inner West – Newtown, Marrickville, and Sydenham.
Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow said partnering with community organisations was key to reaching populations that are at higher risk of poorer health outcomes, an important priority of the statewide NSW Cancer Plan.
“Cancer has no boundaries and everyone, no matter who they are, needs to know how they can reduce the risk of cancer and detect it as early as possible,” Professor Currow said.
“That’s why it’s important we continue to partner with organisations such as ACON, who have trusted relationships and a strong track record of engaging with LGBTQ communities in specific ways targeted to their needs.”
The NSW Government, through the Cancer Institute NSW, is investing more than $87 million in cancer screening and prevention in 2019/20.
“This $1.2 million grant will support ACON in delivering unique campaigns and resources that facilitate greater access to services that will help improve cancer outcomes for LGBTQ people across the state.”
Mr Parkhill added: “ACON has a long history of engaging with LGBTQ people around health information and education, ensuring that they’re at the centre of everything we do. As leaders in LGBTQ health, this partnership allows us to respond effectively to our communities’ diverse needs.
“Together with the Cancer Institute NSW, and the vast workforce across NSW working to lessen the impact of cancer, we want to create opportunities for people in our communities to live their healthiest lives.”
View the funding announcement video from ACON and Cancer Institute NSW here.
For more information on the current Our United Front campaign, go to ourunitedfront.org.au
For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: [email protected] T: (02) 9206 2044 M: 0428 477 042