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Table 3 Recommendations to improve the engagement of Indigenous people with cancer councils and cancer control

From: Making progress: the role of cancer councils in Australia in indigenous cancer control

Dimension Recommendation
Staffing Continue to recruit Indigenous staff and support them through peer mentorship programs
Collect information on the Indigenous identification of all staff and volunteers
Maintain support and expand the work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Subcommittee of the Supportive Care Committee
Establish and support appointment of a senior Indigenous person to work within the national office who works with the National Committee and all state CCs
Community engagement Promote awareness of CC services, particularly the Cancer Council Helpline, within Indigenous Communities. A trial of an Indigenous staff member on the Quitline is recommended to be undertaken and evaluated
Develop a national reconciliation policy and strategy for progressively improving this; include on web pages
Develop strategies to engage and support Indigenous Board members and representation on committees
Continue to implement symbolic gestures of inclusion of Indigenous people, through complying with protocols and promoting physical environments that recognise and acknowledge Indigenous people
Encourage regional and urban-based Cancer Council staff to report on their engagement with Indigenous communities, including successes and challenges. This should link to a wider communication strategy aimed at disseminating information about Indigenous people and cancer control across Australia
Convene, in conjunction with Indigenous groups, a national cancer conference at which recent research and initiatives are discussed and disseminated, recognizing the impetus and momentum that came from the Darwin Cancer Forum
Urgently develop strategies to engage Indigenous men – these should be the focus of a special initiative
Ensure Cancer Council media campaigns are inclusive of images that are accessible and welcoming to Indigenous people
Strategic approaches Work further with Aboriginal Community Controlled Medical Services to align key cancer screening messages with Medical Benefits Schedules Health Assessment and Adult Health Checks
Continue to develop mechanisms of promoting Indigenous input into policy and programs on a Federal, State and Local level
Develop a strategic plan in collaboration with Indigenous people and Aboriginal community controlled organisations to ensure that Cancer Council is recognized as a national leader in promoting Indigenous health in all issues relevant to the broad area of cancer control
Engage in collaborative activities with other non-government organisations to increase synergy across health messages
Implement measurement of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander identifiers in all Cancer Council services and set realistic goals for service achievement in areas of identified high needs
Advocacy Undertake marketing strategies in web-page portals to promote access for Indigenous peoples
Promote Indigenous health facts in publications (e.g., Facts and Figures
Work with cancer treatment services to ensure culturally safe environments for Indigenous people undergoing cancer care and support them in their cancer journey
Resources Continue to develop, tailor and target Indigenous-specific resources to address community needs and issues of access
Revamp the home pages of Cancer Council websites to include images that are accessible and welcoming to Indigenous people
Provide links from Cancer Council websites to other Indigenous resources to promote access and an image of inclusion, cultural acceptance and safety
Assist national efforts through targeting high rates of smoking in Indigenous communities
Establish in each jurisdiction a Cancer Council repository of resources appropriate for Indigenous people and communities
Develop a national repository of cancer resources that is available to a range of health professionals and community groups, clinical services, individuals and other organisations to promote access and reduce duplication of efforts. It is recommended that this is undertaken in conjunction with Indigenous Australian HealthInfoNet.
Research Systematically identify the barriers and facilitators for Indigenous people engaging in screening programs and cancer care
  Integrate Indigenous health issues within programs to address health disparities
  Encourage research activities that involve innovations in service delivery to overcome the already identified barriers that impede Indigenous people’s participation in cancer screening and treatment