Diverse Languages and Cultures

Australia is a multicultural and diverse nation. Approximately 25% of people living in Australia were born overseas and 25% speak a language other than English at home.

Patients from cultural or linguistically diverse backgrounds may face particular challenges such as diminished access to health care, discrimination, difficulties in communication and alternative views of disease based on culture.

Health practitioners play an essential role in tackling these challenges, advocating for their patients and striving for equality of care.

The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Cancer Resource Directory was developed by Cancer Council Australia and provides access to publications and resources in many languages.

The Lifescripts assessment and prescription pads and consumer resources are available, in English and in other commonly spoken languages, on the Department of Health and Ageing website.

Culturally Diverse Recipes for People Living with Cancer

The University of Tasmania and Centre for Rural Health have developed a number of culturally diverse recipes, specifically for people living with cancer. 

Interpreter services

For the cost of a local call (except from mobiles), your patients can talk confidentially to a Cancer Council nurse with the help of an interpreter.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Call 13 14 50, Monday to Friday 9 am – 5 pm.
  2. Say the language you need.
  3. Wait on the line for an interpreter (may take up to 3 minutes).
  4. Ask the interpreter to contact the Cancer Council Victoria Helpline on 13 11 20.
  5. Talk to the cancer nurse with the help of your interpreter.

Your patients can speak confidentially with a Quitline Advisor with the help of an interpreter.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Call 13 78 48, Monday to Friday 8 am – 8 pm.
  2. Wait on the line for a Quitline advisor
  3. Request for an interpreter in your language
  4. The Quitline Advisor will then arrange for a callback with an interpreter