What is advocacy and ways to get involved

Can ActWhat is Advocacy?
Advocacy can be described as public support for, or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. Advocacy is about being active – whether that’s by telling your story, lobbying decision makers or mobilising others – and is one of the ways Cancer Council NSW is beating cancer.

Why do we do this
Cancer Council works to defeat cancer. Our vision will be realised when lives are not cut short nor the quality diminished by cancer. Everyone in NSW deserves equitable health opportunities regardless of their economic, social, cultural or geographical situation.

We recognise that sometimes, large scale change from government action (eg new funding, new laws or improving the system) is the most effective way to create change that lasts, and benefits everyone, now and in the future.

What we do
Along with our CanAct Community, we lobby the Government for improvements in the treatment and care of people with cancer and public health initiatives that reduce the incidence of cancer and increase cancer survival.

So how do we do this?
Everyone should have a voice on issues and entitlements around cancer and community members can be a powerful driver for change – individually, and collectively. We help communities identify issues that matter to them, and together, we develop campaigns aimed at creating changes in the system to reduce cancer risks and improve services for everyone in NSW.

We work together with community members, local cancer networks and our staff across NSW to develop, implement and promote these campaigns. In the past, our CanAct community has helped us achieve significant successes in cancer policy across Local, State and Federal Government issues.

Our Advocacy Agenda for 2012-13 – Beat Cancer Together – outlines an agenda for change with opportunities for the community and government to beat cancer together. These goals were identified through a combined process of research and community participation including local events. We held local events for community members to share their views about issues of importance to them, and then conducted an online survey to ensure even more people had a chance to have their say.

Current Campaigns
Cancer Council campaigns for better support and access to services for consumers, as well as risk prevention for the wider population. Find out the lastest news, action on issues and ways you can get involved by visiting CanAct.com.au.

Advocacy Training
Our two-day training workshop – in conjunction with Cancer Voices NSW  – is a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded people and develop your advocacy skills. We will provide you with everything you need to become active and effective advocates for improvements to cancer policies and systems. Register your interest.

Cancer Council NSW also runs free training workshops for Aboriginal community members and health workers in conjunction with The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC).  Read More.

Government Engagement
Defeating cancer requires more than just scientific and medical advancement. At times we need to convince governments to act decisively to defeat cancer. As such, making cancer a priority at a local, State and federal level is key priority.

Find out what we have said to government regarding policy development and chanes to legislation.

Get Involved
Join our CanAct Community and we will send you regular campaign updates via email and opportunities to get involved – from easy actions like writing emails and attending events through to engaging with the media and perhaps meeting with your local MP.

What’s happening in your region
Campaign for cancer issues in your region. Contact your local office today!