Support services for carers

Cancer information for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People

Help and support can help make the life of a carer easier. The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some services are free, but others may have a cost. Talk to the social worker at the treatment centre or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out what services are available.  

Carer services and resources

Aboriginal Cancer Journeys is a book of stories from Aboriginal people and carers about living with a cancer diagnosis. You can download it by clicking here. (PDF 550Kb) Click here to see more stories from Aboriginal people living with cancer.

Carers Australia

Represents Australia’s carers and can help with referrals, counselling and support. Carers Associations are available in each state and territory and run support groups for carers. Call 1800 242 636  or visit Looking After Ourselves is a training resource for people who want to work with Aboriginal carers to help maintain their health and wellbeing. This kit includes a DVD that covers how Aboriginal carers can take breaks and look after their own wellbeing. Call 1800 242 636  or visit  to find out more.

National Carer Counselling Program (NCCP)

Offers short-term counselling for carers. The program is delivered by qualified, professional counsellors either in person, by telephone, one-on-one or in a group. The NCCP service is run by your local Carers Association. Call 1800 242 636

Young Carers

Supports young people caring for a parent who is physically or mentally ill. Run by Carers Australia, the program offers support and information. Call 1800 242 636    or visit



Better Access initiative

Medicare-subsidised referral to psychological counselling through your GP. Click here for more information.


Offers a 24-hour telephone counselling service. Online and email counselling are available 7 days a week. Call 1300 22 4636   or visit

Kids Helpline

A telephone and online counselling service and crisis support for young people aged 5–25. Call 1800 55 1800 or visit


A 24-hour telephone crisis support and suicide prevention service. Call 13 11 14  or visit

Cancer Council’s peer support programs

Communities of people affected by cancer that you can connect with online, by phone or in person. Call 13 11 20 Information and Support.


Equipment and aids

Independent Living Centres Australia

Offers advice on a range of products and services to help with aspects of day-to- day living, including mobility, sleeping, eating and transport. Call 1300 885 886


Legal and financial assistance and advice


Offers financial support for people with a long-term illness and for primary carers. Visit

Financial Counselling Australia

Offers information about financial counselling and help to find a qualified counsellor. Call 1800 007 007   or visit  financialcounsellingaustralia.

Cancer Council Pro Bono Program

Supports people affected by cancer who need legal or financial advice. Call 13 11 20


Home help

Call your local council Some local councils provide a range of community and in-home services, such as Meals on Wheels or respite care. If you have a palliative care team, they can organise home help for you.

Home nursing

Talk to your palliative care team and/or your private health fund Home nursing can be organised as part of your palliative care. Private services are also available.

Respite care

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres

Available at home, in a respite care centre or, in some cases, a hospital or hospice. Call 1800 052 222 during business hours Call 1800 059 059 for emergency respite


Support groups

Face-to-face groups

It can help to meet with others who understand what it is like to have cancer. You may be reluctant to share your story or listen to other people’s, but many people find that they benefit from the close bonds with others. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 Contact your hospital social worker to see if they run any support groups.

Telephone support groups

Provide a chance to connect with others over the phone. There are groups for advanced cancer and for carers. Click here to find out more information. Call Cancer Council 13 11 20

Online discussion groups

People can connect with each other at any time, ask or answer questions, or write a blog of their experiences. Visit


Learn more about cancer

You may find it helpful to learn more about cancer. Having a better understanding of treatments and services may give you more confidence when speaking to health care professionals. You can call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for Information and Support.