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Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Case study: Innovative ways of educating communities about cancer screening

Preston Reservoir adult education


Cancer Council Victoria and BreastScreen Victoria ran a grants project aimed at increasing participation in bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening among priority communities. To apply for a grant organisations were invited to attend a free workshop to learn about cancer screening, early detection and immunisation.

Preston Reservoir Adult Education (PRACE) attended the cancer screening workshop and successfully applied for a $1000 grant.

The strategy

PRACE developed and delivered cancer screening training materials in line with the Adult Migrant English Program English as an Additional Language program. This enabled adult English class providers to use the material to educate their students on cancer screening while they are learning English.

The sessions were delivered to small groups of students with low to medium English language skills living in the municipalities of Darebin and Yarra. Migrants who spoke Arabic, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Bosnian, Somali, Persian, Dinka, Thai, Greek, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Czech and Farsi were reached by these materials.

Each group worked at a different pace, but on average the material required 6-8 hours (spread out over different sessions) to complete, providing plenty of opportunities for students to learn about different cancer screening programs.


Evaluation was a key component of the project and they ensured to evaluate the effectiveness throughout. Students and teachers were asked to evaluate the training materials to understand how effective the materials are as a health promotion tool. The evaluation also sought to understand how the design of this resource could be improved.

They created a teacher and student evaluation form to better understand how they could improve the material. As a response to the feedback they will develop a vocabulary list which will assist students to understand the more complex terminology associated with cancer screening.

Fifty-five students indicated they had increased confidence to screen for breast cancer and 55 indicated increased confidence to screen for bowel cancer. Two students said that they planned to make an appointment for cancer screening.