ONTrac at Peter Mac’s Youth Cancer Action Network accepts requests for youth participation and engagement from across the Victorian and Tasmanian cancer sectors.
The Youth Cancer Action Network is made up of young people who are empowered and supported to take on formal and informal roles as youth representatives in order to provide advice and guidance to the ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian AYA Cancer Service, the Victorian Department of Health and the broader health and community sectors on youth-related cancer programs and initiatives. The Network also supports the ongoing implementation and monitoring of ONTrac at Peter Mac’s Youth Participation Strategy. It currently comprises the Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB) and the Youth Cancer Action Advocates (YCAA).
Vic/Tas Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB)
YCAB comprises a diverse group of 12 young people diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 25 years. Together they are the collective voice responsible for providing advice and guidance to government and the broader health and community sectors on cancer policy, priorities and services affecting Victorian and Tasmanian youth.
Established in 2010, YCAB is governed by Peter Mac and closely supported by the ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service, reporting through to the Victorian Department of Health. Some of their advocacy work and achievements to date include:
- Affordable fertility preservation for young people (Sept 2012) – supported a national advocacy program that successfully lobbied for additional Medicare items for fertility procedures
- The mental health of young people with cancer (Aug 2020) – used in promoting the importance of considering mental health alongside physical health and advocating for improved access to mental health support for young people experiencing cancer.
- Co-design of the Youth Cancer Centre and two AYA rooms in the Palliative Care Unit (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)
- Co-design of an AYA room (Royal Hobart Hospital)
- Advocating for the appointment of an Education and Vocation Advisor (ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian AYA Cancer Service)
- Consulting on a range of projects focussed on improving diagnosis and treatment in paediatric and AYA oncofertility (Victorian Fertility Preservation Program, RCH Melbourne & The Royal Women’s Hospital).
- Adolescent & Young Adult Optimal Care Pathway (ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian AYA Cancer Service, Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service, Victorian Department of Health)
- Optimal Model of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Care (ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian AYA Cancer Service)
- Youth Participation Framework (ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian AYA Cancer Service)
- Thinking ahead: a guide to school, study and work for young people who have had cancer – guidance on education and vocation pathways and strategies for support across health, education and community sectors
- Getting to grips with general practice – information about the importance of primary care and guidance on how best to engage with GPs to maximise health and wellbeing
- Being ok…being you – information to support young people with cancer who identify as LGBTIQ+
- ReGenerate – an app to support young people’s post-treatment health and wellbeing featuring information, videos and youth-hosted podcasts (coming soon)