Health updates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Have your say about breast cancer screening

The BreastScreen Australia (BSA) Program is under review to make sure Australian women get the highest quality breast cancer screening and information.

How you can get involved:

  • Complete our online survey – share your thoughts and responses to our questions on the Consultation Hub by 20 February 2024.
  • Join the Partner Reference Group – to get regular updates and learn how you can get involved in future public consultations, please email
  • Join our Expert Advisory Group – seeking an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander for an Expert Advisory Group to support the BSA review. If you are interested please email

Are you 50 years old or over? Shield yourself from shingles

If you’ve had chickenpox before, you can get shingles.

It can be really nasty; especially if you’re older or if your immune system is weak.

The good news is, there’s a safe and effective vaccine that can protect you from Shingles. It’s free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years or older.

Have a yarn with your health professional about your eligibility for the free vaccine today.

Find out more at 

Is it time for a bowel cancer screening test?

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia. People can get bowel cancer without any family history or symptoms. The good news is there is a simple test that can be done at home to find early signs of bowel cancer. If found early, almost all bowel cancers can be treated.

If you’re 50 to 74 years old, it’s important to do the free bowel cancer screening test to stay healthy and strong for yourself, your family and your mob. Do the test as soon as it arrives in the mail or talk to your health professional about getting the test.

Have questions? Check out this FAQ guide made by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

You can also learn more about the test by visiting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website.

Where to find COVID-19 information

There are a few ways to find advice and information about COVID-19.

Healthdirect is the best place to find out about symptoms, testing, recovery and long COVID.

Service Finder can help you find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in Australia and book an appointment. You can also filter by telehealth and accessibility needs.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, use Healthdirect’s Symptom Checker to find out if you need medical help.

If you feel unwell or need COVID-19 advice for someone in your care, speak to a nurse by calling Healthdirect on 1800 022 222. It’s available 24/7.

If you develop symptoms such as severe shortness of breath or chest pain, call triple zero (000) straight away.