Community ambassador program

Coping with cancer: What you need to know and where to get help 

The Community Ambassador Program is an initiative of the NEMICS Consumer Reference GroupThe consumer reference group (CRG) comprises nine people, each whom have a personal cancer experience and a passion to help improve outcomes for people living with cancer in this region.

In an effort to increase health literacy and broader community awareness of the range of cancer supports available and how people can be better equipped to access information and support, CRG members assisted in the development of the Community Ambassador Program.

The program provides trained volunteer speakers to present to community groups and organisations. The content of the presentation ‘Coping with cancer – what to know and where to get help’ is based on the experiences of consumers who have learnt firsthand how helpful it can be to know what information and supports are available and how to access such things to help cope with the impact of cancer.

Research indicates people with cancer who receive information and help with psychological and social issues have been shown to demonstrate lower rates of anxiety, mood disorders and physical symptoms such as pain and nausea, and significantly greater knowledge about their disease and treatment.

Ray Kelly, a community ambassador and an active member of the CRG, has been instrumental in delivering the presentation at many of the local Probus clubs in our region. Having being diagnosed and treated with several cancers, as well as a strong history of cancer in the family, Ray is well familiar with dealing with health professionals and cancer health services. He is also a very keen advocate of sharing with others the useful tips that he has learnt along the way.  Audiences consistently feedback that the material presented is informative, helpful, interesting and inspirational.

“Being involved in such a program ensures that the experiences I endured during my own cancer battles, along with the processes I went through, can be put to good use in assisting present and future consumers”.

A very big thank you to Ray for the time he voluntarily provides to NEMICS and the community for sharing his knowledge and such an honest insight into his own experiences of living with cancer.

Recent presentations have been conducted at Ivanhoe Men’s, Donview Heights, Knox and Nillumbik Probus Clubs, as well as at the YMCA Macleod (who by  way of thanks made a kind donation to the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre at Austin Health, in memory of past group members).

Ray with members of the Wendouree Men's Shed


Coping with Cancer: Community Ambassador Presentation

View an example of the presentation below, conducted at the North Balwyn Men's Probus Club meeting on Tuesday 9th August 2016.


For more information on becoming involved with NEMICS as a community ambassador or having the Coping with Cancer presentation conducted at your group/organisation, please contact:
Anna Mascitti
Service Improvement Facilitator - Coordinated Care & Consumer Engagement
Ph 9496 3261

print text size increase