People we serve

  • People with cancer and or chronic illness and their carers
  • Bereaved family members
  • The general public in the Chinese community who would like to have access to resources on cancer and or chronic disease as well as related community services
  • The general public who are interested in gaining experiences in volunteer work
  • Mainstream service providers who require consultation

Who runs our services

The Society is run primarily by a volunteer workforce from all walks of life. With the support of paid professional staff trained in social work, community service and counselling, the Society provides a raft of services that help cancer and or chronic illness sufferers to improve their quality of life. Currently, CCCIS has over 50 volunteers working on a part-time/casual basis, and one full-time volunteer managing the Society. CCCIS draws on the personal experiences and skills of their volunteers and provides on-going training to their volunteer staff.  Small grants are also offered to volunteers who require further training externally.

Services we offer

The Society works as a team, offering a range of programs and services including:

1. Education and information

Diagnosis of cancer and chronic illnesses always comes as a great shock, leading to anxiety and sometimes, a perceived fear of being stigmatised. Information is, therefore, vital in helping sufferers and their family members make informed decisions on treatment issues along with survival plans. Community education seminars and Farewell Wishes workshops are held on a regular basis to make life easier for cancer and or chronic illness sufferers, their family members and carers. A “Farewell Wishes Booklet” in English and Chinese can be obtained free of charge from the office. Please obtain further information from the RESOURCES on this website.

Information displays are put up at cultural festivals and community expos. The Society also has its website and newsletters providing additional means for communication among group members and the wider community. It also has a small library with multi-media resources.

2. Group programs

CCCIS support group meetings and recreational activities such as festival celebrations, and outings provide opportunities for sufferers to share experiences in a friendly environment, and discuss matters openly that are considered taboo in the wider community. CCCIS volunteers also ferry frail sufferers who do not have their own transport to attend support group meetings and other functions.

Currently, 5 cancer support groups meet in 3 different locations in Melbourne. There are also a Parkinson' s Disease Support Group and a Wellbeing Group in St Albans.

3. One-on-one support

The Society’s Family Support Team staff and volunteers reach out to cancer sufferers who are isolated, terminally ill, or those who have special needs. Support includes home visits and  WEEKLY outreach to Box Hill Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre oncology units. Practical assistance such as cooking and loans for wheelchairs/walking frames are offered upon request. Case management helping clients navigating the health and welfare systems and culturally appropriate counselling sessions are provided by qualified professionals.

Bereavement support and counselling are also offered to bereaved families.

CCCIS also offers internet and phone support to keep service-users stay connected.

The flexibility of CCCIS volunteers working after hours enables greater contact with clients and provide much-needed help to those who are in need. At times, people who approach CCCIS do not wish to disclose their illness or identity due to cultural beliefs and stigmas. We offer visiting service as an option to work with our clients.

4. Peer-Connect

Cancer and or chronic illness sufferers and carers who are in similar situations are matched to connect with each other for mutual support. Research has demonstrated that sharing with someone who has gone through a similar experience can help reduce some of the anxieties and fear associated with the illness.

5. Newsletters

CCCIS newsletters- HOPE feature cancer and chronic illness sufferers’ experiences which serve as a bridge between the Society and its members and service users.