Listen you women,
your breasts are precious


Five Aboriginal women from Central Australian communities share their stories of diagnosis, treatment, support and recovery from Breast Cancer…


Our aim was to produce a culturally appropriate resource for Aboriginal women from traditional communities and encourage early detection and treatment…


Werlatye Ayeye (Breast Story)

by Kathleen Wallace

“Women’s breasts are precious because they hold the milk for our babies, and for cultural reasons. This is the story of my painting:

There were two sisters. They used to hunt around, but first they used to paint their breasts with red ochre and white clay. They were really proud of their breasts, and the decorative painting of their breasts drew attention from other women. Those other women asked if they could paint their breasts, too. More women began creating songs and dances and from that time on, all women do ceremonial dancing with their breasts painted. All of the different language groups have their own markings for their breast paintings and dreaming songs. This is a story from my mother’s father’s country.”

© Artwork & Text, Kathleen Wallace, Keringke Arts

“I was invited to be part of the DVD because I am a survivor. I am passionate about helping other Aboriginal women to look after their health and wellbeing by being aware of Breast Cancer. When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I hadn’t checked myself because I felt good, I had no symptoms; but by good luck I was asked if I wanted to have a mammogram which was being offered for free at Alukura, Alice Springs, by National Breast Screening. They found it.”

My message is: “Even if you feel good and not feeling sick, check your breasts because you don’t have to be feeling sick or sore to have breast cancer!”

Dawn Ross, Course Coordinator/Lecturer, Family Wellbeing, Batchelor Institute, Alice Springs

“Many people are afraid of cancer and think it’s a death sentence or that only white women get breast cancer; some people think you can catch it or that a person gets sick from ‘Aboriginal business’.”