Listen You Women, Your Breasts Are Precious (DVD) is the culmination of four years’ fundraising and perseverance by Bosom Buddies NT, an Alice Springs-based breast cancer support and advocacy group.

Our aims were to produce a resource for Aboriginal women in remote areas that encourages early detection and treatment, provides a better understanding of breast cancer and lets women who are diagnosed in the future know that they are not alone.

We were conscious that Aboriginal women have lower survival rates than women in mainstream society. We were also aware of the challenges regarding access to mammography screening and of being away from family and community for prolonged treatment and diagnostic processes. With access to screening an issue, Aboriginal women often present with cancer at a later stage. Those who are diagnosed often do not continue with cancer treatment.


So, five strong Arrernte, Anmatjere and Alyawarre women stepped forward and shared their experiences of diagnosis, treatment and being away from their families. They give strong messages about breast health awareness and encourage others who will face a diagnosis of breast cancer in the future.

They envisioned having the DVD translated into other languages. The English version was translated into Warlpiri, Pitjantjatjara, Anmatjerre and Arrernte. More amazing women carried out this translation work, which presented challenges in explaining unfamiliar medical concepts such as radiotherapy and words such as “malignant.”

The project was tirelessly supported by Remote Area Women’s Health Educator Sandra McElligott and Director/Editor Gaby Mason and Producer/Photographer Lotte Waters, both of MW Creative.

“They have shown courage, resilience and commitment to give strong messages about breast health awareness, and to give hope and encouragement to others who will face a diagnosis of breast cancer in the future”

Listen You Women, Your Breasts Are Precious was made possible through the financial and in-kind support of organisations and community groups in Central Australia: the Centrecorp Foundation, CAAMA Productions, Yeperenye Shopping Centre, the Rotary Club of Mbantua, Bosom Buddies NT, MW Creative and recently Estee Lauder. We would also like to thank the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC), who gave permission to include animation footage.

Lesley Reilly, President Bosom Buddies NT, Australia



2012 NAIDOC Awards – Community Service Achievement category

The 2012 Community Service Achievement category was awarded to Kathleen Wallace, Dawn Ross, Jenny Mahoney, Marlene Doolan and Rita Nangala Dixon for helping raise awareness of breast cancer in Indigenous communities and their support of other women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Photo Above: L-R. Lesley Reilly, Dawn Ross, Marlene Doolan, Sandy McElligott and Kathleen Wallace at the NAIDOC Awards in Alice Springs

2012 Finalist in National Awards – Excellence in Indigenous Health Awards for Improving Access to Primary Health Care.

The awards were held in conjunction with the Improving Social Determinants of Indigenous Health Conference held in Sydney.

“Congratulations and thankyou for creating a wonderful resource I have used it in education sessions with Aboriginal Women and the delight on their faces when listening to information in their own language was just magical…”