The Beautiful Shawl Project implementation model now available

Vicki Walker (left) and Shelley Atkinson (right) during The Beautiful Shawl Project visit to Njernda in 2021. Shawl artwork ‘Winyarr Malka’ (Woman Shield) by Alkina Edwards, Yorta Yorta, Wemba Wemba, Mutti Mutti and Wiradjuri.

The Beautiful Shawl Project is a VicHealth award-winning initiative, driven by the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and steered by Aboriginal organisations.

A new publication about the project, The Beautiful Shawl Implementation Model has been published to support organisations to develop cultural screening shawls and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

A community-led and culturally safe initiative

The Beautiful Shawl Project is a community-led partnership between BreastScreen Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) across Victoria.

As part of the project, our mobile screening service visit Aboriginal communities and group bookings are arranged at local clinics to deliver free breast screening in a culturally safe environment. All women who screen receive a free cultural screening shawl designed by a local Aboriginal artist to wear during their screen and take home with them. The shawls are designed to make women feel more comfortable, respected and safe. The project has visited 19 ACCOs since it started in October 2018 and 640 screens have been provided to Aboriginal women.

The Beautiful Shawl Implementation Model

The Beautiful Shawl Implementation Model has recently been published to support other organisations implement cultural screening shawls and engagement with Aboriginal communities. The guiding principles may also support engagement with other communities who face barriers to health screening.

For more information, please visit The Beautiful Shawl Project on VACCHO's website.