A hot pink van known as 'Marjorie' is having a bright change on the way the community approaches breast cancer.
Parked at Gunditjmara Cooperative at Warrnambool's Harris Reserve until the end of the week, it is a new initiative by BreastScreen Victoria to give free breast screens to women aged 50 and over from 14-18 October.
The first 50 women to receive a mammogram will receive a free cultural screening shawl to wear during the procedure, and to take home with them.
For Indigenous woman Tarni Jones, the setup is a culturally inclusive one.
"It's great, it's in a place that's comfortable for us to come and it's been promoted for Indigenous women because Indigenous women, when they have to do something like this, they prefer to do it together," she said.
"It's in a place that's safe for us, the biggest reason women don't get breast screening done because they're afraid of what the result will be.
"But it's not going to change the result if you're not going, you need to catch this early. Our communities and our families, they depend on this, they depend on women - mothers, aunties, grandmothers - getting checked because we're the strength of the community and the strength of the family.
"My grandmother passed away at the age of 47 from breast cancer, but they didn't have breast screening then. If they had, that could have been prevented because the sooner you find out the better the treatment.
"It's not like it used to be. Women need to get out there and do it."
It was her first breast screen, she has just turned 50. She said using the cultural screening shawl made it a much more comfortable experience.
"It was a good experience. Some women are uncomfortable being completely exposed in front of a stranger," she said.
"To wear the shawl just gives you that little bit of comfort, it relieves your anxiety.
"The fact that it's made by a local artist makes it all the more beautiful and special."
The shawls, designed by local Indigenous artist Rebecca Clayton, took two years to design and make.
"The green and blue waves at the top of the painting represent Gunditjmara country, land and coast," she said in her artist statement.
"The symbol of people on the green/blue are the Gunditjmara community women. The large symbols of women across the centre of the painting are elders who have taken the lead in women's health, who have had their regular breastscreening, pap smears and other women's business consults.
"The designs on the women are a traditional Warlpiri ceremonial pattern. The colours of traditional and non-traditional colours indicate the individual journey that we all have and the way of identity, acceptance, acknowledgement and following the footsteps of local role models and leaders who take the lead in better health care choices."
Gunditjmara prevention and early intervention regional coordinator Rachael Gladman said the project was the first of its kind.
"As part of this project to improve the breast screening experience for Aboriginal women, the Pink Breast Screening Bus is at Harris Reserve every day this week until Friday lunch time," she said.
"The screening is free! It only takes 10 minutes and is with a woman. The average Victorian woman has a one in eight risk of developing breast cancer and women aged between 50 and 74 should have a breast screen every two years.
"Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal woman are all welcome."
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