The Cancer Council has teamed up with Indigenous artist Riki Salam to launch its first sun protection collection featuring a First Nations artwork.
The limited-edition swimwear collection features Salam's 'Journey of Hope' artwork and aims to encourage discussions and awareness around how cancer impacts Indigenous communities.
According to Cancer Australia data, cancer is the second most common cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are 43% more likely to die from the disease than other Australians, despite similar overall cancer incidence.
The collection forms part of the Cancer Council's Reconciliation Action Plan, with every element of the range conceived to reflect the organisation’s commitment to engaging with Indigenous communities to help prevent and treat cancer.
Cancer Council Australia CEO Tanya Buchanan welcomed the collaboration with Salam.
"Cancer Council recognises the importance of understanding the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer, so it made sense to work in partnership with Riki Salam to help address these health concerns with the broader Australian community.
"Anyone can develop skin cancer, so as we approach the Australian summer, we are reminding Aussies to protect their skin from overexposure to UV," she said.
Salam's Journey of Hope artwork begins at the centre of the artwork, at the ceremony circle, the yarning circle.
At the same time, the ‘U’ shaped symbols represent people seated around a campfire, and the daffodil shape represents Cancer Council.
The pathways that lead into the circle are the roads that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people travel along from all different regions across Australia from urban to regional, rural and remote communities on their ‘Journey of Hope’ to find the best possible cancer treatment.
The dots represent people and their families who travel with them, and the circles below represent woven baskets held by the community to support all people suffering.
Speaking on the collaboration, Salam said the partnership embodies what reconciliation is about.
"Journey of Hope focuses on telling the story of Cancer Council being an organisation that Indigenous communities can trust and seek support to help them and their loved ones through their cancer journey.
"Essentially, this is what reconciliation is about.
"Bringing all those parties together and understanding one another and our stories.
"We all have an important story, and whether that story is about that journey of going through something traumatic as having cancer, or whether it’s supporting somebody through that journey.
"Cancer is not an easy topic to talk about, so the Journey of Hope collection aims to share these stories with the greater Australian audience, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and demonstrate a simple way of getting involved to start the conversation and support First Nation communities with their cancer journeys," he said.
The collaboration collection features a 15-piece swimwear collection including a range of rashies and paddle suits for men, women and kids.
It is available now from the Cancer Council and retails for between $42 and $62.
Journey of Hope - Riki Salam