Governance and Funding

The Youth Cancer Services, which receive federal funding through Canteen as well as state and territory government funding, provide specialist, age-appropriate treatment and support for young cancer patients aged 15 – 25.

The aims of the Youth Cancer Services are to:

  • provide fair and equal access for all adolescent and young adult patients across Australia, to deliver the best possible, age-appropriate care;
  • develop and implement a national program to support young people across all aspects of their lives, not just their medical care;
  • provide a national approach to care for young people with cancer, that ensures consistency of clinical care;
  • collect information about young cancer patients that will help us to continually improve services for young people with cancer;
  • actively promote access to clinical trials for young people with cancer to help improve treatment outcomes.


Governance structure

Canteen manages the national coordination and strategic directions of the Youth Cancer Services with the guidance of several expert advisory groups.


YCS Strategic Advisory Group
The YCS is governed at a national level by a Strategic Advisory Group that includes leading Australian cancer specialists, researchers, health economists, and business leaders. This group provides strategic advice and guidance to Canteen on the implementation, opportunities and risks to effectively deliver the Youth Cancer Service.

National Youth Advisory Group
At the heart of YCS governance is a National Youth Advisory Group consisting of 12 young people who have had a diagnosis of cancer. This group advises on all aspects of YCS development, delivery and evaluation, ensuring that the unique needs of young cancer patients are understood and met. Read more about youth leadership.

National Leadership Group
The National Leadership Group links the jurisdictional services to the national service administration. The National Leadership Group comprises Lead Clinicians and Service Managers from the five lead YCS sites. It is facilitated by Canteen and the YCS National Program and Service Managers to enable national consistency, coordination, and networking and knowledge sharing between services.

Dataset Advisory Group
The Dataset Advisory Group advises on the direction and priorities for collecting, linking, analysing, and publishing national AYA cancer data. The group includes some of Australia’s leading cancer epidemiologists and data experts.

Jurisdiction-level Steering Committees
Each of the lead Youth Cancer Services has a state-level Steering Committee that includes representatives from health services, state health departments, non-government organisations and the local YCS team, which governs the delivery of state/territory-wide services. Each Steering Committee is supported and informed by a Youth Advisory Group comprising representatives of local AYA patients.