Survivors Teaching Students® is a volunteer program that brings the faces and voices of ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers into the classrooms of health professional students to teach them about women’s experiences with the disease.

ANZGOG’S focus during the COVID-19 crisis is the health and safety of all our STS volunteers. We have therefore paused all live face-to-face presentations on all campuses across Australia. With the support of volunteers and universities, we are continuing our STS program online.

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To learn more about our upcoming training or information sessions, please view the google calendar and email Elise Ackland ( if you have any questions.

What is STS?

Survivors Teaching Students (STS) was developed by the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance in the United States in 2002 and has since been adapted for Canada and the UK. ANZGOG is pleased to be leading the program in Australia.

Survivors through their own personal experiences are in a unique position to help students become more sensitive to the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer so that when they go into practice they can diagnose women sooner and save lives. Our goal is to increase the number of health care providers who recognize the risk factors and symptoms of ovarian cancer so that the disease is detected earlier.

Over 1000 volunteers around the world can personally attest to the fact that it is one of the most empowering things a survivor or caregiver can do.

How does it work?

STS brings ovarian cancer survivors and carers into the classrooms to share their experiences of symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and provide key information on the disease.

What are the benefits?

The program provides a critical opportunity to teach future medical, nursing and health professionals about the importance of detecting and diagnosing ovarian cancer, and the importance of research and clinical trials to develop new treatments and improve outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian and other gynaecological cancers.

“STS has taught me what to look out for in terms of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and even more importantly it has taught me how to approach a patient with cancer and interact in a way that is sensitive, compassionate and understanding.” Yr 4 medical 2019

Hundreds of women across the world speak to medical, nursing and health professional students as volunteers with Survivors Teaching Students. Like them, you may find that sharing your story not only makes an impact on other women’s lives, but is an incredibly rewarding experience for you.

“STS is an incredible program that benefits both the students and the speakers. The women and caregivers are given a public forum for catharsis, they form bonds and learn that although their own experience is unique, there are other women who understand. The process is empowering and fulfilling, giving a forum for our powerful message. We want the ovarian cancer message to spread and to stay with people. As a doctor I know the benefit of teaching through patient experience. Hearing someone share their journey, the ups and the downs is an emotive experience that stays with you long after the knowledge gained in a textbook.“ STS Survivor and Presenter

How do I join the program?

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the Survivors Teaching Students program please email STS National Manager, Dr Helen Gooden


The ANZGOG: Survivors Teaching Students project is a Cancer Australia Supporting people with cancer Grant initiative, funded by the Australian Government.

The program is affiliated with Ovarian Cancer Australia to extend reach and under licence to ANZGOG from OCRA in the USA.