Sony Foundation You Can Centre

Located on Level 1 of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), the Sony You Can Centre was designed with input from young cancer patients as their own support and social space. 

Opened in 2016 by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, the centre caters specifically to young people aged 15 to 25 years – the group least catered for in healthcare.

The fitout co-locates hubs for gaming, studying, music, eating and chilling out with clinical and social support spaces, allowing young people dealing with cancer to connect, share stories and normalise their experiences.

The centre was brought to life through a $1.5 million donation from Sony Foundation to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, which treats about 500 young patients every year. The Sony Foundation established the You Can program in 2010 to help fund specialised youth cancer centres around Australia.

The Centre helps young people get the support they need to continue on with their lives while dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment – which can be acutely traumatic during a person’s formative years.

Dale Fisher, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Chief Executive

The Centre helps young people get the support they need to continue on with their lives while dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment – which can be acutely traumatic during a person’s formative years.

Dale Fisher, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Chief Executive

Designing for a variety of personality types and cultural backgrounds required a layered approach to spatial planning, weaving a mix of small to large, inclusive to private spaces. Materials and forms differ from other clinical areas within the VCCC, with furnishings and fixtures chosen for texture and comfort, incorporating local, handmade elements.

Curved timber walls encapsulate ‘pods’ for individuals or small groups. These are enabled with the latest Sony technology that helps users connect to their outside lives. The pods are also equipped with adjustable lighting, sound and privacy controls, empowering these young people to regulate their environment.

Along with the social spaces and a fully-equipped kitchen, the You Can Centre includes four outpatient consultation rooms, a multidisciplinary video conference and meeting room, four inpatient rooms and a six-bed chemotherapy bay, so young patients can be treated alongside each other.

It makes the cancer journey a positive one. It’s like we have a place, we have a space, and we’re not being swept under the rug as adults.

Jess Van Zeil, 23-year-old patient at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Student Spaces

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The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics Student Spaces

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