National Palliative Care Week 2023 - 'Matters of Life and Death'

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National Palliative Care Week 2023 - 'Matters of Life and Death'

National Palliative Care Week runs, 21 May to 27 May 2023 and aims to put ‘Matters of Life and Death’ front and centre in Australia’s consciousness. Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer at Palliative Care Australia (PCA) says, “We understand that death and dying is a difficult subject to talk about and engage with, but this year we have some powerful voices joining the campaign to inspire and start important conversations.”

“The ‘people at the heart of quality palliative care’ – our workforce and volunteers, have opened their hearts to share the life lessons they learn everyday as they provide care and support to people and families living with a life limiting illness.

“The vibrant video and social media campaign that is central to the week will also allow us all to show our appreciation for the doctors, nurses, physios, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians, volunteers and the many others who contribute to the person-centred team approach to palliative care.”

Adding further weight to our message is the world premiere of ‘Live the life you please’, a powerful documentary produced by Moonshine Agency. The film delves into the stories of real people from across the country, sharing their personal experiences of palliative care. The film will make you smile, laugh, laugh harder and occasionally shed a tear as this diverse range of Australians share the last chapter of their life with us. 

“National Palliative Care Week and the stories we’ll share will open the door on the full scope and impact of palliative care and the quality of life it delivers. I hope it provides a moment of reflection for all Australians to think about and plan for the last chapter of life,” Ms Rowland says.  

Film screenings and a host of other events will make for a busy NPCW around the country. A full list of events can be found below as well as a range tools to help grow awareness of palliative care.  Getting involved and showing your support for palliative care and the people who deliver it is as easy as sharing your story on social media using #MattersOfLifeAndDeath. 

“Whether you are receiving palliative care, looking after someone or know someone who is receiving care, we encourage you to share your experience and break down those taboos,” Ms Rowland says.  The advice, tools, and support below have been pulled together to support those working and volunteering in palliative care and help anyone and everyone better understand palliative care and how to access it.  

You will also find some great resources to start end-of-life conversations and record those wishes and plans.  Please make the most of the communication and marketing assets below to show your support and help amplify the message.  

Thanks again, got a question? Email 


See what's happening in your state or territory


National movie screenings

Advice for you

Other advice, tools and support

Quick links to more info

Join the conversation

The new ELDAC – End of Life Directions for Aged Care Managing Risk Toolkit is designed for health professionals and care staff providing care for older Australians living in residential care with advanced life limiting illnesses.

The toolkit focuses on three areas of risk for residents:
➡️ Nutrition and hydration
➡️ Medication management and
➡️ Transfers of residents between care settings.

It includes printable factsheets which can be shared with residents and their families. Explore the resource and share with your network here ➡️


New episode of Thursdays@3 – Kathy Langley and life with “three diseases in one” 🧡

A very real and personal conversation today exploring the impact of the rare Huntington’s Disease, and what the palliative care sector needs to know – what we all need to know.

Kathy Langley’s family lives with the faulty gene that causes Huntington’s Disease and understands the disease all too well.

Kathy joins us from her home in regional Victoria, click play to join the conversation.

Show notes and more information:

🧡 Watch Kathy’s YouTube explainer 👉
🧡 Connect with Huntington’s Australia 👉
🧡 Find support with the Huntington’s Disease Network of Australia – HDNA 👉
🧡 Make a donation towards Huntington’s Disease research 👉
🧡 Need someone to talk to? Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

You will find advice, tools, and support with ‘matters of life and death’ at the Palliative Care Australia website where you can also make a donation to support our work.

*Trigger warning – this episode includes discussion of suicide



New research from Macquarie University adds weight to growing calls for better access to home based care and supports for people with life-limiting illness.

Their study of cancer patients found that those with limited access to community-based care were more likely to end up in their local ED and die in acute care settings.

“This is about recognising some of the signs and symptoms of the end of life and taking a more comfort-based approach at that point, rather than trying to provide treatments that are not going to result in improvement in their condition and may instead reduce their quality of life at the end of their life,” says Professor Rebecca Mitchell, lead author of the research.

More about the research 👉

PCA’s 2024 Federal Budget Submission also seeks to increase access to at home care for the majority of Australians who would prefer to spend their final months and weeks in their community, read here 👉



Happy Mardi Gras to our friends in the LGBTIQ+ community! We stand with you to celebrate your uniqueness, strength, love, and fabulousness!

Part of our commitment to you is increasing awareness about the delivery of palliative care that is respectful and supportive of LGBTIQ+ people.

Our partners at LGBTIQ+ Health Australia have developed a free online training program to support those working in aged care and palliative care do just that ➡️

To learn more, you can also watch our PCA Connect webinar ‘Embracing Inclusion: Providing Supportive Palliative Care for LGBTIQ+ Communities’ ➡️


Over 70% of Australians say they’d like to die at home, however estimates suggest only between 4 and 14% of people get to fulfil that wish.

New research from Silverchain and QUT (Queensland University of Technology) will explore the barriers to accessing the level of palliative care needed to die comfortably at home.

The research is being undertaken by QUT PhD student Norah Elvidge, “many people, carers and health providers are uncomfortable or underprepared for the concept of dying at home,” she says.

“Ultimately I would like to see the research contribute to the development of strategies that improve end-of-life experiences and outcomes.”

More about the research ➡️

PCA’s 2024 Federal Budget Submission also seeks to increase access to at home care, share with your network ➡️

📸 QUT PhD student Norah Elvidge



Tasmanians are being encouraged to have an ‘Awkward Conversation’.

Our friends at Palliative Care Tasmania have launched a bold new campaign to prompt conversations about Advance Care Planning including advice around lodging an Advance Care Directive.

“While the prospect of discussing health care and end -of- life wishes may be uncomfortable at first, the benefits of having these conversations far outweigh any initial discomfort. In Tasmania, an Advance Care Directive is a powerful tool that legally ensures your values, beliefs, and treatment preferences are respected and followed when you are unable to communicate them yourself,” say Veney Hiller, CEO of Palliative Care Tasmania.

Tasmanians can find out more ➡️

Each state and territory has its own requirements around Advance Care Planning, find out more through Advance Care Planning Australia ➡️