Palliative Care Australia

Click to expand navigation

Print Page Print this page

Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country

Warning: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware that this page may contain the (images/voices/names) of people who have passed away. It includes discussion on “death and dying”, “finishing up”, “sorry or sad business” or “sorry camps”, and “palliative care”.

Launched in NAIDOC Week 2021, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is proud to bring you, Having a Yarn – Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country to continue the important and uncomfortable, yet necessary discussion on ‘death and dying’ within the context of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities.

This informative and insightful discussion provides ‘food for thought’ on the importance of palliative care and end-of-life discussions for anybody, regardless of cultural background and age. Further, it offers cultural learnings about our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, their traditions, and how we can all contribute to supporting these as part of a larger diverse community.

Why do we need these discussions?

When we are talking ‘Final Footprints’, we are talking about taking that last part of our journey. We know this can be a difficult conversation to have, especially for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, as for them, talking about ‘death, dying or sorry business’, can feel like they are ‘tempting fate’. However, to feel empowered and ensure our end-of-life wishes are respected, we need to somehow bring ourselves to reflect on what matters most to us, have discussions with our loved ones/decision-makers, and have our wishes recorded as part of an Advance Care Plan (also known as Advance Care Directive or Advance Personal Plan in different States and Territories).

Having a Yarn – Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country

Hosted by ABC presenter Dan Bourchier, this video includes the launch of a brief (12 minutes) video, developed in collaboration with Palliative Care South Australia.

Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country

This is followed by a warm and open discussion with an expert panel to explore:

  • the importance of country, and being on country, especially near the end of one’s life
  • the use of ‘death and dying’ language in our communities and why it is uncomfortable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to talk about this
  • family/kinship and decision-makers
  • why we should encourage our ‘mob’ to express their ‘finishing up’ wishes and talk about palliative care while they are well
  • Advance Care Plans or Advance Personal Plans – what they are and how they can help
  • how the traditional ways and ‘modern’ (or western medical ways) may co-exist in today’s society.

The expert panel members share their cultural knowledge and experiences across various nations. The speakers are:

  • Cindy Paardekooper, a Kokatha woman from the far west coast of South Australia. Cindy is an Aboriginal Consultant for Palliative Care Education, Aboriginal employment and Aboriginal workforce development, and has worked extensively in the National Program of Experience in the Palliative Care Approach Program and Palliative Care in the Northern Territory and South Australia; and is the South Australian Health representative on the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Palliative Care Advisory Group. Cindy has a strong desire to support and advocate for Aboriginal people, their families, and communities to achieve improved life outcomes and maintain strong connections to culture, kin, and country.
  • Jonathan Dodson-Jauncey, a Yawuru man from Broome in the Kimberley and based in Darwin, Northern Territory. Jonathan is a consultant with expertise in palliative care, health promotion, preventable chronic disease, and community development. He is currently president of Palliative Care Northern Territory and former manager of the National Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach for the Northern Territory.
  • Kathryn Hooper, a proud Worimi woman and representing the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), honours a holistic and culturally safe approach to achieving optimal health and well-being for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People and communities. Kathryn’s career in nursing started at the age of 16 and she has since found her passion in palliative care, dedicating her career to improving acceptance and uptake of palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Kathryn is currently an endorsed Nurse Practitioner, working at St Vincent’s Hospital in Brisbane and is undertaking a Masters of Philosophy at QUT and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Trauma and Recovery Practice at the University of Wollongong.

We hope the video gives you confidence and support to have discussions on your end-of-life wishes early, so that your wishes can be respected and implemented, if and when necessary.

Having a Yarn – Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country

For more resources to assist you on how to have these conversations, visit:

This is a specific ‘hands-on’ resource for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples to guide you to start thinking, reflecting, and working out what is important for you and how to have a ‘yarn’ with your family so your end-of-life wishes are respected. It was developed in partnership by PCA and Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM), Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association (AIDA) and Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA). It will help you prepare so that you know what you want to say and it will provide you with tips about how to start talking. You may also want to look at the Discussion Cards to help you identify what is important to you.

National Palliative Care Service Directory

Search our directory to find palliative care providers near you.

Find a service provider

Register your service

 

 

Palliative Matters

READ MORE

News and Events

READ MORE

Resources

READ MORE