My exposure to palliative care began back in 2016 when my wife reached the end stage of her illness (pancreatic cancer). I must confess that my knowledge of palliative care was woefully inadequate at that time. As events unfolded, my knowledge of the subject increased and by the time my wife died, I had a fairly good grasp of the subject.
Since that time, I have become involved in a number of different activities in and around the palliative care space, serving on numerous committees and consumer groups with a range of institutions including a major Melbourne hospital, Safer Care Victoria and a group of palliative care/research bodies based at the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS).
I have also branched out into involvement with other institutions covering the areas of medical research, clinical trials, and voluntary assisted dying, thereby giving me a range of activities pretty much covering the whole medical spectrum.
My work background was in Information Technology, where I gained vast experience in programming, systems and business analysis, and applications testing across an extensive range of industries, applications, and platforms. This has proved to be a very useful attribute with regard to my involvement in the health sector.
I have two main aims within the area of palliative care: The first is to do what I can to inform the general public as to what it actually is and the potential benefits it offers and the second is to strive to get palliative care more involved at an earlier stage in patients’ trajectories than is currently the case.
I am hopeful that my membership of Palliative Care Australia’s national consumer panel will help to facilitate this.