Collaboration targets better palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 

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Collaboration targets better palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities 

Palliative care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are in the spotlight through a new advertising campaign and ongoing advocacy from the health sector.  

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) hopes the ‘More Than You Think’ campaign will prompt conversations and connect people to end of life care and support.   

Ads across First Nations news media during September and locally available printed information, form part of the campaign funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.   

“More Than You Think – challenges some of those misconceptions people have and highlights the life to be lived while people engage with palliative care,” says Camilla Rowland, CEO of Palliative Care Australia.  

“The campaign helps communities tap into the support that is currently available and builds awareness of some to the questions this stage of life can prompt, but our friends in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector tell us that much more needs to be done.  

“PCA has engaged with a group of Aboriginal health leaders to create the ‘Palliative Care Yarning Circle’ to offer advice on existing programs and consider next steps. It’s important to us that this work is led and shaped by the people it seeks to serve.  

“First Nations communities require special attention. There are cultural sensitivities around death that need to be understood for culturally appropriate palliative care to be provided. Spirituality, cultural protocols, rituals, and ceremony, all form significant parts of the journey,” Ms Rowland says.    

Complementing the ‘More Than You Think’ advertising campaign and PCA’s ongoing advocacy is the grassroots work of the Indigenous Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (IPEPA), Caring@Home, and the Gwandalan Palliative Care Project 

“PCA supports the work of these national projects through advisory mechanisms and promotions.  Currently PCA is working with the Gwandalan team to expand the resources available to communities,” Ms Rowland says.  

Palliative Care Australia also offers a range of free tools and learning opportunities focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country. Those resources can be accessed by anyone in the community via the Palliative Care Australia website.  

“Apart from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities receiving culturally safe and more accessible palliative care, the learnings gathered offer a richness for the wider community to share in,” Ms Rowland says.  

Check the More Than You Think website for more information.   

15 September, 2022