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Celebrating 30 years of advocating for quality palliative care

This year Palliative Care Australia celebrates 30 years of advocating for quality palliative care for all who need it, when are where they need it. It’s an achievement we are very proud of – but one that could not have happened without the enduring support of the palliative care community. To all who have promoted and advocated for access to quality palliative care over the past 30 years, we thank you. Your support has enabled us to change the way end of life care is delivered for and accessed by people living with life-limiting conditions.

PCA launched in 1998, developing from the Australian Association for Hospice and Palliative Care Inc which started in 1991. Since then, we have not stood still, but have grown and worked with great enthusiasm to meet the needs of our community. Our voice has been critical in connecting communities with high quality palliative care services and sharing the message that palliative care is more than people may think. In doing so we’ve improved access to quality end of life care and challenged many common misconceptions about palliative care.

This year we will identify, acknowledge and celebrate the amazing dedication of all those working and volunteering in palliative care across Australia over the past 30 years. It is because of the dedication, generosity and strength of the palliative care community in Australia that we have been able to improve quality of life, so that those with a palliative care diagnosis can live well and die well.

Anyone who has lost a loved one, or is currently supporting someone who is dying, will know how valuable palliative care is to someone with a serious or life-limiting illness to assist in managing their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

While we acknowledge there is still a more to be done for palliative care to be recognised and properly funded, we wish to mark the milestones we have passed, and stay committed to our mission to influence, foster and promote the delivery of quality palliative care for all who need it, when and where they need it.

History highlights of palliative care in Australia

The commissioning of the Ross Webster report ‘Palliative care for cancer patients’ in 1983 by the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria was a defining moment for the early evolution of palliative care in Australia. Since then, palliative care services in Australia have transitioned from an informal network of enthusiasts, to a strong network that exists between specialist palliative care providers, primary generalist, primary specialist and support care providers, and the community. Up until, and following PCA’s establishment, there have been many significant milestones in the palliative care sector in Australia. A downloadable snapshot of some of the highlights of the history of palliative care in Australia are showcased in the timeline below.

Download a copy: Palliative care 30 year anniversary timeline poster - 2021

 

Many of the key historical events and milestones were reported in the 2013 Cancer Forum Journal article ‘Evolution of Palliative Care in Australia 1973-2013’ by Professor David Currow and Emeritus Professor Jane Phillips.

PCA acknowledges the dedication and commitment of all of the individuals and organisations who have worked together to improve access to, and promote the need for, palliative care in Australia.

Join the live webcast

30 Years of Impact: Insights to lead the future of Australian palliative care

PCA’s YouTube on Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 4:30pm AEDT

Palliative Care Australia, over its 30 years has seen many people contribute to the advocacy and action in palliative care. On this anniversary it is a time to reflect and speak with people who were part of that journey. PCA is producing a video to be aired on 1 December which reflects on past challenges and achievements but also looks to the future of palliative care. 

Share your story

If you or someone you know has worked for or with Palliative Care Australia and wish to share your experiences, or if you wish to commemorate achievements in the palliative care sphere in Australia within the last thirty years, please reach out to communications@palliativecare.org.au. PCA is also looking for photos that show the progress of palliative care in Australia.

Join our 30th anniversary journey

Follow our Palliative Matters blog, or Facebook or Twitter pages for regular stories, updates and memories throughout the year.

Related Links

Palliative Matters – A nurse who laid the foundation for 40 years of palliative care in Australia

National Palliative Care Service Directory

Search our directory to find palliative care providers near you.

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