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From Palliative Care Australia Palliative Matters Stories about living, dying and Palliative Care


  1. To focus on the needs of others brings great pleasure and relief

    28 June 2017

    Having spent 11 years working as a volunteer for Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Robin Downs is very clear about who benefits most from her unpaid work. The 76-year-old, who wears bright colours and a cheery demeanour when visiting patients, tried to move away from Melbourne a few years ago. She missed her volunteer work so much that she came back.

  2. Winning haiku shines with wisdom, reflecting value in volunteering

    9 June 2017

    The death of his grandfather and a decline in his grandmother’s health inspired 22-year-old student, Joel Raymond, to learn more about death and dying and its impact on other families. Through volunteer work, he has contributed to many patients and families receiving palliative care, gaining insights that shine in his winning poem, crafted for a competition during National Palliative Care Week.

  3. Volunteer who sings from the heart rewarded with valuable life lessons

    5 June 2017

    Having served as a palliative care volunteer for 20 years, maybe it’s not surprising that Doreen Robinson thinks constantly – but not morbidly – of death.

  4. Interior designer volunteers to make ward uplifting and homely

    22 February 2017

    Interior design student Shannon Jones is fundraising to revamp the palliative care ward at a Brisbane hospital. She plans to make it a more comfortable and uplifting environment for patients and their families, and staff.

  5. Walking and talking helps bereaved to process grief

    16 February 2017

    For people grieving the loss of a loved one, a simple program that enables them to walk and talk with trained volunteers is making a difference.

  6. From little things, big things grow; how moving stories sprouted from salvaged seedlings

    16 February 2017

    An inspired effort to save tree seedlings gives palliative care patients a sense of purpose while in hospital.

  7. Having baked for royalty and blocked floods, Joe loves his unpaid job

    31 January 2017

    Joe Stanioch has worked as a volunteer at Bear Cottage children’s hospice in Sydney for about 13 years. In that time he has made lamingtons for a royal visit, saved the hospice from flooding and stood in as chief cook.

  8. Making a dying parent’s life as good as possible; experiences of a teenage carer

    24 November 2016

    As a teenager Kathryn Dwan devoted six months of her life to caring for her father as he died of AIDS following a blood transfusion in the 1980s. She shares the impact that caring had on her, as a teenager and later as an adult, and how her simple acts of love contributed to her father’s spiritual and emotional wellbeing.

  9. Providing palliative care for people who are homeless; attempting to break down barriers

    7 October 2016

    Katrina Recoche was a palliative care nurse when she first became interested in homelessness about 20 years ago. Now a senior lecturer at Monash University’s school of nursing and midwifery, her key research interest is palliative care access for people who are homeless or disenfranchised.

  10. An end-of-life companion: how one volunteer added quality of life right to the end

    4 August 2016

    When Sandra Mugavin, 63, retired from nursing in October last year, she knew she wanted to keep using her skills and be of value to her community. Working as a volunteer for Warrnambool & District Community Hospice, supporting people who want to die at home and their families, has proven just the opportunity she was looking for.

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