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National Palliative Care Week shines spotlight on Matters of Life and Death in Australia

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National Palliative Care Week puts ‘Matters of Life and Death’ front and centre in Australia’s consciousness.

Hosted by Palliative Care Australia, National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) 2023 will run from 21 May to 27 May and is the nation’s largest annual initiative to raise awareness about palliative care and its benefits.

Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer at Palliative Care Australia (PCA) said, “We understand that death and dying is a difficult subject to talk about and engage with, but this year we have some powerful voices joining the campaign to inspire and start important conversations.”

“The ‘people at the heart of quality palliative care’ – our workforce and volunteers, have opened their hearts to share the life lessons they learn every day as they provide care and support to people and families living with life limiting illness.

“The vibrant video and social media campaign that is central to the week will also allow us all to show our appreciation for the doctors, nurses, physios, social workers, occupational therapists, dietitians, volunteers and the many others who contribute to a person-centred team approach to palliative care.”

Related story: PCA calls for integration of palliative care into ongoing reform agenda

Juliane Samarra, a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, is one of those to lend her voice and experience to the NPCW campaign, “Generations ago people died at home, cared for by their family. We have now hidden death and dying behind closed doors, either in nursing homes or hospitals. We need to embrace death and dying as part of living. We need to be more comfortable talking about it and having those conversations so that we are more prepared when the time comes,” she says.

Adding further weight to the message, and also helping smash those taboos, is the world premiere of ‘Live the life you please’, a powerful documentary produced by Moonshine Agency. The film delves into the stories of real people from across the country, sharing their personal experiences of palliative care. The film will make you smile, laugh, laugh harder and occasionally shed a tear as this diverse range of Australians share the last chapter of their lives with us.

“National Palliative Care Week and the stories we will share will open the door on the full scope and impact of palliative care and the quality of life it delivers. I hope it provides a moment of reflection for all Australians to think about and plan for the last chapter of life,” Rowland said.

NPCW and Live the life you please’ will launch on Monday, 22 May in the theatre at Parliament House, Canberra.

“Getting involved and showing your support for palliative care and the people who deliver it is as easy as sharing your story on social media using #MattersOfLifeAndDeath. Whether you are receiving palliative care, looking after someone or know someone who is receiving care, we encourage you to share your experience and break down those taboos,” Rowland said.

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