Push For Palliative: March-April update

Dear friends,

It’s been a while since my last update – so much has happened! I’m just back from Port Macquarie and the inaugural Push For Palliative meeting there with Ambassadors Phillipa Passfield (Port Macquarie), Judy Hollingworth (Manning Valley) and other stakeholders – very positive steps.

But Port Macquarie is only the latest in a long string of community action which has taken me up and down the NSW coast and inland over the past 2 months. Please read on for more – and major events still to come.

From Bowral to the office of Gladys Berejiklian: Bringing you up to speed

In early February I was able to meet with stakeholders and clinicians in Bowral. The region has better palliative care services than in much of the state, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. On that front, the Highlands Cancer Council has been instrumental in educating the public on what good palliative care looks like. Two good pieces in the local paper and online have come out of this action (here and here).

From the Southern Highlands to the South Coast – later in February I was in Milton to attend a community meeting there, where I was also very pleased to visit the Milton Hospital, and see plans for two excellent palliative care suites underway, both with amazing views of the surrounding countryside.

Wedgetail Retreat in the hills behind Tweed Heads was next in early March. Wedgetail is the only community-funded hospice in NSW, but it provides a vital snapshot of what a dedicated community and extraordinary leader (Meredith Dennis) can achieve – 4 beds in a beautiful environment, staffed 24/7 by registered nurses. The area will also be host to a PCNSW-sponsored conference in July. Details here and below.

A few speaking engagements and Cancer Council events filled out March, starting at the Tuggerah Shores Lions Club about the needs for care on the Central Coast – which is shaping up to be a real hotbed of activity – followed by the enlivening Dungog Relay For Life and the opening of the luxurious Greenwood Nursing Home in Normanhurst.

$180M in annual savings could be made through greater investments in  palliative care.
And just last week, Dr Tony Ireland and I were very privileged to have a meeting with Gladys Berejiklian. We were able to present the 10,000 latest signatures on our petition, and the revised business case for our cause, which strongly indicates $180M in annual savings could be made through greater investments in palliative care for both community and acute hospitals.

Push launching on Central Coast: Oana McBride and Lions Club team up

Things are heating up in the Central Coast, thanks largely to Ambassador Oana McBride, and the Tuggerah Shores Lions Club. Oana has spearheaded local talk about the great need for a hospice in the area, securing several moving pieces in the media (please read here and here).

With the Central Coast event in mind, I also met with all the State politicians from the Central Coast to talk about the specific needs for palliative care there.

All this has culminated in the launch of a Push For Palliative group for the Central Coast, in cooperation with The Lions Club. The meeting takes place this upcoming Sunday, and I greatly encourage any locals to attend. Please let your friends know too!

April 24th from 10am at the Mingara Recreation Club, Tumbi Umbi.
For more details click here, or contact Margaret (0412 622 400).

Upcoming events

As usual there is a lot happening over the next few weeks and months. Have a look below for events or meetings happening in your local area, and feel free to contact me if you’d like to co-ordinate calendars.

  • Tumbi Umbi, April 24: A very important launch meeting for Push For Palliative in the Central Coast. Held at the Mingara Recreation Club from 10am. More info.
  • Brisbane, May 2: Capacity Australia is hosting a workshop in Brisbane titled ‘Talking Death and Death Law’. If you are at all interested in End Of Life care and communication, this is a must. Register at www.capacityaustralia.org.au. More info.
  • Medicinal Cannabis – Rosehill, May 14-15: Hear about medicinal cannabis in the treatment of epilepsy, and side effects of chemotherapy and cancer at the Medicinal Cannabis Symposium, Rosehill Gardens Exhibition Hall. My good friend and medicinal cannabis campaigner Lucy Haslam will be speaking, along with many others (including Premier Mike Baird). Tickets a must. Book here, or find out more here.
  • Orange, May 29: Important! The Orange Push For Palliative Forum will be held from 10am-4pm in the Orange Ex-Services Club. Gold coin entry to hear Chris O’Brien’s wife and daughter,  NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, Prof Amanda Walker, and myself. I cannot emphasise how important this event will be – dedicated newsletter coming soon. More info.
  • Penrith, June 3: The NEPEAN Blue Mountains will hold the 27th Annual Supportive and Palliative Care Conference in the Chairman’s Club Lounge in Pepper Stadium (cnr Mulgoa and Ransley Rd) from 8:15am-4:45pm. More info.
  • Kingscliff, July 21: As mentioned above, PCNSW is sponsoring a conference to be held at the Wedgetail Retreat. Registrations are now open here.

And a few links to round it off…

Back in March, I was fortunate enough to meet with Prof Michael Greco who heads up a website called Patient Opinion, where people can provide feedback about medical, hospital and nursing home treatment. Check it out!

And lastly, this resource from the Australian Centre for Health Research, called ‘Conversations’, is a helpful guide for conversations about the end of life, with the aim of improving End Of Life care.

Warm regards,


One thought on “Push For Palliative: March-April update

  1. Hi Yvonne,

    I hope your well, sounds like you have been very very busy and out and about quite a bit.

    I just read through the article on Patient Opinions, I wish this was around when dad was dying. Seems there is a 3 year limit, so it’s too late for me to write about it. I wonder if dad’s Doctor is still ignoring people’s End of Life a plans and doing what ever she wants.

    The meeting is Brisbane, talking Death and Death Law, this is so important, Doctors have to be accountable when a death goes wrong because the Doctor chooses to ignor the End of Life Plan. I would love to see ones of these meeting in Sydney but I suppose the public wouldn’t be invited.

    I will put the date for Penrith in my diary, Penrith is only an hour from here, not sure if we will be away.

    I had the cataract done 3 weeks ago, no problems during the operation, anaesthetist was so good, but so much noise in the theatre. The Professor apologised to me because their were too many people inside. My eye is still blurry, which is a bit of a worry but Pro. very happy eye is healing well. But the glaucoma pressure has gone up and if it’s not down they will have to put stents in ASAP. Then he wants to do the other eye. I will be waiting for a few months yet for it to be finished..

    Keep well, hope your eye has settled down, don’t work to hard.

    Hope to catch up soon.

    Ann xxx

    Sent from my iPad


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