Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care in Queensland Award Winners Announced


Deirdre Hanna’s life-time commitment to the care of sick and dying people and their families on the Gold Coast has been honoured at this year’s Palliative Care in Queensland Annual Awards.

The co-founder of Hopewell Hospice was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at a black-tie dinner at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on December 1, which was attended by more than 180 people from the palliative care community.

Deirdre, who had her own brush with death when her heart failed just weeks earlier, paid tribute to her husband and co-founder Rev Dr Ian Mavor, who died four years ago in the hospice he helped create.

“Over 25 years we co-created The Hopewell Centre, an eight-bed hospice, consisting of three beautiful buildings on the Gold Coast.”

Hopewell Hospice began in 1994 when it opened at “Glory Farm” in Sickle Avenue on Hope Island. In 2005, the new Hopewell Hospice opened at 11 Dunkirk Close, Arundel. It is now part of the Hopewell Centre, accessed through 88 Allied Drive, which also incorporates the Paradise Kids building and the Paradise Kids Illness Support Holiday House. The Simply Divine Cafe and the courses of Hopewell Education Services are based in the Paradise Kids building.

“We have grief groups for children, play therapy for children, a holiday home for children living with a life limiting illness as well as Hopewell Education Services, offering palliative care education, grief counselling education and health and well-being education,” Deirdre says.

“Our latest service is Living Well Day Hospice. Thousands of children and members of the community have been supported over the years. Next year we are expanding even further into the community with in-home hospice care and more respite bed days being offered in our Living Well House.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award was one of 10 awards presented on the night with the Palliative Care Service of the Year being presented to the Supportive and Specialist Palliative Care Service, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.

The Service incorporates multidisciplinary teams providing consultation liaison services to the Gold Coast University and Robina Hospitals, and inpatient, outpatient and community care. Comprising a diverse team of health professionals (nursing, medical, allied health and health sciences) and support staff (including administrative and operational support officers), the team is deeply committed to providing world-class services to patients with complex care needs at end of life.

Other awards presented:

Outstanding Achievement by Volunteer: Carolyn Smith, Ipswich Hospice Care

Carolyn volunteers at Ipswich Hospice Care and Hilda’s House as a support worker and has been a volunteer for 23 years. As part of her role as a support worker, she visit the guests in the Guest Wing of Ipswich Hospice. She spends time with guests and family members chatting, writing letters, reading and painting nails to name a few things. At Hilda’s House her role is to co-facilitate various bereavement groups for children and adults and to make bereavement follow-up phone calls.

Changemaker of the Year: Helene James, Townsville City Council

Helene is a Community Programs Officer within Townsville City Council who works to build inclusive and welcoming communities. Since the loss of her mother in 2016, she has been driven to raise awareness about Compassionate Communities, Death Literacy and End Of Life education. She enjoys finding ways to strengthen social cohesions, identify place-making opportunities and encouraging conversational collaboration between stakeholders.

Inspirational Teamwork: CanTeen Queensland

CanTeen Queensland is a multidisciplinary team of counsellors, social workers, teachers and community engagement specialists working alongside CanTeen National’s Research, Evaluation and Social Policy and Programs teams to develop and deliver evidence-based interventions that help to reduce distress in young people and families living with cancer.

Innovations in Palliative Care: TRECA Project

CanTeen designed its TRECA Project to provide adolescent cancer patients with telepresence robots that enable them to virtually attend their classes and connect with friends. The TRECA Project has the potential to reduce young people’s social isolation and increase their quality of life whilst they are receiving palliative care. It also provides families, friends and communities with a tangible method of supporting a young person throughout their cancer experience.

Emerging Leader: Haley McNamara, Care at End of Life Project

Haley is the Acting Project Manager for the Clinical Excellence Queensland Care at the End of Life Project. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work, Graduate Certificates in Business and Loss, Grief and Trauma Counselling, and a Master of Public Health; and in her spare time, runs a non-profit community initiative called The Welcome Dinner Project. Her recent work included development of the Care Alert Kits and she is now leading the development of a state-wide resource for supporting people through bereavement.

Emerging Researcher: Leanne Brown, Cape York Kidney Care

Leanne has been a Nephrology Nurse Practitioner for 12 years and has a passionate interest in symptom management and end-of-life decision making. In 2019, during a PEPA placement at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Leanne further developed her skills in palliative care with a particular focus on advanced kidney disease.

Excellence in Palliative Care – Rural & Remote: Faye Tomlin, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Faye is a Nurse Practitioner working in a regional Community Palliative Care service. She is passionate about strengthening the delivery of evidence based palliative care and a strong advocate for the role of nursing in quality healthcare services. In her current role as a nurse practitioner, Faye responds to identified gaps in the delivery of palliative care within the local community with a focus on innovative clinical solutions aimed at expanding access to palliative care.

Excellence in Palliative Care – Aged Care: Linda Williscroft, Proserpine Nursing Home

Linda was born and educated in New Zealand, and began a career in nursing at Auckland’s Middlemore hospital before marriage and motherhood put her on a different path. In 2007 she completed Certificate 3 in Aged care and began work at the Proserpine Nursing Home, which reignited her interest in a nursing career. She became an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse and later studied at Central Queensland University, graduating in March 2015 to become a Registered Nurse.

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