Palliative Care Queensland

Palliative Care Knowledge Gap Must Be Addressed in Queensland

All Queenslanders must be provided with public education opportunities to address the significant shortfall in the general public’s confidence and knowledge to support their community members experiencing serious illness, dying, death and grief, according to the state’s peak palliative care body.

Speaking at the launch of Palliative Care Queensland’s new public education program PalliLearn, Palliative Care Queensland CEO Shyla Mills outlined the challenge facing communities across the state, where the end of life is often a taboo subject.

“Serious illness, dying, death and grief are a part of life and something we will all encounter at some stage. For many, the end of life is still a taboo subject and is avoided at all costs, yet if there is one certainty in life, it is that at some point, we will all die and we will all have known others who has been diagnosis with a serious illness, is dying or is grieving. It is a simple fact of life and if we were educated about this, we can reduce our fears, promote early conversations about what matters most, prepare advance care plans and offer support to our neighbours who are caring for a loved one, focus on memory making and sharing stories or legacies. This is what we call compassionate communities and public education will help to build compassionate communities across Queensland.”

“Due to the often taboo nature of dying, death and grief, there is a lack of understanding, capacity and support in our communities for people approaching the end stage of life, their families, friends, employers, networks and groups. People often ask how they can help and too often people are not willing to accept help. Palliative care services are essential during this time, but ideally, we need communities who are prepared to care too, to work with the carer and the services to be a part of a wrap-around network of support for people and their families.” said Ms Mills.

To address the problem, Palliative Care Queensland has developed PalliLearn, a series of public education courses that build community knowledge, death and compassion literacy as well as community capacity in this area. Delivered by health, social, or community professionals trained by Palliative Care Queensland, PalliLearn offers basic and intensive education courses for individuals, communities, and organisations to appreciate critical components in relation to serious illness, dying, death and grief.

“The best way to remove a taboo from society is through education and awareness. PalliLearn breaks down palliative care into easy-to-understand modules which cover the essential information needed to improve Queenslander’s capacity to care for our citizens as they approach the end stage of life. As an organisation, we believe that the way we care for our dying is a significant indicator of the kind of society we are and building community capacity and understanding will directly benefit every Queenslander.”

PalliLearn basic education courses are scheduled regularly throughout the year and can be delivered face-to-face or online to meet the needs of the community.  PalliLearn Intensive education courses run for four hours and are delivered face-to-face.  Members of the community and health professionals can learn more or book a session by visiting:

PalliLearn education courses are also available for community groups, organisations and businesses wanting to sponsor or book a session.  Our facilitators can come to you.  For further information visit:

Palliative Care Queensland is seeking corporate partners, philanthropists, or donations to help deliver this program across Queensland. For further information email

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