Palliative Care Queensland

World Compassionate Communities Day 2023

World Compassionate Communities Day and Ambulance Wish Qld – Townsville Hub

Ambulance Wish Queensland and the Compassionate Community groups of Charters Towers and Townsville, marked World Compassionate Communities Day on November 1, 2023. The commemoration took place at the Palliative Care Centre of Townsville University Hospital (TUH) and was organised in collaboration with Palliative Care Queensland (PCQ). 

There was a total of 31 attendees which included  Aaron Harper MP,  Les Walker MP, Councillor Anne-Maree Greaney – Townsville City Council, Matthew Green, Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Northern Region Assistant Commissioner, QAS Townsville Fleet Manager  Mick Hielscher ,Dr Claus Bader – Director Palliative Care Service, Dr Ofra Fried, David Sibley Port of Townsville Bronze Sponsor, Erin Thorsen – XRX Printing – Supporter, AWQ Volunteers Jamie Leonard – Paramedic, Michelle Smith – Paramedic as well as members of the TUH Palliative Care Team and the Specialist Palliative Rural Telehealth Service. 

The Charters Towers Compassionate Communities Group was represented by Barbara Dennis, Maxine Lockman, Bob Murth and his dog Gearbox.  The Townsville Compassionate City Circle of Practice was represented by Dr. Daniel Lowrie, Bronwyn Keefer, Debbie D’Urso, Amanda Trezona and Catherine Russo.  

Ambulance Wish Qld is supported by the Queensland Government, local supporting sponsors, fundraising initiatives and donations. So far there have been over 100 wishes completed in South East Qld. The Ambulance Wish Townsville Hub was commenced in June 2022 to allow people in the Townsville area and surrounds to access the program with a decommissioned Ambulance provided from QAS. Since the Townsville Hub commenced, 6 wishes have been completed and over 13 volunteer paramedics helping complete these wishes. To learn more about Ambulance Wish Queensland, click here to visit our website. 

World Compassionate Communities Day aims to build on the momentum of the growing number of Compassionate Communities projects and programs, highlight the work of members and member organizations around the globe, and continue to mobilise and connect people through local compassionate actions related to dying, and death, caregiving and grief.  

The Townsville Compassionate City Circle of Practice was formed in 2022 and aims to achieve endorsement from the Public Health Palliative Care International for Townsville to be registered as a Compassionate City. The members are collecting evidence of compassionate activates throughout Townsville from schools, community organisations and services, faith groups, workplaces and more.  

The Townsville City Council Forever Garden and memorial events and the work of Community development Practitioner Helene James were highlighted. David Welton, Team Leader Cemeteries at Townsville City Council and partner in Compassionate Communities, has been awarded the prestigious Phoenix Foundry 2023 Bereavement Excellence Award by the Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association (ACCA). This annual award recognises future leaders in the bereavement sector.  

The Charters Towers Compassionate Community group aims to increase death literacy in their community. They have done this with attendance at markets and meeting the Royal Flying Doctor Service at three nearby townships as well as hosting a Dying to Know Day event at the local library. At each event they provide palliative care, advance care planning and bereavement resources to the community and on 4 November 2023, they will be hosting a sunset memorial service for the community.  

There was lots of networking at the event and the outstanding food was provided by Michel’s catering. Small boxes of afternoon tea were given out to the patients and families in the Palliative Care Unit by volunteers from both AWQ and PCQ, with the guidance of Nurse Unit Manager Aaron Hansen. 

Palliative Care Queensland would like to thank Queensland Airports for funding this event, through their Community benefit fund. 

Skip to content