25 April 2019

Championing a community-centred model in palliative care and bereavement support

Perron Institute Senior Research Fellow Professor Samar Aoun is an influential advocate for closer community involvement in palliative care and bereavement support.

She has received national and international recognition over the years for her exceptional commitment to promoting better community engagement and health outcomes in this field.

As a Co-Founder of the South West Compassionate Communities Network, Professor Aoun was recently in Busselton to meet with fellow representatives from the South West and the Great Southern regions.

Compassionate Communities is an international movement for implementing the public health palliative care approach to end-of-life.

“This is a community-based approach which places people and their naturally occurring networks at the centre of care, death and grief,” Professor Aoun said.

“The South West Compassionate Communities network is creating opportunities for conversations around death, dying and loss, helping to identify naturally occurring community connectors and hubs and to foster the Compassionate Communities model of end-of-life care in terms of practical and social support.”

In launching the South West network in 2018, a Mini Death Fest was held to:

  • increase the death literacy of the community through conversation, education and interactive engagement
  • map the South West Compassionate Communities Network to determine who is already involved in, or is interested in, this approach to death, dying, caring and grief
  • let people know what Compassionate Communities stands for and invite them to become involved
  • create a positive, welcoming space; and
  • provide opportunities to learn, connect, interact and reflect.

“The recent Busselton meeting was an opportunity to discuss opportunities and challenges in the two regions and closer collaborations,” Professor Aoun said.

As well as her role with the Perron Institute, Samar is Professor of Palliative Care, Palliative Care Unit, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University.

Professor Samar Aoun