Palliative Care WA is a member-based, not-for-profit organisation governed by a voluntary Board of Management according to the PCWA Constitution.
Elissa Campbell is a geriatrician and palliative care physician, working in acute geriatric medicine in Perth (Boorloo), Western Australia.
She is President of Palliative Care WA and Chair of the ANZ Society of Palliative Medicine’s SIG in Palliative Care for Older People. She was a member of the WA Ministerial Expert Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) and WA’s VAD Implementation Leadership Team.
Dr Campbell co-founded the online community of practice, Palliverse. As head of department of Geriatric Medicine at her tertiary hospital, she led the introduction of an ED Geriatrician Service, Frailty Rapid Access Clinic, Neurosurgery-geriatrics service, Early-Supported-Discharge for Delirium Service and Geriatric Oncology clinic and was involved in renovation of the 14-bed Delirium Care Unit.
She is currently leading a pilot service for nurse-led palliative care needs assessment and advance care planning for hospital inpatients being newly discharged to residential aged care.
In 2022, Dr Campbell undertook the inaugural WA Health Churchill Fellowship, to “explore models of palliative care for people with dementia”, visiting seven countries in three continents.
Simon Towler is a staff specialist in intensive care at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He was a Medical Co-Director during the commissioning of the hospital before being appointed as the Clinical Lead to the Futures Program in the South Metropolitan Health Service. This role has included development of Clinician Engagement Strategy, establishing the first Institute for Health Care Improvement Chapter in WA and championing the implementation of new approaches to end of life care and sepsis management.
He has served on the Ministerial Expert Panel for the development of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation in WA and is currently the Clinical Lead for a project between WA Health and the Australian Digital Health Agency to increase the use of the My Health Record for keeping a range of end-of-life planning documents.
Simon has particular interests in technology in health care, patient blood management, evidence into practice in hospital services and approaches to End-of-Life Care. From his personal experience of being a patient with a life-threatening illness Simon gained a much deeper appreciation of the challenges patients face and the importance of a true patient-focused approach to the delivery of health services and healthcare.
Hiren is a dedicated and experienced finance professional who is passionate about developing the not for profit sector. Hiren joined PCWA Board as a Treasurer in December 2017. He is an accomplished chartered accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration from Curtin University, Western Australia. Hiren brings to the Board a wide variety of skills and experience in financial and commercial leadership, corporate governance and strategic thinking.
Hiren has worked in various industries that include audit and consultancy, manufacturing and not for profit during his career. His current position is Chief Financial Officer with Silver Chain Group, a ’for purpose’ organisation with the vision to provide the world’s best heath and aged care in the home so Australians can confidently live their lives as they choose. At Silver Chain, Hiren has been involved in the growth and expansion of palliative care services in Western Australia and across Australia including setting up the world-first successful social impact investment bond.
He is passionate about giving back to the community, and palliative care is very close to his heart, as one of his family members received this service. That experience has made him realise how important palliative care is to patients, families and their carers. He strongly believes in the Vision and Mission of Palliative Care WA.
Yasmin has a background in nursing and has held senior positions in the health and aged care environments. Her most recent three positions at an executive level have been ones that have seen her leading teams that have resulted in those organisations achieving sustainable business growth – Brightwater, Bethanie and most recently Bethesda Health Care. She has extensive experience in business restructuring and large-scale organisational reform with a focus on business growth/diversification as well as ongoing viability and sustainability.
Yasmin has a long history of management and planning for services in the palliative care area, dating back to the establishment of a step-down unit at Brightwater in the mid 1990s, working closely with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hollywood Hospital and the Cottage Hospice. She was an associate investigator developing the guidelines for palliative care in residential care facilities. In her role as Chief Operating Officer at Bethanie, she established a comprehensive palliative care program to assist with end-of-life care and was seen as a leading organisation in this endeavour.
In her most recent role at Bethesda Health Care she oversaw the growth of their Palliative Care Program to a metropolitan-wide capacity building service that visits residential facilities (aged care, mental health, correctional, disability), teaching staff to care for those who are in the last stages of life.
Professor Samar Aoun is Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at the University of Western Australia, Head of Palliative Care Research at Perron Institute, and Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University.
Samar is an international leader in the promotion and advocacy of public health approaches to palliative care and led this approach for those living with grief and bereavement. She is known as an innovator and a champion of practice and policy translation of public health science for palliative care.
Her work on social models in bereavement support has provided empirical evidence to strengthen the Compassionate Communities approach. She co-founded and currently chairs the South West Compassionate Communities Network and leads the Compassionate Connectors program which offers the practical and social support needed by families with life limiting illnesses. This program has been embedded into standard practice by the health service, with volunteers working alongside the palliative care and chronic disease teams.
Samar currently chairs the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association in Western Australia and is Vice-President of MND Australia. She has been a member of the PCWA board since 2013. She is a member of Public Health Palliative Care International and the Public Health Palliative Care reference group of the European Association of Palliative Care.
She was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 from the Prime Minister of Australia, received in 2018 the Medal for Excellence in Person Centred Healthcare from the European Society for Person Centred Healthcare and was awarded the 2023 WA Australian of the Year.
Dr Ruth Wei has 34 years’ experience in nursing practice, education and research. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing at Murdoch University, where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in a variety of subject areas, in addition to supervising research students.
Ruth’s own research and education interests and activities lie in palliative and end-of-life care, advanced care planning (ACP) and quality improvement in healthcare. More specifically, her research and activities include: the provision of equitable healthcare, death education, ACP and end-of-life decision-making, and strategies to support carers, friends and loved ones of migrant family members with life-limiting illness; in addition to support and education for healthcare professionals dealing with end-of-life care in acute care and residential aged care facilities, and training related to the provision of culturally appropriate care to migrants.
Ruth works closely with Chinese communities in Perth and has in the past three years has provided more than 10 ACP and palliative care talks to members of the Chung Wah Association and other Chinese community groups. She also works as a volunteer to provide APC consultation to families and individuals in WA.
Ruth joined Palliative Care WA in 2021 and contributed to the Strategic Reporting Framework 2022 draft and provided feedback on the Guiding Principles and Position Statement for Voluntary Assisted Dying.
Karen Proctor is a dedicated Registered Nurse and patient advocate who is a graduate of the University of Sheffield. She currently works as the Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Over her career Karen has taken opportunities to work in a variety of palliative care settings including inpatient hospice and more recently in the Kimberley. Working closely with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services broadened her understanding of the needs of patients and families living in remote Western Australia. Karen engages in a broad range of palliative care issues including clinical leadership for end-of-life care in acute care, pain management, education and ethics. She takes pride in providing clinical leadership, supporting patients and families as they navigate the health care system.
Karen is motivated by the ability to change attitudes and perceptions to the care of those living with a terminal illness.
Karina Bowden is a Senior Occupational Therapist working at the Kalamunda Hospital inpatient palliative care unit. Passionate about palliative care since graduating from university, Karina is currently an East Metropolitan Health Service Palliative Care Champion and has consistently sought out opportunities to work in palliative care in both Australia and England.
She has experience throughout the WA hospital system and has completed numerous project positions. For the last 10 years Karina has been on the Cancer and Chronic Conditions interest group committee to provide opportunities for further education for Occupational Therapists in Western Australia.
My first interaction with the Palliative Care sector was as a Member of Parliament from 2009-2017 when I joined the Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care. During this time, I advocated for Palliative Care both within Parliament and to my constituents.
As the State Manager of ACCPA (Aged & Community Care Providers Association) I sit on the EOLPCAC (End of Life Palliative Care Advisory Committee) of WA Health and bring the perspective of the Aged Care Provider both in residential and home care settings to the table.
As a daughter, I have firsthand experience of what is excellent palliative care in a residential aged care setting when my mother passed away in March 2020.
I will bring to the Board a well-developed network of both State and Federal Government contacts which will be invaluable in the policy and advocacy space. I will be a conduit to a majority of the residential and home care providers in this State and will be able to use various forums and publications to promote the cause of Palliative Care WA.
In my role as General Manager Community for Brightwater Care Group I have oversight of all services for people with disability, including people with brain injury and Huntington’s Disease. A long-standing staff member of Brightwater, I have had considerable experience across several services areas, including managing services for people ageing in the community. I continue to have high level involvement in the organisational direction regarding palliative care.
Trained originally as an Occupational Therapist, my attitude to client care is underpinned with a belief in the right of the individual to drive care and services towards outcomes that are important to them. These outcomes should be supported by a collaborative style of service provision both across professionals and service providers.
This belief has influenced my approach to palliative care across Brightwater’s services, including for our clients with Huntington’s Disease who are supported to make crucial decisions regarding their long-term care and support throughout their journey with us.
As part of my role, I have been involved in not only the direction of palliative care within my organisation but have had broader influence, including representing Brightwater at the Joint Select Committee on End-of-Life Choices; Member of the Expert Panel on Advance Health Directives; participating in the WA Health Department consultation on Advance Care Planning; and Brightwater representative on the Advance Care Planning Consortium.
I feel I can make a strong contribution to the vision and direction of Palliative Care WA as a Board member.
Bernadette is a Registered Nurse who has worked in a number of palliative care settings. After graduating from the University of South Australia she went on to complete Post Graduate Diplomas in both Education and Health Counselling.
Over her career she has worked in palliative care units and has provided patient care in both clinical and management roles. She has also worked as a clinician and managed services which support the teams providing care, such as MPaCCS, the Pilbara and hospital consultancy teams.
She brings an understanding of palliative care needs and issues in aged care, disability, corrections, and mental health sectors as well as in hospitals and palliative care units.
In her career, Bernadette has always looked for opportunities to develop the palliative care sector. She was responsible for setting up the consultancy palliative care service at Joondalup Health Campus and also oversaw the expansion of the MPaCCS service. This included establishing a new liaison role which supports the transition of palliative patients between hospitals and aged care.
Bernadette also manages the Bethesda Pilbara project. This project provides support using a new model which provides mentoring and support to the Pilbara palliative care team and has been incredibly successful and rewarding.
Bernadette is driven to work with others to drive change. She has a strong understanding of the sector and a true passion and excitement to support Palliative Care WA.
Maria has held a number of executive roles in both the aged and disability sectors. She brings strong leadership and a breadth of experience, working with teams to exceed client expectations through bringing together an engaged workforce, with sound business processes.
In her role as CEO of Melville Cares, Maria is committed to developing services with the team that are based on strong relationships, and personalised services, while achieving growth and ongoing sustainability. A strategic priority is to better support clients of Melville Cares to die where they choose. Melville Cares works collaboratively with a range of organisations to achieve this, including its research partners at Edith Cowan University.
Maria is a registered psychologist, graduate of INSEAD Business School and has held a number of board positions. Maria is currently Board Chair of Directions Disability Support Services and a Member of the ACCPA WA Council.