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What are Compassionate Communities?

See our fact sheet here.

Compassionate Communities, Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care

This project conducted by WAPHA in the Great Southern Region of WA was funded by the Australian Government and aimed to improve access to safe, quality palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems in Primary Health and in the community. A collection of resources was created and are available here. See the website HERE.

Compassionate Communities Networked Care Facilitators Guide

The purpose of the guide is to assist people to facilitate conversations about informal care networks and end of life at home by sharing what has been learnt from Heather and Tony’s Story (see video below). It includes notes and practical tips for showing the film among friends, sporting clubs, neighborhoods, and community organisations to stimulate conversations about how we can draw upon informal networks to help during times of illness, death and grief. Networked Care – Facilitators Guide_final

Electronic resources and reports



Community Art Projects and Dying to Know Day

Other resources

Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA – Death, dying, grief and loss lunch with leaders

Auspire – Australia Day Council of WA –hosted a free online ‘Lunch with Leaders’ on Tuesday 1 August  to discuss death, dying, grief and loss. 2023 WA  Australian of the Year and palliative care researcher Professor Samar Aoun talked about the real-life practices that can be adopted by towns, cities, workplaces, schools and venues to support people during death, dying, grief and loss. Professor Aoun was joined by Jessie Williams, Community Manager at CCNB, which delivers Dying to Know Day every year.

Building Compassionate Communities Toolkit

After working with nine community groups around Australia, The Groundswell Project collated the learnings and insights into a toolkit of inspiration and ideas.

Compassionate Communities – An implementation guide for community

Compassionate City Charter

Compassionate Cities are communities that publicly encourage, facilitate, support and celebrate care for one another during life’s most testing moments and experiences. This Charter is a statement of purpose and intention, as well as a list of social actions.

Compassionate Communities Communique

This booklet explains what a Compassionate Community is and how it can help people at the end of life. It showcases Australian developments and puts the movement into context internationally.

Compassionate Communities National Forum

The Compassionate Communities Hub provides insights from eight communities around Australia – including Bunbury – which are working to establish Compassionate Communities through the Compassionate Communities National Forum.

Compassionate Communities Network

This informal group is working to promote the principles of public health palliative care. The network is open to everyone in Australia or New Zealand who is interested in social approaches to end-of-life support.

Compassionate Connectors Program presentation at Public Health Palliative Care International Webinar 

“The compassionate Connectors program: A distinct form of end-of-life volunteering”, Public Health Palliative Care International Webinar 3 May 2023, presented by Professor Samar Aoun.

Dying to Know Day

Held on 8 August this annual campaign encourages people to start conversations around death. Organising an event or campaign on this day in your community can be a useful way see if there is an appetite for a wider compassionate community program.

Each Community is Prepared to Help

This 47-page brochure from the UK provides extensive advice and practical suggestions for organisations keen to stimulate and extend partnerships with communities. It provides guidance on ambition six of the Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care, which is ‘each community is prepared to help’. The brochure’s recommendations are all suitable for local interpretation.

State library panel discussion in partnership with the Public Policy Institute at UWA and Perron Institute – 24 May 2023

“Matters of life and death – Let’s get it right: A compassionate communities’ approach to caring, dying and grieving”.

Supporting Communities Around End of Life Project

This Victorian project aims to:

  • build the organisational capacity of councils around end-of-life
  • build community capacity in end-of-life support through local government structures and networks
  • improve community understanding of healthier approaches to death, dying and bereavement
  • evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.


Weavers are experienced and trained former carers who volunteer to support families and informal carers. The initiative, from the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, has achieved positive outcomes for carers, people being cared for, and volunteers.