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19th May 2024

Today marks the start of National Palliative Care Week 2024 with the theme Matters of Life and Death – People at the Heart of Palliative Care.

The week marks the nation’s largest annual initiative aimed at deepening people’s understanding of palliative care and encouraging action around end-of-life planning.

This year’s campaign will highlight the holistic nature of the palliative care that should be available to all Australians. A series of videos (on social media) will capture the powerful voices of the broader workforce, first nations perspectives and individuals with personal experiences of palliative care – the people at the heart of quality palliative care.

“National Palliative Care Week is an opportunity to open minds and hearts to the profound human spirit that drives palliative care and unlock the knowledge that comes when people and families are challenged by a life-limiting diagnosis that talks about death and dying,” Palliative Care Australia CEO Camilla Rowland said.

PCA’s most recent National Palliative Care Community Survey revealed that 90 per cent of Australians believe end-of-life planning is important, but only 40 per cent of people have done anything about it.

Reflecting on this as part of the NPCW video series, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Peter Jenkin said: “People are death denying, we don’t want to talk about it because we are worried it will tempt fate, and I think there is a sense of – it’s going to happen to someone else, not me.”

National Palliative Care Week will confront those fears and empower people to have greater control when it comes to ‘matters of life and death.’

Another significant part of NPCW this year, is the official launch of a new symbol for the palliative care sector – the orange heart.

The orange heart has been seen and used universally as a symbol of care and friendship. It is seen as being ‘heart-warming and encouraging’ and used as a symbol of ‘always being there for me’ – values that connect with palliative care.

We are encouraging everyone to buy and wear an orange heart lapel pin as a show of support for the people and families receiving palliative care and those who deliver it.

Orange heart lapel pins will be available for purchase at our local events and from our website HERE. We also have our branded socks available for sale HERE.