Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

September 2019

Email Update
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In this update:

New podcast to support communication  with people with MND 
Palliative care & disability fact sheets - 10 topics available for free download
Have you visited our palliative care & disability projects facebook page?
Free dementia courses to help RACFs meet the new standards
Palliative Care Nurses Conference - call for abstracts
PEPA Placements are in high demand - don't miss your opportunity to participate
Print this update and display on your staff noticeboard
Education & training opportunities
     For oncology and palliative care clinicians
     For home care package providers     
For managers of volunteers and volunteers
     For all health professionals
Education & training opportunities calendar 
Information & resources
     Multilingual resources: How palliative care might help women     
     Bereavement resource for working with indigenous peoples
Flowchart & app to help assess if your adult patient can consent     
Getting the language right: Writing for the NDIS
     Especially for palliative care volunteers: How to be an even better listener
About the SMRPCC

Communication in MND

Podcast #5 now available

Our MND Shared Care Worker, Robyn Reid, produces podcasts on MND and the various aspects of its management. The series is being released at regular intervals and made available on the SMRPCC website.

If you work in aged care or primary health and have a client with MND, these podcasts will help you to better understand the illness and improve your care.
In this newest podcast, Robyn talks about the issues around communication with people with MND. To listen to the podcast click here and to download a transcript of the podcast, please click here.

Other podcasts available (so far) in this series include: **These podcasts are available on the PodBean App which can be  downloaded for free from the Apple App Store or  Google Play to your phone or PC and provides easy access to a variety of video and audio podcasts. To find our audio podcast(s) simply search for and follow SMRPCC's Podcasts. Podcasts and transcripts are also available on the MND page of the SMRPCC website.

Palliative care & disability fact sheets

Especially for staff in Group Homes

The SMRPCC has developed a series of fact sheets for staff in disability group homes who are caring for a resident with a terminal illness. There are 10 fact sheets available which cover the following topics:

  1. What is palliative care?
  2. Care Planning
  3. Advance Care Planning
  4. Involvement of the coroner
  5. Bereavement in group homes
  6. Advocating for a person with a terminal illness who lives in a group home
  7. The process of dying
  8. End of life conversations
  9. Care and dying where the resident chooses
  10. Consent and decision making for medical treatment

...and check out our palliative care and disability Facebook page

The Southern Metropolitan Region Disability Project aims to coordinate information and activity for people with disabilities who require palliative care, in particular those living in a Group Home.
To support this aim, the Project has a Facebook page which disseminates events, information and training opportunities relevant to staff working in group homes and interested palliative care specialists. 

Click here to go to the new Facebook page then "like" the page to receive information in your Facebook timeline.  

Please note: you must be logged into your Facebook account for the link to work. If you prefer to search for the page, it's called Southern Metro Palliative Care Consortium Disability & RACF projects

Free dementia courses

To help RACFs meet the new standards

Dementia Training Australia (DTA) offers a range of on-line dementia courses and tailored training packages and services to help aged care providers meet the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

Call for abstracts

Submissions now open!

The Scientific Committee encourages submission of abstracts reporting on completed studies relevant to the care of people with palliative care needs in the following presentation categories:

  • 20 minute Oral presentations (15 minute presentation and 5 minute questions);
  • 6 minute Speed talks; and/or
  • Poster Presentations.

For further information including submission categories, timelines and guidelines: Click here.

The 2020 PCNA Conference is being held on May 3 & 4 in Melbourne. For further information about the conference, please visit the conference website: 

Considering a PEPA placement?

Apply ASAP as demand is high and placements are limited!

The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) provides an opportunity for the health, aged and community care workforce employed in non-specialist palliative care settings to improve confidence and develop skills in working with people with palliative care needs.

It provides:

  • Funded opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in palliative care through clinical placements 
  • Integration of learning into the participant’s practice and establishing networks of support.

If you would like to take part in a PEPA placement there is limited time to do so.

PEPA placements are available for:
  • General Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Allied Health

PEPA Victoria has high demand for placements so if you would like this experience please apply as soon as possible to ensure you get a placement before the current funding contract runs out (only 10 months to go!).

For more information about PEPA placements click here  and/or call 9231 1926.

Do you have a staff noticeboard?

Print this update and pin it up! 

Electronic distribution of our update is preferred however we recognise this is not always possible.

We now have a pdf version of the monthly update available which you can download, print and display.
Click here to print this update

Education & training opportunities

For oncology and palliative care clinicians

Clinical Consultation Skills Retreat

Presented by Cancer Council Victoria & Deakin University

This 3-day Clinical Consultation Skills Retreat is designed specifically to enhance core communication skills and mentoring capabilities for clinical scenarios, including delivering bad news and discussing end- of-life care.

Through small group activities, facilitated by expert clinicians, participants address communication challenges from their own clinical practice with simulated patients. Areas of focus include:

  • Delivering bad news
  • Managing mismatched expectations
  • Determining goals of care
  • Discussing end-of-life care
When: 21 - 23 October (costs include accommodation for Sunday night 20 Oct)
Where: RACV Resort, Torquay
Cost: Fees apply
For further information or to register: Click here

For home care package providers

Webinar: Providing quality, person-centred end-of-life care at home

Hosted by Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA)

This webinar will assist Home Care Package providers providing end-of-life care to clients, and is complemented by caring@home project resources, that can be used to promote quality, person-centred end-of-life care to people who wish to be cared for and to die at home if possible.

This webinar will help you:
  • Understand the importance of providing end-of-life care to Home Care Package clients who are likely to die in the near future
  • Understand how to access and use the caring@home resources and recognise how they can benefit clients and their carers
  • Use the caring@home resources to meet the requirements of the Aged Care Quality Standards and Charter of Aged Care Rights
  • Understand how to implement the caring@home resources into current practice. 
Cost: Free
To access the webinar: Click here

For managers of volunteers and volunteers

SAVE THE DATE: PCV Volunteers Conference 2020 

Presented by Palliative Care Victoria   

When: Wednesday 20 May 2020
Where: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
More information coming soon: Check PCV website for updates

For all health professionals

So now you are dead, what are your options? 

Presented by Centre for Palliative Care

Join Libby Moloney, Funeral Director of Natural Grace, at the PCV Hot Topics event to learn more about the contemporary overview of the legal and practical after death options in Victoria. This event for all health professionals will answer questions like:

  • What options are available to your patients for after they die? 
  • Are burials and cremations in a coffin the only choices?
  • How long can a deceased person remain in the home and how is this made possible?

When: Tuesday 17 September 5pm - 6pm (with networking to follow)
Where: St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

Webinar: End of Life Law for Clinicians 

Presented by End of Life Law in Australia

This webinar will explore end of life law in the context of a clinical case study about an older person in residential aged care. Topics that may be explored include:

  • Capacity and consent to medical treatment;
  • Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment;
  • Advance Care Directives;
  • Substitute decision-making; 
  • Providing palliative medication; 
  • Futile or non-beneficial treatment; and
  • Emergency treatment.

The webinar is open to all clinicians. CPD points and certificates of completion are available.

When: Wednesday 9 October 7.30pm - 9pm (AEST)
Where:  via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to register:  Click here
Education & training opportunities calendar

Education and training opportunities are listed on our website calendar and can be viewed as a list, by calendar month or by day.  Simply use the View As button on the right side of the page to make your selection. 

Information & resources

Multilingual resource: How palliative care might help women 

This resource has been developed by Cancer Australia to help women with secondary breast or ovarian cancer talk about how palliative care might help them to live as well as possible when cancer has spread. The resources is available in English and ten other languages.

New bereavement resource for working with indigenous peoples 

he Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) has a new Guide “Working with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Grief and Bereavement” to help practitioners better understand cultural practices around bereavement and grief in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.


'Can your adult patient consent?' App and flowchart' 

The Office of the Public Advocate has updated the 'Can your adult patient consent?' app and flowchart, to highlight the importance of health practitioners considering whether a patient is likely to recover decision-making capacity within a reasonable time before seeking a decision from a substitute decision maker. The flowchart is available here and the app can be downloaded from iTunes stores or Google Play.

Getting the language right: Writing for the NDIS 

To write effective supporting documentation for people with disabilities and complex support needs seeking access to the NDIS (or needing to change existing plans), you need to get the words right. 

This health practitioner's guide to writing reports, letters, forms and assessments for the NDIS was produced by the Summer Foundation  with funding from the Department of Health and Human Services and with support from for the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services.


Especially for palliative care volunteers 

This resource was developed to support palliative care volunteers who (when surveyed) requested more training with regard to listening. This practical guide for hospice and palliative care volunteers is about how to ask open-ended questions, how to use body language and nonverbal communication, and how to develop one’s emotional capacity for listening. And to take it one step further, exploring the spirituality of listening - one that is more about the human spirit in general than about religious beliefs in particular.

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Who we are & how you can contact us: 


Name                            Role                                        Phone                            Email
Tanja Bahro.............Consortium Manager............ 0418 584 106
Tess Storr................Administration Officer.............0428 485 136 ..........
Robyn Reid ............ MND Shared Care Worker....0428 264 446............
Stephenie Cook ......Training Coordinator ............0417 859 297............
Jane Newbound.......Aged Care Project Officer.....0433 418 

Our members include:

Ex Officio Members include:

  • Cabrini Palliative Care Services
  • Bolton Clarke
  • Southern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS)
  • South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN)

For general inquiries to the SMRPCC please email 

Copyright © 2019 Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium, All rights reserved.
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