Southern Metropolitan Region
Palliative Care Consortium

September 2021

Monthly Update
In this update:

SMRPCC Annual Report - now available
SMRPCC Annual Clinical Forum - RESCHEDULED
Palliative Care Clinical Network - Applications open to join the Committee
Palliative Care Advice Service - Free confidential advice for everyone
MND Victoria - Live webinars for health professionals
News and information from our MND Shared Care Worker
Free online education - End of Life Law for Clinicians
Research project: VAD legislation and implementation 
Study to prevent burnout - Your invitation to participate
Online calendar of local training and education opportunities
CareSearch - Launch of the new portal 
Education & training opportunities
     For GPs and practice nurses
     For those working in aged care
     For those providing EOL or palliative care for children
     For those working in EOL and palliative care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Information & resources 
     Activity Report from the VAD Review Board 
     ACP resources in Japanese (and 16 other languages)
     Podcast - What happens when I die?
     Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer  
ELDAC digital dashboard for aged care
Responding to COVID-19 - multiple resources and links to key websites
About the SMRPCC


SMRPCC 2021 Annual Report

Now available

During the past year as we all navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consortium served as a place for resource sharing, support and a source of information. We continued to stay connected with the wider sector and the Department of Health to ensure that information flowed in a timely manner to the relevant people.

Our continued advocacy raised awareness for palliative care, mainly in the Residential Aged Care and Disability Sectors and cultural diversity training continued in the region and extended to the broader sector in Victoria.
Read the report for details of our 2021 activities and achievements and for a comprehensive summary of the current palliative care workforce and considerations to ensure the the future workforce is sufficiently maintained. 

SMRPCC Annual Clinical Forum

Rescheduled to February 2022

To ensure the safety of all colleagues working in our member services, the decision has been made to reschedule our annual regional clinical forum to February. 

We look forward to welcoming the new year with a day of sharing, learning and networking for staff from our regional specialist palliative care services. The forum will be held at the usual venue; Sandy by the Bay at the Sandringham Football Club.

We'll confirm the date and provide further details of the program and presenters in the next monthlu update. 

Share this update with your staff and colleagues 

 Print a copy for your lunchroom or notice board!

Sharing this monthly update is best done by forwarding it because it maintains the embedded hyperlinks. However, if you cannot forward this update to your staff or colleagues, you can print a copy and display it on your staff noticeboard.
The printed version includes instructions (on the last page) to view the update on our website and access the links to services, resources and educational opportunities.
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Palliative Care Clinical Network

Applications open to join the Committee


After the extensive consultation process, Safer care Victoria is pleased to announce that the new Centres of Clinical Excellence framework is now available. 

As part of the new engagement structures, consumers and clinicians from diverse disciplines and differing career stages are being recruited to join the new Clinical Network Coordinating Committees (CNCC).

The sector-led Clinical Network Coordinating Committees will be key in driving and leading engagement within their clinical network, supporting collaboration, networking and peer to peer learning. The Committee will also support coordinated responses to safety and quality issues and system wide challenges in the clinical network.

Applications are now open for the Palliative Care CNCC. For selection criteria and further details of the application process, click here. Please note: Applications will close on 30 September.

Free confidential advice

For everyone

The Palliative Care Advice Service (PCAS) offers free, confidential advice for anyone who needs information about a life-limiting illness, palliative or end-of-life care.

The service is funded by the Victorian Government and operated by the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

This advice service is for everyone in Victoria and is for non-emergency health advice only

  • To contact PCAS phone 1800 360 000.
  • To download a PCAS postcard: Click here
  • To view the flyer: Click here

From MND Victoria

Live webinars especially for health professionals

This webinar series will provide an overview of topics relevant for those health professionals working with people living with MND. It is also suitable for those wanting to increase their knowledge on particular areas of practice and learn more about MND.

There will be expert presenters sharing their knowledge and experience working in this field and time available for questions during each webinar. Topics and dates include:
  • MND & respiratory considerations - Tuesday 5 October 11am - 12pm
  • MND & communication - Wednesday 10 November 11am - 12pm
Cost: $25 per webinar 
For further information or to register: Click here

From our regional MND Shared Care Worker 

MND information and resources

The 10th National MND Australia Conference was held online on Friday 3rd September and included a presentation by Professor Matthew Kiernan from the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney which outlined his research into developing biomarkers to aid diagnosis and differentiate subtypes. He is studying proteins present in body fluids in people with MND and tracking their change over time. The hope is for early detection, identifying type and monitoring future therapies. For further information about Professor Kiernan’s work, visit PubMed.

For further information on the various aspects of MND, listen to the SMRPCC's free MND podcast series which starts with a 13 minute podcast discussing presentation, diagnosis and clinical decision making.

If you'd like additional support or information regarding MND, contact the SMRPCC Shared Care Worker via email at

Free online education

10 new and updated modules

End of Life Law for Clinicians (ELLC) is a free national training program for clinicians about the law relating to end of life decision-making across Australia. 
ELLC has launched 10 new and updated online training modules for medical practitioners and students, nurses, and allied and other health professionals. Watch this video to learn more.

Topics include capacity and consent to medical treatment, withholding and withdrawing treatment, Advance Care Directives, substitute decision-making, legal protection for providing pain relief, futile or non-beneficial treatment, emergency treatment, end-of-life decision-making for children, and managing disputes. 

Research Project: Clinical views and experiences of VAD legislation and implementation

Your invitation to participate

This project intends to explore the views and experiences of clinicians on Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, planning and implementation in all Australian states and territories at their various different phases of policy reform. The investigators are looking to survey health professionals who may care for those with serious illness who practice in all Australian states and territories. They would like to obtain a range of views on these issues from various groups of health professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied health staff.

If you agree to participate in the project, you will be asked to fill out a survey which will take 20 - 30 minutes to complete. It is designed to understand current attitudes held by clinicians about assisted dying. You may also be emailed a follow up survey at 12 and 24 months.

For further information about the research project: Click here
To complete the survey: Click here

Study to help prevent burnout in health professionals providing palliative care

Your invitation to participate

Burnout is a consequence of a prolonged reaction to work-related stress and is more prevalent in palliative care settings where health care workers are constantly exposed to emotional stress, grief and bereavement. 

Research evidence on burnout among the palliative care workforce is scarce in Australia. The findings of this study will inform stakeholders of the prevention and management of burnout among healthcare professionals providing palliative care and lay a foundation for studies on the palliative workforce in the future.

Health professional working in the palliative care sector are invited to complete a short online survey. It will take less than 30 minutes to complete and has two parts: The first part contains demographic questions and the second part contains Maslach Burnout Inventory.

For further information or to complete the survey: Click here
Education & training opportunities calendar

See upcoming local and online activities

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. 

New CareSearch Portal

Register to attend the launch

The new CareSearch Portal provides access to trustworthy and evidence-based palliative care information for everyone. Join the launch for details of how the portal was built and how will it support patients, families, health professionals, and communities to make informed decisions.

Where: Online via your PC or device
When: Tuesday, 21 September 11:00 am - 12:00pm AEST
For further details (including presenters) or to register: Click here

Education & training opportunities

For GPs and practice nurses

Palliative care for general practitioners (online)

Presented by Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

This 2-hour workshop is for General Practitioners based in Victoria who care for people with a life-limiting illness. Practice Nurses are also welcome to attend. 

This interactive education session utilises group discussion and case studies to provide a greater understanding of palliative care. Topics include:

  • Recognising patients who need palliative care
  • Communicating about end of life issues
  • Voluntary assisted dying in Victoria
  • Assessing and managing common symptoms

Facilitated by: Dr Rowan Hearn, Clinical Director Palliative Medicine, Calvary Health Care Bethlehem

When: Tuesday 19 October 6pm – 8pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information and to register: Click here
Please note: This workshop includes a prerequisite activity – details are available through the link above.

Symptom Management at the End of Life 

Presented by Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)  

This interactive education session will utilise group discussion and case studies to provide a greater understanding of palliative care. The workshop is designed for General Practitioners based in Victoria (AUS) who care for people with a life-limiting illness. Practice Nurses are also welcome to attend. Topics covered include: 

  • Managing fatigue
  • Managing insomnia
  • Managing dyspnoea
Facilitated by: Dr Chris Grossman, General Practitioner and lead palliative researcher at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem 

When: Thursday 23 September 6pm - 8pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to register: Click here

For those working in aged care

Victorian Aged Care Education & Training (VACET)

Developed by ACEBAC at La Trobe University

The scope of this education and training package is to build capacity and capability within the Victorian Residential aged care sector workforce. The focus is on three care areas:

  • Dementia Care
  • Recognising and providing a palliative response to care
  • Oral and dental hygiene and links to health and well-being

Each category of learning has a number of modules that have been designed to be completed in around 30 minutes.

When: On demand
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to access the modules: Click here

For those providing EOL or palliative care for children 

Paediatric End-of-Life Care module 

Presented by the End-of-Life Essentials Project

This Paediatric End-of-Life Care module discusses 'Gemma', a young patient who has had many presentations to hospital. In this free online module health professionals can learn to: 
  • Develop an awareness of your own attitudes to the death of a child
  • Analyse and adopt communication responses to common questions in paediatric end-of-life care
  • Apply a critical approach to symptom management in children who are living with life limiting conditions
  • Recognise that compassion in fast paced environments is possible
  • Recognise the most helpful responses to moral distress.

When: On demand
Where: Online from your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or access the module: Click here

For those providing EOL and palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Yarning our wishes: A film about planning for end of life 

Presented by The Groundswell Project

This video from the Groundswell Project, is for health professionals and community organisations working in end-of-life care with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members. The film highlights key points and learnings as well as other cultural considerations.

When: On demand
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to watch the video: Click here

Culturally Responsive Palliative Care for Aboriginal People 

Presented by the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA)

This online workshop is delivered over two weeks and aims to improve health care professionals' knowledge, skills and confidence in the palliative approach to care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a life-limiting illness. 

When: Tuesday 9 & 16 November 10am - 12pm
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to watch the video: Click here

Exploring the importance of palliative care to our First Nations' peoples  

Presented by Palliative Care Australia

Palliative Care Australia have launched the video 'Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country' exploring the importance of palliative care to our First Nations’ peoples. The video explains the use of ‘death and dying’ language in communities, documenting end-of-life wishes, and how traditional and modern ways may co-exist in today’s society. 

When: On demand
Where: Online via your PC or device
Cost: Free
For further information or to watch the video: Click here

Information & resources

Activity Report: Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board 

The independent Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board has tabled its latest activity report in Victorian Parliament, including, for the first time, specific information about applicants who have accessed palliative care. Since Victoria’s historic laws first came into effect on 19 June 2019, the report shows 82 per cent of applicants were receiving support from palliative care services at the time they applied for voluntary assisted dying. 

ACP resources - now available in Japanese 

Advance Care Planning Australia has added Japanese to their existing suite of translated resources in 16 languages. The resources include written and audio content with printable PDF documents.


Podcast - What happens when I die? 

This podcast series is produced by Australian Unity. In this episode host Anna Hacker is joined by Jessie Williams of the Groundswell Project. They discuss death, why it is so important to plan for the future and how to start conversations about what to do when you die.


New edition: Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends 

Understanding Palliative Care - A guide for people with cancer, their families and friends is a Cancer Council resource prepared to help people understand more about palliative care, and written specifically for people affected by advanced cancer. First published in 2003 and updated every two years, the latest edition has just been published.


Digital dashboard for aged care 

The ELDAC digital dashboard can be embedded in aged care IT systems to show key end-of-life care data relevant for reporting and clinical decision making. The dashboard aims to show what is happening at the client, manager, and organisational levels, provide flags for care prompts and assist in reporting and/or benchmarking.  Listen to Dr Priyanka Vandersman introduce the Digital Dashboard in this ELDAC video.

Responding to COVID-19

Information & resources 

For the latest COVID-19 health and clinical advice

Department of Health & Human Services

This website includes the most up-to-date Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources, information, plans and guides for health professionals working in Victoria.

Especially for those working in palliative care


Resources from Caresearch 

Caresearch has multiple web pages that list resources for palliative care and care at the end of life in the COVID-19 context and according to role, setting, or source.


Especially for those working in the aged care sector


Resources from DHHS 

The Department of Health and Human Services has a web page with information and resources to support the aged care sector in responding to the coronavirus disease.

Resources from ELDAC

ELDAC's Being Prepared for COVID-19 page is being updated regularly, with specific information for:
  • aged care
  • services and organisations
  • GPs and other health professionals
  • older people and their families
  • the workforce
  • people who speak languages other than English 

For those working with people with a CALD background


Fact sheets in easy-English and 56 other languages 

The Department of Health and Human Services (Vic) has created web pages and resources in 56 languages which provide Information, updates and advice about the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Topics include: 
  • Face coverings
  • Current restrictions
  • Advice for all Victorians
  • Support available
  • Resources

Information in audio and video format

Health Translations is the one site where people can access high-quality consumer-focused translated materials on COVID-19 produced by government & community agencies Australia-wide.
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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
Jane Newbound......Aged Care Project Officer..... .0433 418 
Lee-Anne Henley....MND Shared Care Worker......0428 264
Stephenie Cook .....Training Consultant.................0417 859

Our members include:

Ex Officio Members include:

  • Cabrini Palliative Care Services
  • Bolton Clarke
  • Southern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS)

For general inquiries to the SMRPCC please email 

Copyright © 2021 Southern Metropolitan Region Palliative Care Consortium, All rights reserved.
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