Palliative Care Week 2023 Afternoon Tea
Palliative Care Queensland President, Associate Professor Anthony Herbert and Chief Executive Officer, Ms Louise O’Neill; staff, volunteers and supporters of palliative care; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
This week marks National Palliative Care Week, and Graeme and I welcome you warmly to Government House to highlight the importance of the work of those involved in palliative care and to consider this year’s theme: Palliative Care - Matters of Life and Death.
If you think about the scale that measures what is important in the world, the stakes do not get any higher than when we stand at the crossroads that mark the transition between life and death. And it’s at this stage of an individual’s journey that the most sensitive, informed, and focussed care is needed.
This specialised medical care is interdisciplinary and covers a broad array of practitioners and services.
It enables those with severe illness to live their lives as fully and as comfortably as possible, for as long as possible, and it provides support and direction to those suffering the grief associated with death and dying. I wonder if there is any greater honour than to be involved in such important work.
Palliative care is about the quality of the living and of the dying and there is nothing simple about that. The complexities involved in optimising the quality of life left to a person who has been diagnosed with ‘an active, progressive, advanced disease is obvious.
To help us all understand this more fully, a special movie event at The Elizabeth Picture Theatre will be hosted by Palliative Care Queensland.
Live the Life you Please is a documentary that ‘follows the stories of Australians of all ages and different stages of disease and poignantly provides a picture of the spectrum of challenges and acceptances associated with the palliative care domain.
Last year we asked for conversations to be more freely had about palliative care with the theme ‘It’s your right’.
This year’s theme explores more fully the challenges the sector faces and the opportunities that those challenges can bring.
Utilising the knowledge and the wisdom of those in Palliative Care Queensland, and more broadly, Palliative Care Australia, our ‘community of care’ may be informed more fully as to how to go about these matters of life and death within our state and nationally.
The aim is to ‘support all Queenslanders to live, die and grieve well’; an enormous task, but one that with the help of all Queenslanders, and the leadership of organisations such Palliative Care Queensland, may be achieved.
Graeme and I, on behalf of all Queenslanders, thank you for your dedication to providing and delivering such vital services to our communities.
As Governor and Patron of Palliative Care Queensland, it is my pleasure to host you all here today and if you happen to be in the area this evening you will notice this beautiful House lit up in maroon and navy – as it was on Sunday night to mark the start of National Palliative Care Week – a small way we here at Government House can help shine a light on all the wonderful work you do.