National Palliative Care Week 2011

Susan Redden Makatoa / SenateSHJ / Sydney, Australia


Australia has a rapidly aging population, with some 5.5 million Baby Boomers approaching retirement. Because Baby Boomers demand more choice and more tailored health care than any preceding generation, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) saw a widening gap between the expectations and availability of end-of-life services. PCA knew just 16 percent of deaths happened in the home, yet people desired quite a different death.

PCA is a nonprofit organization that works to address palliative care issues at the federal, state and community level. PCA aims to improve the understanding and availability of services, which are not consistently available across the nation.

PCA wanted to garner support and encourage action from two key audiences:

  1. Policy makers whose decisions have a major impact on the lives of Australians and the level/type of care they are entitled to at the end of their lives
  1. The Sandwich Generation (40–60-year-olds raising children and caring for aging parents) who will all at some point need to make end-of-life care decisions for themselves, but who are also often entrusted to make decisions regarding the health of their elderly parents

PCA decided National Palliative Care Week (NPCW) was the platform to do just that. The role for PR in fulfilling PCA’s business needs was clear.

PCA’s business needs and therefore communication needs for NPCW 2011 were:

  1. To generate quality media coverage to widen the organization’s circle of influence and garner support for the issues it champions with political stakeholders and their
  1. To spark discussions about palliative care, its importance, and its role in the lives of each and every Australian,