EMBARGOED: Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Aussies avoiding what matters most in last stage of life 

Experts issuing public health plea for improved communication,

acceptance and preparation for last stage of life


Of the 160,000 Australian deaths recorded each year,1,2 more than 60 per cent (100,000) are predictable, and can therefore, be planned for.


Yet concerningly, less than one in six Australians (15 per cent) have care plans in place for the last stage of life3, and while 70 per cent of Australians prefer to die at home, or in a home-like setting,4 currently less than 14 per cent are doing so.5


Next Tuesday, April 27, experts will issue a public health plea for improved communication, acceptance and preparation for the last stage of life. Their call will coincide with the publication of an article in MJA Insight+,6 explaining how lack of acceptance, planning and ineffective communication means that all too often, the attitudes and preferences of a person in the last stage of life, are neither discussed, understood, or championed. 


To learn more, including how an Australian social enterprise is striving to improve the experiences for those in the last stage of life, and for their caregivers and families, tee up an interview with a spokesperson below.  

Professor Ken Hillman, AO



Ms Melissa Reader

Rose Dillon


Dr Leeroy William


Dr Renee Lim


Intensive Care Specialist & Professor of Intensive Care, University of New South Wales (UNSW) & Clinical Committee member, The Violet Initiative, SYDNEY


Social Entrepreneur & CEO, The Violet Initiative, SYDNEY


Violet Guide & Manager, Experience & Engagement, The Violet Initiative, SYDNEY

Palliative Care Specialist, President of the Australian & New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine & Board Member, The Violet Initiative, MELBOURNE


Medical Doctor working in Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care & Geriatrics, Educator, performer & consultant to The Violet Initiative, IN MELBOURNE FOR LAUNCH


Janet, 59 

Mother, animal lover & artist who cared for her ex-husband during the final years of his life, SYDNEY


Available for download today (TUES, APRIL 27) at 


Kirsten Bruce and Mel Kheradi, VIVA! Communications

T          02 9968 3741 | 02 9968 1604

M         0401 717 566 | M 0421 551 257



  1. Palliative Care Australia, Palliative Care 2030 – Working towards the future of quality palliative care for all. 2018: PCA, Canberra.

  2. Palliative Care Australia & KPMG, Investing to save - The economics of increased investment in palliative care in Australia. 2020.

  3.  White, B., et al., Prevalence and predictors of advance directives in Australia. Intern Med J, 2014. 44(10): p. 975-80.

  4.  Higginson, I.J., et al., Dying at home--is it better: a narrative appraisal of the state of the science. Palliat Med, 2013. 27(10): p. 918-24.

  5. Serissen, H., & Duckett, S., Grattan Institute, Dying well. 2014.

  6. Eagar K., et al. A question worth asking: what matters most at end of life? 2021 [cited April 2021]; Available from: 

References ​