Great Southern Compassionate Communities

Compassionate Communities is an international public health palliative approach whose aim is to engage broad community support for people approaching the end of their lives. The movement takes initiatives that encourage and enable the whole community to provide care and support to complement those given by health and social service providers.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities project aims to make our community more knowledgeable about matters to do with death, dying and bereavement; and the care of those affected. Also, to improve access to a broader range of safe and good quality care that will result from this initiative.

A major task for the project will be to influence community attitudes about the end-of-life, and some of the practical issues (such as care) that arise. This will involve thinking and talking about things such as:-

  • Accepting that death, dying and loss are normal/natural
  • Thinking through future treatment and care needs
  • Making an Advance Care Plan to help family, friends, carers and health professionals understand how you would like to be cared for now and in the future.
  • What practical support might be needed to enable terminally ill people to die at home, and how to support family, friends and carers through periods of caring and eventual death.
  • Encouraging broader and shared community support during periods of caring and grief.

The target communities for the project over the two years are:

  • City of Albany (regional centre and major focus of the project initially)
  • Shire of Denmark
  • Shire of Plantagenet
  • Shire of Katanning


Compassionate Communities is an international public health palliative approach whose aim is to engage broad community support for people approaching the end of their lives. The movement takes initiatives that encourage and enable the whole community to provide care and support to complement those given by health and social service providers.

The Great Southern Compassionate Communities project aims to make our community more knowledgeable about matters to do with death, dying and bereavement; and the care of those affected. Also, to improve access to a broader range of safe and good quality care that will result from this initiative.

A major task for the project will be to influence community attitudes about the end-of-life, and some of the practical issues (such as care) that arise. This will involve thinking and talking about things such as:-

  • Accepting that death, dying and loss are normal/natural
  • Thinking through future treatment and care needs
  • Making an Advance Care Plan to help family, friends, carers and health professionals understand how you would like to be cared for now and in the future.
  • What practical support might be needed to enable terminally ill people to die at home, and how to support family, friends and carers through periods of caring and eventual death.
  • Encouraging broader and shared community support during periods of caring and grief.

The target communities for the project over the two years are:

  • City of Albany (regional centre and major focus of the project initially)
  • Shire of Denmark
  • Shire of Plantagenet
  • Shire of Katanning


  • What is Palliative Care?

    15 days ago
    What is palliative care brochure page 1

    When you hear the words “Palliative Care” do you assume that means care at the very end of life? If so you are not alone as that is a common misunderstanding.

    ‘End of life’ represents a specific time frame and often narrows the focus to the dying phase allowing opportunities for earlier support to be overlooked.

    Palliative Care Australia has produced this handy information sheet that provides a good explanation of what Palliative Care really means. This information sheet is one of several resources that can be accessed through the “Individuals and Patients Resources” section of the Compassionate Communities Toolkit.



    When you hear the words “Palliative Care” do you assume that means care at the very end of life? If so you are not alone as that is a common misunderstanding.

    ‘End of life’ represents a specific time frame and often narrows the focus to the dying phase allowing opportunities for earlier support to be overlooked.

    Palliative Care Australia has produced this handy information sheet that provides a good explanation of what Palliative Care really means. This information sheet is one of several resources that can be accessed through the “Individuals and Patients Resources” section of the Compassionate Communities Toolkit.



  • Better Health Together - Compassionate Communities - Partnership with the City of Albany

    22 days ago

    In this month’s Better health, together video, WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington chats to City of Albany Mayor, Dennis Wellington about our partnership in delivering the Compassionate Communities project.

    The project, which targets communities in the Great Southern, is a whole of community approach to increasing awareness of end of life, and empowering people to live and die well, at home where possible.

    Compassionate Communities is the approach we have adopted in delivering the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care initiative.

    Compassionate Communities recognise that caring for one another during a health crisis or personal loss is not solely a task for health and social services, but it is everyone’s responsibility. It is an individual’s network, both formal and informal, that is essential to supporting quality end of life care at home and are most likely to exist when the carer or dying person is part of a community.

    Local governments are often considered to be ‘closest to the people’ not only because of the range of services they provide for the community but also the effect of those services on community health and wellbeing. Some of the great practical examples as a result of our collaboration with the City of Albany include:

    • The inclusion of Compassionate Communities principles in the 2018-2022 Public Health Plan
    • The recognition and inclusion of End of Life as a priority area in the Age Friendly Charter
    • An interactive art project delivered through the Vancouver Arts Centre to stimulate conversation within community about supporting one another to live well at the end of life
    • In Memory of Ordinary Things – an exhibition that includes, a memory wall, storytelling and short film
    • The commencement of the Community Connector position within the City of Albany and working with the Shires of Plantagenet and Denmark to implement network care models in those communities
    To watch the full interview follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtrYTTnQU6s

    In this month’s Better health, together video, WA Primary Health Alliance CEO, Learne Durrington chats to City of Albany Mayor, Dennis Wellington about our partnership in delivering the Compassionate Communities project.

    The project, which targets communities in the Great Southern, is a whole of community approach to increasing awareness of end of life, and empowering people to live and die well, at home where possible.

    Compassionate Communities is the approach we have adopted in delivering the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care initiative.

    Compassionate Communities recognise that caring for one another during a health crisis or personal loss is not solely a task for health and social services, but it is everyone’s responsibility. It is an individual’s network, both formal and informal, that is essential to supporting quality end of life care at home and are most likely to exist when the carer or dying person is part of a community.

    Local governments are often considered to be ‘closest to the people’ not only because of the range of services they provide for the community but also the effect of those services on community health and wellbeing. Some of the great practical examples as a result of our collaboration with the City of Albany include:

    • The inclusion of Compassionate Communities principles in the 2018-2022 Public Health Plan
    • The recognition and inclusion of End of Life as a priority area in the Age Friendly Charter
    • An interactive art project delivered through the Vancouver Arts Centre to stimulate conversation within community about supporting one another to live well at the end of life
    • In Memory of Ordinary Things – an exhibition that includes, a memory wall, storytelling and short film
    • The commencement of the Community Connector position within the City of Albany and working with the Shires of Plantagenet and Denmark to implement network care models in those communities
    To watch the full interview follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtrYTTnQU6s
  • In Memory of Ordinary Things Exhibitions - Albany & Denmark

    about 1 month ago
    Memoryofordinarythingsalbanyanddenmark

    Great Southern residents have until Friday 16th August to check out the beautiful Community Memorial Walls at the Denmark Community Resource Centre and the Albany Public Library.

    The Memorial Walls celebrate heartfelt stories of loved ones who have died through photographs of often simple household objects. With over 60 images and stories displayed there is something for everyone young and old... don't miss these opportunities to spend some quiet time contemplating grief and the legacies we leave when we die.


    Great Southern residents have until Friday 16th August to check out the beautiful Community Memorial Walls at the Denmark Community Resource Centre and the Albany Public Library.

    The Memorial Walls celebrate heartfelt stories of loved ones who have died through photographs of often simple household objects. With over 60 images and stories displayed there is something for everyone young and old... don't miss these opportunities to spend some quiet time contemplating grief and the legacies we leave when we die.


  • Community Spirit Community Sharing - Dying to Know In Action

    about 1 month ago
    Beforeidieiwanttolackboard

    Dying to Know in Denmark and Albany this year brought people together to share precious memories, honour their dead, dream of things they wanted to do before they die, watch a beautiful locally made short film about Fathers and Daughters and discuss death related topics that they are passionate about.

    Feedback on the D2K program demonstrated that participants felt stimulated, nourished, safe and heartened by the opportunity to share their fears, pain and dreams within their communities.



    Dying to Know in Denmark and Albany this year brought people together to share precious memories, honour their dead, dream of things they wanted to do before they die, watch a beautiful locally made short film about Fathers and Daughters and discuss death related topics that they are passionate about.

    Feedback on the D2K program demonstrated that participants felt stimulated, nourished, safe and heartened by the opportunity to share their fears, pain and dreams within their communities.



  • Dying to Know - Denmark - 8 August 2019

    about 1 month ago

    Come along to the Denmark Community Resource Centre at 4pm on Thursday 8th August for the opening of the Memory of Ordinary Things exhibition.

    The Denmark Community have shared their stories of ordinary things that spark beautiful and heartfelt memories of people who have died. By sharing their stories behind, and images of, these objects those memories are brought more vividly to life. The generous sharing of these stories can generate some deep community conversations about death, dying and loss.

    Come along to the Denmark Community Resource Centre at 4pm on Thursday 8th August for the opening of the Memory of Ordinary Things exhibition.

    The Denmark Community have shared their stories of ordinary things that spark beautiful and heartfelt memories of people who have died. By sharing their stories behind, and images of, these objects those memories are brought more vividly to life. The generous sharing of these stories can generate some deep community conversations about death, dying and loss.

  • Palliative Caring: Information for families and carers who are caring for a person with a life-limiting illness or condition

    about 1 month ago

    Dying to Know Day is officially held on 8th August and if there’s anything that we need to learn about its how to look after someone who is approaching end of life AND how to look after ourselves during the process.

    If you are caring for somebody with a life limiting condition the odds are, at times, you feel you are on a roller coaster of emotions, confusion and possibly loneliness. Where can you turn to for help and guidance?

    Palliative Care WA has updated its “Palliative Caring” guide that is full of practical no-nonsense suggestions for not only looking after your loved ones but also how to look after yourself. To access the booklet click here: https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/PalliativeCaringBooklet2019.pdf

    This booklet is one of several resources that can be accessed through the “Carers Resources” section of the Compassionate Communities Toolkit.




    Dying to Know Day is officially held on 8th August and if there’s anything that we need to learn about its how to look after someone who is approaching end of life AND how to look after ourselves during the process.

    If you are caring for somebody with a life limiting condition the odds are, at times, you feel you are on a roller coaster of emotions, confusion and possibly loneliness. Where can you turn to for help and guidance?

    Palliative Care WA has updated its “Palliative Caring” guide that is full of practical no-nonsense suggestions for not only looking after your loved ones but also how to look after yourself. To access the booklet click here: https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/PalliativeCaringBooklet2019.pdf

    This booklet is one of several resources that can be accessed through the “Carers Resources” section of the Compassionate Communities Toolkit.




  • Dying to Know - Albany August 2019

    about 1 month ago
    Dying to know program 2019



    Dying to Know Day is a national day designed to encourage us all to talk, explore and be curious about
    something we often don’t want to talk about; the D-word.

    In Albany we know that this is too important a topic of conversation to hold on just one day so this year the City of Albany is presenting a month long program of events as part of the annual "Dying to Know Day" initiative.

    Check out the "Key Dates" section of this Great Southern Compassionate Communities site to see details of the program of events including..
    • The Memory of Ordinary Things exhibition
    • Memories, Dreams & Reflections short film
    • Storytelling Circle
    • Before I die I want to...
    • Sensory Experience Kit launch
    • Love is Listening: Dementia Without Loneliness documentary
    • Permission to Die exhibition




    Dying to Know Day is a national day designed to encourage us all to talk, explore and be curious about
    something we often don’t want to talk about; the D-word.

    In Albany we know that this is too important a topic of conversation to hold on just one day so this year the City of Albany is presenting a month long program of events as part of the annual "Dying to Know Day" initiative.

    Check out the "Key Dates" section of this Great Southern Compassionate Communities site to see details of the program of events including..
    • The Memory of Ordinary Things exhibition
    • Memories, Dreams & Reflections short film
    • Storytelling Circle
    • Before I die I want to...
    • Sensory Experience Kit launch
    • Love is Listening: Dementia Without Loneliness documentary
    • Permission to Die exhibition


  • In Memory of Ordinary Things! Denmark

    3 months ago

    Call out to the Denmark Community to Share your story.

    Do you have an everyday object that reminds you of someone special who has died? In Memory of Ordinary Things is your opportunity to share your stories.

    What to do: Take a picture of the object against a plain background; Write a short memory (25 words max); Include the person's name if you like.

    Email: a JPEG photo and memory to enquiries@denmark.wa.gov.au by Friday 2 August 2019

    Or bring your object to: Denmark Library on Thursday 4 & 18 July 1-4pm and we will photograph it for you.

    All submissions will be displayed on a memorial wall exhibition at Denmark CRC gallery opening on D2KDay 8 August 2019.

    For more information contact Claudia Simpson, Community Development Officer, 9848 0300


    Call out to the Denmark Community to Share your story.

    Do you have an everyday object that reminds you of someone special who has died? In Memory of Ordinary Things is your opportunity to share your stories.

    What to do: Take a picture of the object against a plain background; Write a short memory (25 words max); Include the person's name if you like.

    Email: a JPEG photo and memory to enquiries@denmark.wa.gov.au by Friday 2 August 2019

    Or bring your object to: Denmark Library on Thursday 4 & 18 July 1-4pm and we will photograph it for you.

    All submissions will be displayed on a memorial wall exhibition at Denmark CRC gallery opening on D2KDay 8 August 2019.

    For more information contact Claudia Simpson, Community Development Officer, 9848 0300


  • In Memory of Ordinary Things! Albany

    4 months ago

    Would you like to honour someone special that has died on a community memory wall at the Albany Public Library as part of Dying to Know Day in August 2019?

    "In Memory of Ordinary Things!" is your chance to share your stories of someone special who has died through the memories triggered by ordinary objects.

    Does that cup, pen or fishing rod have a tale to tell?

    If you'd like to get involved all you have to do is take a photo of the object against a plain background, write a short memory (125 words max) and email the story and photo (jpeg) to the Albany Dying to Know Committee by 26 July to d2kalbany@gmail,com.

    The memorial story board will be displayed on August 10th 2019.


    Would you like to honour someone special that has died on a community memory wall at the Albany Public Library as part of Dying to Know Day in August 2019?

    "In Memory of Ordinary Things!" is your chance to share your stories of someone special who has died through the memories triggered by ordinary objects.

    Does that cup, pen or fishing rod have a tale to tell?

    If you'd like to get involved all you have to do is take a photo of the object against a plain background, write a short memory (125 words max) and email the story and photo (jpeg) to the Albany Dying to Know Committee by 26 July to d2kalbany@gmail,com.

    The memorial story board will be displayed on August 10th 2019.


  • Regional WA Shows the Way in Palliative Care!

    4 months ago

    Regional WA’s palliative care professionals, volunteers and service providers shone brightly at the WA Palliative Care Awards 2019 the winners of which were announced at a gala dinner on Saturday 25 May.

    Albany Community Hospice’s Ingrid Plug won the outstanding professional award and Maureen Beattie from the Derby Aboriginal Health Service was runner up.

    Albany Community Hospice’s Alison Phipps took out award for Outstanding Volunteer with Pam Minchin (also from the Albany Community Hospice) being the runner up.

    Busselton Hospice Care Inc took out the Outstanding Organisation Award.

    Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

    For full information on the Palliative Care WA Awards check out their website https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/events/annual-awards-dinner/

    Regional WA’s palliative care professionals, volunteers and service providers shone brightly at the WA Palliative Care Awards 2019 the winners of which were announced at a gala dinner on Saturday 25 May.

    Albany Community Hospice’s Ingrid Plug won the outstanding professional award and Maureen Beattie from the Derby Aboriginal Health Service was runner up.

    Albany Community Hospice’s Alison Phipps took out award for Outstanding Volunteer with Pam Minchin (also from the Albany Community Hospice) being the runner up.

    Busselton Hospice Care Inc took out the Outstanding Organisation Award.

    Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

    For full information on the Palliative Care WA Awards check out their website https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/events/annual-awards-dinner/