Great Southern Compassionate Communities

Compassionate Communities is an international public health project 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 project 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


  • In Memory of Ordinary Things Exhibitions - Albany & Denmark

    11 days 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

    11 days 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

    18 days 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

    18 days 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

    18 days 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

    about 2 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

    3 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!

    3 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/
  • What does dying actually look like?

    3 months ago

    When you start talking about dying and death a common question that regularly arises is “so what does dying actually look like?”.

    If you’d like to find out we suggest that you check out this Palliative Care WA’s publication which gives clear information about the dying process (https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/resources/the-dying-process-2/).

    Another option is to read the article from the ABC journalist Bianca Nogrady (https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-05-26/what-to-expect-when-someone-is-dying/8550490).

    Both of these documents can be found under the “Carers Resources” section of the Toolkit on this page. Here you will also find links to a wide range of other highly informative resources that can help you and your family prepare for the inevitable.


    When you start talking about dying and death a common question that regularly arises is “so what does dying actually look like?”.

    If you’d like to find out we suggest that you check out this Palliative Care WA’s publication which gives clear information about the dying process (https://palliativecarewa.asn.au/resources/the-dying-process-2/).

    Another option is to read the article from the ABC journalist Bianca Nogrady (https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-05-26/what-to-expect-when-someone-is-dying/8550490).

    Both of these documents can be found under the “Carers Resources” section of the Toolkit on this page. Here you will also find links to a wide range of other highly informative resources that can help you and your family prepare for the inevitable.


  • How do you cope with news that you, or a loved one, is dying?

    4 months ago

    So, you have received the worst news imaginable – you or a loved one has a terminal illness. How do you cope with news that you, or a loved one, is dying?

    The Cancer Council has extensive experience in helping people deal with this situation and has prepared a useful guide that answers such questions as:

    • how do I work out how long I have left?
    • how do I have as good a death as possible?
    • how, and when, should I tell my loved ones?
    • where can I get help if I live by myself?
    • who can help me deal with my spiritual or emotional concerns?
    • what paperwork do I need to deal with?

    While the focus of the guide is on people with a terminal cancer diagnosis it really is applicable for anyone that is facing a life limiting condition.

    We don’t have to wait until we are dealing with a terminal diagnosis to take a look at the information. Why don’t you take the time now to inform yourself (and your social circle) so that we are all better prepared if, and when, the time comes.

    To dowload a copy of the brochure follow this link: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/UC-Pub-Facing-End-of-Life-CAN4407-lo-res-March-2017.pdf

    Check out the “Facing End of Life” link on the “Planning Ahead Resources” section of the Toolkit on this page. Here you will also find links to a wide range of other highly informative resources that can help you and your family plan for the inevitable.

    So, you have received the worst news imaginable – you or a loved one has a terminal illness. How do you cope with news that you, or a loved one, is dying?

    The Cancer Council has extensive experience in helping people deal with this situation and has prepared a useful guide that answers such questions as:

    • how do I work out how long I have left?
    • how do I have as good a death as possible?
    • how, and when, should I tell my loved ones?
    • where can I get help if I live by myself?
    • who can help me deal with my spiritual or emotional concerns?
    • what paperwork do I need to deal with?

    While the focus of the guide is on people with a terminal cancer diagnosis it really is applicable for anyone that is facing a life limiting condition.

    We don’t have to wait until we are dealing with a terminal diagnosis to take a look at the information. Why don’t you take the time now to inform yourself (and your social circle) so that we are all better prepared if, and when, the time comes.

    To dowload a copy of the brochure follow this link: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/UC-Pub-Facing-End-of-Life-CAN4407-lo-res-March-2017.pdf

    Check out the “Facing End of Life” link on the “Planning Ahead Resources” section of the Toolkit on this page. Here you will also find links to a wide range of other highly informative resources that can help you and your family plan for the inevitable.