Public Health Palliative Care International: 6th International Conference


November 2017

The GroundSwell Project and Western Sydney University have secured the bid for the 6th International Public Health Palliative Care Conference to be held in Sydney 2019

The biennial conference of Public Health Palliative Care International (PHPCI) conference is a gathering of local and international researchers, practitioners and citizens who are changing the way we view and respond to end-of-life care.

This unique gathering provides public health, palliative care and other health care professionals, carers, volunteers and citizens  the opportunity to share their experience and expertise on an international platform. This event is expected to attract 300-400 public health and palliative care professionals and community members from around the world.

PHPCI believe that death, dying, loss and care is everyone’s responsibility. A public health approach to end of life care views the community as an equal partner in the long and complex task of providing quality health care at the end of life. The PHPC approach has the most potential to enhance the quality of life and sense of wellbeing to the widest number of people in sickness and in health, in dying and in loss, and in all caring experiences toward one another. The World Health Organisation states it is absolutely crucial that communities are involved in their own health and wellbeing and this must include their multiple experiences of death, dying, loss and care.  

In 1999, Prof. Kellehear set out a plan to use the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion to reorient the delivery of palliative care in such a way that all of the community are involved and we are now seeing the fruit of these ideas. The first conference in 2009 was held at the Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM) in the city of Calicut in Kerala, India, bringing together the people who were revolutionising the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care, including Australia’s own Prof. Allan Kellehear, Dr Bruce Rumbold and Dr John Rosenberg.  

Earlier this year, a number of Australian researchers, academics and practitioners in end-of-life care attended the 5th International Public Health Palliative Care Conference in Ottawa, Canada and it was a watershed moment for Public Health Palliative Care, looking at ten years of research, publications, presentations, reports, special editions and books from all over the world - England, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand and Australia.  

England, Ireland and Scotland have grown the PHPC and Compassionate Communities work. Australia is delivering world class research and held the inaugural Compassionate Communities Symposium convened by The GroundSwell Project and Palliative Care Australia in February this year. There is now a growing national effort to develop Compassionate Communities work with the recent announcement of funding this work through Primary Health Networks.

Since the first conference in India in 2009, each host country of this gathering has seen a flurry of activity from all sectors in the lead up to and following their conferences.  For example, in Canada there is a new national lead for Compassionate Communities, and new initiatives have sprung up across the country in response to their role as hosts for the 2017 conference.

This is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the innovative programs and projects that are happening here in Australia across the health and research sectors and community end-of-life care. It will be exciting to see Australia play its part on the international stage. 

The 2019 conference will be co-chaired by Kerrie Noonan, founder of The GroundSwell Project and Professor Debbie Horsfall, lead researcher of the caring at end of life project, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University.

For more information on this conference contact:

Kerrie Noonan E: 

M: 0439 040 499