Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

This page provides access to resources and information about the needs and preferences when providing palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their families and carers.

It is regularly updated by the Consortium Team to ensure the information remains current.

Palliative care resources and links

WARNING: Some of the resources listed contain stories or paintings or other contributions from people who are deceased.


This resource provides information when caring for Aboriginal people with life-limiting illnesses and their families so you are able to respond effectively to their specific needs.

click here for learning modules


Gwandalan: Supporting Palliative Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

Spirituality plays an important role in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people possessing strong beliefs about the existence of life beyond the physical realm. Life and death are viewed as a continuous cycle from birth to death to re-birth; the life, death, life pattern.  This website provides a range of information including e-learning modules, dillybag resources and information about becoming a trainer.

Click here to find out more


Stories about the journeys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Wominjeka: Welcome to our journey

Published by the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), Wominjeka: Welcome to our journey is a collection of real life stories from Victorian Aboriginal community members about their own journey or the journey of a friend or family member at the end of life.

Pop Arthur

This short illustrated book tells the story of Pop Arthur, a man living in a remote community with his family. It follows the journey of Pop Arthur through palliative care and to the end of his life and includes family members’ reflections on Pop Arthur’s life and his decision to stop active treatment and die at home with his family.

Web: https://issuu.com/amamood/docs/2012-6-7_poparthur_web


Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) Palliative Care Project

VACCHO’s Aboriginal Palliative Care Project 

VACCHO’s Victorian Palliative Care Project aims for Aboriginal people to have access to palliative care services and for palliative care services to provide culturally safe services to Aboriginal people. It also aims to develop and increase the awareness and access to palliative care services and to develop a long and lasting relationship between palliative care providers and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHO’s) across the state of Victoria.

Click here for website.

Palliative care: It’s the beginning of your health care Dreaming

 

Cultural safety in providing palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Australian Indigenous palliative care and end-of-life care portal

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet palliative care portal has many useful resources for anyone working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a life-limiting illness.

Cultural Considerations: Providing end of life care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

This booklet from the Australian Government funded Program of Experience in Palliative Care (PEPA) run by the Queensland University of Technology Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation aims to provide health care services with information about the delivery of cultural care during the end of life journey for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Click link to download

A link to cultural protocols from VACCHO

Click here for website.

Sad news sorry business: Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying

This booklet provides insight into appropriate cultural knowledge and practices to assist people to provide culturally and clinically responsive care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families at the end of life.

Click here to read booklet.

Culturally responsive palliative care

PCC4U educator community have recently added a webinar teaching culturally-responsive palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to their suite of online videos.

Culturally safe communication skills – tips for non-Indigenous health professionals

Cancer Australia has released Culturally safe communication skills – tips for non-Indigenous health professionals to support health professionals provide culturally safe and appropriate care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer.

The resource comprises five short videos and key messages tip sheet which includes practical tips and advice from medical oncologists, cancer care co-ordinators, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers and Health Workers, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer. Click here to read more.


Having a Yarn about health and planning ahead (advance care planning)

Dying to Talk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Discussion Starter: Working Out What’s Right For You

Dying to Talk is an initiative of Palliative Care Australia that encourages Australians to talk about dying. Dying to Talk aims to reach into the community to normalise dying in Australia and to help Australians work out what’s right for them at the end of their lives.

Taking Control of YOUR Health Journey

The Taking Control of YOUR Health Journey booklet was developed as part of a project funded by the Australian Government to increase awareness of advance care planning in the Aboriginal community. Click here to access booklet

Taking care of Dying Time

Aboriginal Community Support Worker, Chris Thorne talks about his personal experience with a family member and the value and importance of having an advance care plan in place.

Having a Yarn-Final Footprints: My Culture, My Kinship, My Country’:

This video examines safe and appropriate ways to approach the challenging subject of death and dying with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It includes discussion on “death  and dying”, “finishing up”, “sorry or sad business” or “sorry camps”, and “palliative care”.

Youtube video click here For further information about the Footprints video click here


Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers (AHLOs) and the Improving Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients Program (ICAP)

All metropolitan public hospitals have workers dedicated to providing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families.

The Aboriginal Health Liaison Officer program (AHLO) is a state government funded program that began in 1982. In 2004, the state government introduced the Improving Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients Program (ICAP). ICAP builds on the AHLO program.

The Palliative Care Victoria website includes a four minute audio recording/podcast by Suzanne Nelson, from her time as Aboriginal Health Liaison Worker at Austin Health explaining the Aboriginal Health Liaison Worker role.

NW Metro region hospital AHLO/ICAP contacts include:

The Victorian Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) supports the network of ICAP/AHLO workers across the state. Further information can be found on the following link. Aboriginal Health section of the Department of Health