GRPCC eNews No47 - February 2021
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Life and Death Matters 

The GRPCC eNews Life & Death Matters is circulated bi-monthly to provide you with current information regarding the GRPCC members, including upcoming education and training. If you have been forwarded the GRPCC eNews from a colleague or friend and would like to receive your own copy, click here to subscribe

New Resources
Guidelines and documents to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care
The GRPCC Clinical Practice Group (CPG) continues to provide / source clinical guidelines and documents in response to identified needs to assist health professionals and carers in recognising and delivering evidence-based practice in palliative care.

The importance of evidence based practice cannot be underestimated in the palliative care environment, whether in the community, in residential aged care, or the inpatient setting.

For a full list of CPG Guidelines please visit the GRPCC website


The Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) aims to improve the accessibility of quality palliative care in the community by increasing the skills and confidence of health professionals who are caring for people with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Topics covered include:

Palliative Approach in Allied Health & Communication Skills Workshop (In Person)

  • What is the palliative approach?
  • Life limiting illnesses
  • Advance Care Directives and the Medical Treatment Planning & Decisions Act 2016
  • Caring for the professional caregiver
  • Communication skills training focusing on palliative care conversations
Warragul - SOLD OUT
Thursday 15th April 2021
9.00am - 4.00pm
Monash School of Rural Health, Sargent Street Warragul

Thursday 22nd April 2021
9.00am - 4.00pm
The HUB Bairsndale, Crn Service and Dalohoy Street Bairnsdale

Click here to view the flyer and registration details

PEPA Victoria Palliative Approach AGED CARE Workshop (Online)

The aim of the workshop is to assist health professionals working in AGED CARE to acquire knowledge, skills and confidence in providing a palliative approach for people living with a life-limiting illness, and their families

This workshop will be delivered online over 5 weeks. One session each week on a Thursday for 2 hours using the ZOOM application.

Principles of Palliative Care
Thursday 4th of March 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Thursday 11th of March 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Providing Care
Thursday 18th of March 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Advance Care Planning & Ethical Issues in Palliative Care
Thursday 25th of March 1.00pm - 3.00pm

End-of-life Care & Self Care
Thursday 1st of April 1.00pm - 3.00pm

To receive a Certificate of Completion, attendance at all 5 sessions in sequence is required.
Palliative Care for General Practitioners – ONLINE Session (free)

This interactive education session for General Practitioners, utilises group discussion and case studies to provide a greater understanding of palliative care. Practice Nurses are also welcome to attend.

Topics covered include:
  • Recognising patients who need palliative care
  • Communicating about end of life issues
  • Voluntary assisted dying in Victoria
  • Assessing and managing common symptoms
  • Advance care planning
Wednesday 24th February 2021
6.00pm – 8.00pm

Click here to register
Cultural diversity and palliative care - Short Series

Improve your knowledge and skill around cultural diversity in the palliative care context.   Come and join Tanja Bahro, manager of the Southern Metro Palliative Care Consortium  for a free  50-minute online session.  This is suitable for palliative care, acute and aged care clinicians.

Cultural diversity essentials
Tuesday 9th Feb 1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Cross cultural communication and introduction to working with interpreters
Thursday 18th Feb 1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Cultural diversity and health
Wednesday 24th Feb 1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Health literacy and palliative care
Tuesday 2nd March 1pm - 1.50pm
Click here to register

Working with culturally diverse teams
Wednesday 10th March   1pm – 1:50pm
Click here to register

Click here to for more details and the view the flyer

 A Matter of Death and Life workshop with Irvin Yalom   

Join Irvin Yalom is for a 2-hour workshop which is an introduction to the new book titled “A Matter of Death and Life”.

The first hour will be a conversation between Irvin and John about the book. The second hour will be an opportunity for participants to put their questions to Irvin.

Tue, 9 March 2021
08:00am – 10:00am AEDT

Click here to register

Time of Dying Webinar Series

The Time of Dying Forums, hosted by Gippsland Primary Healthcare Network and the GRPCC, was sectioned into four, one-hour online sessions presented over four weeks in October 2020.  With over 300 participants the Time of Dying series was presented by Dr. Melanie Benson, Palliative Care Physician and John Reeves, Clinical Psychologist. Topics included Diagnosing Dying, Anticipatory Prescribing, A Walk on the Webside: Communication Challenges in Palliative Care & EOL Discussions and Management Decisions & Plans in the Dying Time – Palliative Sedation. 

The series concluded with an  e-forum on December 4  which provided attendees the opportunity to put forth scenarios, real or feared, to have questions answered by a multidisciplinary panel of health professionals with expertise in palliative and end of life care. .

Recordings of the webinar are available to view at anytime by clicking the topic below and also available on the GRPCC website.


Project Updates
Strengthening support for palliative care clients in Gippsland (Stage 2) – Implementation of the Telephone Triage Tool

The GRPCC, in collaboration with the Gippsland Primary Health Network and Monash School of Rural Health continues work on a project to  support  generalist health professionals to deliver a consistent and evidence based approach to symptom management for clients receiving palliative care. The tool to support community palliative care clients in the afterhours time period has been implemented, and is being successfully used by services.
The project has progressed with the development of a Telephone Triage Tool for the primary health setting, and this tool is about to implemented into general practices, community health settings, and rural and remote nursing centres. This tool aims to support a consistent approach to identifying and supporting clients who may experience palliative care symptoms in the advanced stages of their chronic and/or life limiting disease.  
The GRPCC  Telephone Triage Tool for the Residential Aged Care setting has also been developed, and is currently being reviewed. Again, this tool aims to support health professionals in providing a consistent response to palliative care symptoms for people living in residential aged care in business and after hours.  
We are very excited to see the further development, implementation and evaluation of these tools with project completion date June 30 2021.
For further information, please contact Carol Barbeler at the GRPCC.

Transition to Specialty Palliative Care - Pilot

To address the identified gap in specialist palliative care trained nurses, the GRPCC has partnered with Palliative Care South East and the ACN to develop the ‘Transition to Specialty Palliative Care’ course.

The Transition to Specialty Palliative Care course is for RNs working in the community or in patient setting looking to advance their palliative care knowledge. It is a bridge for those who may wish to pursue post-graduate study or to just consolidate their expertise.  Further study options will be available for people who do wish to advance their training further.

The pilot course will be run over 7 face to face workshops, 6 weeks apart commencing on the 2nd March and  completed in October 2021.  High quality presenters from across the spectrum of palliative care profession provide a breadth of knowledge.  The sessions will be face to face at Bunjil Place in Narre Warren with the opportunity to pivot to zoom if Covid restrictions require. The  accredited online education component will be provided by the Australian College of Nursing.

Places for this pilot session are currently all allocated but if you might be interested in attending the this course in the future, please send an expression of interest to the GRPCC at to be places on the waiting list for future events.

Palliative Care News


The end-of-life essential education modules are designed to assist doctors, nurses and allied health professionals working in acute hospitals in delivering end-of-life care. They are free to use and can be accessed on the web from anywhere in Australia. Available modules include:

  • Dying, a normal part of life
  • Patient-Centred Communication and Shared Decision-Making
  • Recognising the End of Life
  • Teams and Continuity for the Patient
  • Responding to Concerns
  • Planning End-of-Life Care - Goals of Care
  • Paediatric End-of-Life Care
  • Emergency Department End-of-Life Care
  • Imminent Death - How to Respond
  • Chronic Complex Illness End-of-Life Care
Click here to view these modules

Upcoming modules on psychosocial and existential wellbeing will soon be available and will have topics to help health care professionals provide more encompassing care to a patient at the end-of-life, including topics on
  • Being a burden, dependency and lack of autonomy
  • Awareness and open discussions of death
  • Who is particularly vulnerable at the end-of-life 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Please subscribe to the End-of-Life essentials newsletter if you are particularly interested in these new modules for further updates. 
Other Information
Regional Health Workforce Survey

Gippsland PHN is surveying people who work in health care across the region to inform future workforce and service planning.

It is aimed at Gippsland’s health workforce including primary care, allied health professionals, aged care and those who work in behavioural health including mental health (clinical and non-clinical), alcohol and drug, specialist counselling (e.g. gambling, sexual assault, financial and family violence) and school counselling services.

Survey questions include:
  • identifying occupation
  • identification of extended competencies (extra education)
  • interest in additional training/education
  • length of tenure and hours worked in current position
The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and is open now until mid-February 2021.

Information collected in the online survey will be stored securely. De-identified information will be analysed, summarised and used by Gippsland PHN to inform workforce planning.

Click here to complete the survey 

For more information, contact Liz Craig at or on 0437 396 991.
On the 'Virtual' Couch

Getting to know our palliative care people

Kelly Koschade

Nurse Practitioner 

Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consultancy Service

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be in a helping profession, I thought initially I would join the police force – my children think that is hilarious now!

2. Favourite holiday destination?
I have never really had holidays (if you exclude camping). My ideal holiday is Switzerland to visit friends… day!

3. Buried, cremated or snap-frozen?
I don’t like being too cold or too hot – so I guess that means buried. Under a shady tree would be nice.

4. What will be written on your headstone?  
No headstone, just some flowers or a tree.

5. Music at your funeral?
Jeff Buckley, Crowded House, or some nice classical piano.

6. What would your last outfit be?
A baggy linen dress, tights and gum boots, a bright yellow cardigan, and gardening gloves –ready for some action!

7. What are you reading now?
 I am enjoying Phosphorescence by Julia Baird – bringing a little bit of light to a covid world.

8. What would you have for your last meal?
Stewed apricots and vanilla ice cream

9. Which famous person would you like to invite to dinner?
 I would love to sit down with Peter Singer as he has had a huge impact on my life. I read Animal Liberation when I was 16 and didn’t eat meat for 16 years. I also went on to study Bioethics after reading his various books, he is responsible for me learning to think.

10. What lessons has your work life taught you? 
The importance of patience (not so easy for me), living in the present, and being able to accept the decisions of others in relation to their health, even though they would not be my own choice.

Interesting Articles and Papers
Living with dying - A guest blog post by Jan Obery, Senior Social Worker, Central Adelaide Palliative Care Service
Book Club

Dying For A Chat by Dr Ranjana Srivastava

The Needs of the Dying by David Kessler

The Four Things that Matter Most by  Dr Ira Byock

A Matter of Life and Death By Irvin Yalom
Other Palliative Care eNewsletters
CareSeach - February eNews

End of Life Essentials Project News - February 

Mailing Address:

Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium
c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group
Landsborough Road
Warragul  Vic  3820
t:   03 5623 0684

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Gippsland Region Palliative Care Consortium · c/- West Gippsland Healthcare Group · 41 Landsborough Road · Warragul, Vic 3820 · Australia

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