National Palliative Care Projects

The Australian Government funds a range of national palliative care projects primarily focused on education, training, quality improvement and advance care planning.

Page last updated: 16 August 2018

Details of the projects funded under the National Palliative Care Program for 2017-18 to 2019-20 are below.

The Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative

The Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative aims to:

  • promote the inclusion in all health care training of the role of palliative care and its principles and practice in the care of dying people;
  • support the inclusion of palliative care education as an integral part of all medical, nursing and allied health undergraduate training and ongoing professional development; and
  • enhance the capacity of health professionals to deliver a palliative care approach through their participation in either clinical placements in specialist palliative care services or interactive workshops.

More information is available from the Palliative Care Curriculum for Undergraduates (PCC4U) website and the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach (PEPA) website.

Palliative Care Online Training Portal

The Palliative Care Online Training Portal is a free online education and training package to assist health workers, including general practitioners, nurses and care workers to provide front line palliative care. The package consists of six online learning modules and a resource library.

Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC)

The primary objective of Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) is to systematically improve palliative care patient outcomes (including pain and symptom control) through:

  • using PCOC patient outcome data to drive improvements in the care that patients and carers receive and by
  • embedding the PCOC assessment system and point-of-care outcomes measures into daily practice in home hospice and hospital settings.

Patient outcome data will be routinely collected, analysed and fed back (through reports and benchmarking workshops) to palliative care providers Australia-wide to drive improvements in patient outcomes. PCOC will consolidate and build on the existing program and expand it to include primary health and aged care to drive improvements in palliative care beyond the specialist sector.

Palliative Care Australia

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) is the peak national organisation for palliative care and end-of-life issues in Australia. The Australian Government provides funding to PCA for infrastructure support and operational activities.

PCA will continue to:

  • inform and contribute to the development of palliative care public policy in Australia;
  • consult and collaborate with the palliative care sector and the wider Australian community on palliative care and end-of-life issues;
  • promote increased awareness of palliative care across the Australian community through information development and dissemination; and
  • undertake the national palliative care standards program.

Advance Care Planning Australia

Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) aims to ensure people’s choices about their end-of-life care are respected. In doing so, ACPA works to increase national awareness and uptake of advance care planning through promotion and capacity building across Australia. ACPA provides assistance to individuals across Australia to choose their end-of-life care and to inform their families, carers and health professionals of the choices they have made.

For more information on advance care planning, visit the Department's Advance Care Planning webpage and Advance Care Planning Australia.

Quality of Care Collaborative Australia – Delivering Education in Paediatric Palliative Care

The Quality of Care Collaborative Australia aims to build the capacity of local health professionals nationally to provide palliative care to children and support to families, and improve the quality of paediatric palliative care services across all Australian jurisdictions. It consists of face-to-face training and online resources and provides linkages between Commonwealth and State paediatric palliative care services including Primary Health Networks.

CareSearch – Building knowledge and awareness through sector engagement

CareSearch is an interactive website that includes a searchable database of palliative care literature and online forums that allow groups to share research, reports and information.

The CareSearch website hosts the palliAGED site which provides palliative care and end-of-life guidance within an aged care context. palliAGED apps provide nurses and GPs with easy access to information to help them care for older Australians approaching the end of their life.

End-of-life Essentials for Acute Hospital Clinicians

The End of Life Essentials for Acute Hospital Clinicians project aims to provide clinically relevant and evidence-based learning materials, implementation tool lists and web based resources for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who work in acute hospitals.

The Advance Project: Initiating palliative care and advance care planning through training and resources for primary and chronic/complex care clinicians

The Advance Project: Initiating palliative care and advance care planning through training and resources for primary and chronic/complex care clinicians project will be run by HammondCare to implement training to develop clinicians’ skills in initiating conversations about ACP and screening for PC needs, facilitate earlier attention to ACP and palliative/supportive care in primary and chronic/complex care settings, and enable clinicians in these settings to more efficiently address patients and caregivers’ identified needs and concerns about ACP and PC.

Enhancing legal knowledge of medical practitioners to improve the provision of palliative and end-of-life care

The Queensland University of Technology is being funded to deliver the Enhancing legal knowledge of medical practitioners to improve the provision of palliative and end-of-life care project which aims to improve the legal knowledge of and capacity to manage legal issues for practitioners in palliative care and end-of-life care settings. The project will develop and deliver learning modules as well as face to face workshops nationally.

The Australian carer toolkit for advanced disease: Helping family carers to support a relative or friend with advanced disease

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne is being funded to develop The Australian carer toolkit for advanced disease which aims to help Australian family carers to support a person with advanced disease by providing access to high quality information via a national e-health toolkit. The toolkit also aims to enhance carers’ psychosocial wellbeing, thereby fostering ‘successful’ home care.


Metro South Hospital and Health Service is being funded to develop resources as part of the caring@home project. caring@home aims to improve the quality of palliative care service delivery across Australia by developing resources that will support people to be cared for and to die at home, if that is their choice. Resources will be available Australia-wide for community service providers, health care professionals and carers to support carers to help manage breakthrough symptoms safely using subcutaneous medicines.

Continuing National Palliative Care Projects 2014-2017

The University of Sydney is being funded to develop the Online Toolkit for Carers and Practitioners Helping People with Intellectual Disability Understand Dying and Death. The Toolkit aims to provide carers and practitioners with information, evidence, resources and confidence to discuss dying and death with people with intellectual disabilities.

The toolkit is expected to be launched in early 2018.