Palliative Care Australia (PCA) believed a Voice to Parliament would contribute to better health and life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Given the result, we acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are in shock and are grieving.
PCA has respected the week of mourning before making comment.
“We are grateful for the work of all those involved who brought forward this heartfelt idea and share your disappointment that the proposal was not successful,” says Camilla Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, PCA.
“As the national peak body for palliative care, our mission is to influence the delivery of quality palliative care for all who need it, when and where they need it.
“As we did in considering our support for the Voice to Parliament, PCA is now reflecting on the actions and values embedded in our Reconciliation Action Plan, as a way of looking at what more we can do to support reconciliation and better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
"First and foremost, we continue to support the vision of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
“Specifically for PCA, the needs of First Nations people at the end of life are unique and not always understood by those who provide palliative care and health services, and we have a role to play in addressing that."
A range of tools and resources to support the growth of skills in this space already exist, and PCA continues to promote those opportunities and work with partners like caring@home, Healthinfonet, and iPEPA, who are working directly to share knowledge and skills in palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
PCA will also continue to consult with and share the wisdom of the Palliative Care Yarning Circle. This group of health experts bring the perspectives of their own experiences and the considerations of many different nations from around Australia to enrich our work and that of other organisations.
Having listened to those representatives, PCA also believes that Australia needs a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Palliative Care Plan, to improve cultural safety and better capture the cultural needs and diversity of Indigenous communities.
“We will continue to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and aged care organisations to enable self-determination for this important work,” Ms Rowland says.
“Feelings of grief and hurt are common around palliative care. Similar emotions have been expressed around the Referendum process and result.
“Healing takes time and we encourage anyone feeling that way for whatever reason to reach out to their support network or seek professional support through services like 13 YARN, Grief Australia, or Grief Line.
“PCA has confidence that Australians remain committed to reconciliation and improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, just as we remain committed to playing our part in that journey,” Ms Rowland says.
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