Palliative care recognised in 2023 Australian of the Year Awards

(l-r) Prof Samar Aoun and Teresa Plane

The palliative care sector is celebrating as two champions of the field, Professor Samar Aoun and Teresa Plane, are recognised at the Australian of the Year Awards among other outstanding Australians.

As the 2023 West Australian – Australian of the Year and the NSW Senior Australian of the Year respectively, Aoun and Plane will bring attention to the importance of palliative care and the Compassionate Communities movement. Their recognition is a great acknowledgment for the entire palliative care workforce, coming at a crucial time in the government’s reform agenda around aged care, Medicare, and the wider health system.

Professor Samar Aoun is an international leader in approaches to palliative care, and advocates for a person-centred approach to end-of-life support and care. Her work in the Compassionate Communities movement is a great example and equips people to better support those facing death and bereavement. Prof Aoun is the 2023 West Australian – Australian of the Year.

As a former nurse, Teresa Plane is recognised as a pioneer of modern palliative care in Australia. Realising early in her career that she was a “death-denying nurse”, Mrs Plane was inspired to study palliative care overseas before opening her own hospice and palliative care services in Sydney. Mrs Plane is the NSW Senior Australian of the Year.

“I really want to see palliative care delivered much earlier, there is so much that can be done that will give people a good life – right till the end.

Mrs Teresa Plane – NSW Senior Australian of the Year.

With a projected 50% increase in demand for palliative care services over the next decade and a doubling in need by 2050, Palliative Care Australia’s 2022-2027 Roadmap presents the Commonwealth Government with initiatives to meet this growing requirement.


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