The Violet Initiative and Goodwin Aged Care: Improving end-of-life experience for Australians

Violet's Rose and Steph lead a session with Goodwin staff

The partnership between ACT and NSW South Coast aged care provider Goodwin and The Violet Initiative was awarded highly commended for service transformation in the 2022 Future of Ageing Awards.

The Violet Initiative, a national non-profit organisation in Australia, aims to positively impact the last stage of life. Goodwin Aged Care and The Violet Initiative partnered in March 2022 to improve understanding, acceptance, preparation, and communication through the last stage of life. The partnership centred on training and supporting staff to have more open and honest conversations about the last stage of life, with residents, families and carers, and delivering guided support programs to family, friends, and loved ones in the last stage of life in both Goodwin’s Residential and Community Care services.

Why it came about

Violet and Goodwin’s partnership addressed the unpreparedness and uncertainty of people for the last stage of life, leading to Australians not having the end-of-life experience they want or deserve. With over 60% of all predictable deaths occurring in aged care contexts, structural and cultural change across the industry is key. The Royal Commission (2019) highlighted end-of-life care as a high-priority risk area. Violet believes partnerships with aged care organisations like Goodwin are vital to driving social change around the difficult and taboo issues of death, dying, and end-of-life care.

  • Of the 160,000 deaths each year in Australia; 100,000 of these deaths are predictable and can be planned for.
  • 1 in 2 people die in hospitals, our least preferred place to die.
  • 1 in 3 in residential aged care will die within their first 12 months of residence.
  • Only 14% of Australians have a plan in place for the end of life.
  • In the last 12 months of life, people average 4 hospital episodes, spending an average of 33 days in the hospital.
  • On average, 33-38% of patients in the last stage of life received non-beneficial treatments.
  • Over half of all predictable deaths in Australia have regretful outcomes – where things don’t go to plan or there is no plan.
  • A third of aged care residents will die in their first 12 months in residential care.

How The Violet Initiative works

A comprehensive and collaborative implementation process was carried out, starting with discovery sessions with community and residential teams to identify gaps, needs, and current knowledge bases. Violet’s tried and tested model of Recognise, Respond, and Refer was implemented within the context of Goodwin and their current processes and business structures. Face-to-face training was delivered to over fifty people across Goodwin’s residential and community teams. The four 1.5-hour modules covered essential topics such as communication skills, recognizing the last stage of life, symptom management, and grief and loss.

this is an innovative program that addresses needs of residents, families and staff.

2022 Future of Ageing Awards judge


The partnership between Violet and Goodwin has led to significant outcomes. By increasing the skills and support of staff as they care for residents in the last stage of life, there is more capability and willingness to have sensitive and open conversations, leading to better outcomes for all. Goodwin’s genuine commitment to providing a positive end-of-life experience for its residents is enhanced through its partnership with Violet. In addition, 57% of staff believe that the emotional impact of end-of-life situations is significant, and 92% believe that the partnership with Violet will help ease the burden.

“With Dad’s condition, it’s now too late to know his wishes, but having these frank conversations
with my guide, gave me a sounding board so that I understood that I am doing my best.”

Comments by Justin, who was referred to Violet by a Goodwin carer

The Violet X Goodwin partnership is an excellent example of how collaborations between organisations can lead to significant positive change. The implementation process was thorough and collaborative, ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders were considered. The partnership has led to better outcomes for residents, families, and caregivers, and there is hope that this approach can be replicated in other aged-care contexts.

Entries for the 2023 Future of Ageing Awards open May 1, 2023 – For further information.

Thanks to those companies who have shown their support for the awards through a partnership.  They are listed below:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here