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Western Australia

Providing culturally appropriate palliative care: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resource Kit Project - Western Australia (WA)

Project goals

To support improvement of the cultural competences of specialise palliative care services to deliver palliative care to Indigenous Australians.

Project objectives

To bridge the current knowledge gap relating to culturally appropriate Indigenous palliative care and ensure greater awareness among palliative care providers of the importance of tailoring services that are sensitive to the cultural diversity in the multiple Indigenous community groups located throughout remote, rural and metropolitan WA.

Project outcome

Strategies for the development of a framework that will:

  1. Ensure greater awareness among palliative care providers of the importance of tailoring services to meet the diverse cultural needs and preferences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  2. Support palliative care providers in providing culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within local Western Australian communities
  3. Facilitate the greater involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the palliative care community in policy development and planning processes.


Western Australia utilised both a consultative and train-the-trainer approach in the implementation of the Resource Kit.  The project was subcontracted to Cancer Council WA. A broad consultative process occurred with stakeholders to promote the project, identify existing needs, resources and networks to reduce duplication and to identify relevant issues. One of the main identified difficulties experienced by the project team was the employment of suitable Aboriginal people who could commit sufficient time to review resources and to run workshops. 

The project team developed a Training Package that is available for use statewide. It includes a facilitator’s guide, teaching plans and PowerPoint presentations.

Overall the general response from palliative care staff and Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal Health Workers, in particular, was that the project was highly relevant and timely. Close links were made with the Program of Experience in Palliative Approach (PEPA) Program, the Implementation of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care Facilities Project and the Rural Palliative Care Project in Kalgoorlie and the Kimberley region. These linkages maximised educational and awareness raising opportunities between projects. Over 137 Aboriginal Health Workers were involved in 10 workshops throughout WA. Over 170 main stream palliative care staff received training in 17 health service facilities and approximately 500 Resource Kits and supplementary resources were distributed throughout WA during the course of the project.  

Positive working relationships were established with a number of Aboriginal organisations and Aboriginal Medical Services throughout the state. Links were also made with the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service Derbarl Yerrigan and Marr Mooditj Foundation which has agreed to be involved in the delivery of future education workshops to Aboriginal Health Workers and other staff. Other outcomes of Project included improved linkages and relationships formed between regional palliative care services and the local Aboriginal Medical Services and greater awareness of palliative care and palliative care services in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Resources developed

  • WA Supplement to the Resource Kit: an interactive CD-ROM
  • A Facilitator's Guide and training package was developed
  • Local database of existing resources.

This page was created in September 2006