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Palliative Care Practice Group


Convenor position vacant

What is the Palliative Care Social Workers Practice Group?

Our Practice group started in 1996 as a group of social workers who worked with Palliative Care patients and families in hospice, community and hospital settings. The group formulated Terms of Reference in 1998 and became a Practice Group in 2011. All members must be eligible for membership of the AASW.

We maintain a database of social workers throughout NSW & ACT and more recently our email list includes people from WA, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. We meet three/four times a year with a rotating venue. The organising facilitator of each meeting coordinates that meeting and circulation of the minutes.

Our group is not formally affiliated with any other group or organisation.

What are the Palliative Care Social Workers Practice Group's main activities?

Our objectives are:

  • Exchange and dissemination of information
  • Forum for interchange of ideas
  • Professional support and stimulus
  • Professional education specific to areas of practice including presentations at our meetings
  • Advocacy option for relevant issues.

We will be revisiting these in conjunction with other Practice Groups in the AASW.

How can I get involved?

Contact the Practice Group Convenor and we will place you on our mailing list.



Recent themes and topics considered have included:

  • The group has set up 2 working parties: 1.Data collection and collaboration with Julie Garrard’s research about Transfer to Residential Aged care from a Palliative Care unit and 2.Development of KPI’s for social work in a Specialist Palliative Care Service. There have been significant outcomes from both these activities.
  • Asbestos related illnesses
  • Children and Bereavement
  • A Community Development Approach in Palliative Care
  • Presentations of Doctoral Theses including

Dr Matra Robertson PhD, MSW, MAASW.
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Sydney
"A phenomenological exploration of hope, hopelessness and a desire for death for terminally ill people in palliative care".

Dr Jenny Broadbent BSW (Hons) (UNSW), DSW (USYD) "Spirituality of Young People with Cancer: an Exploratory Study"

  • Video conferencing with Wendy Wainwright about the relevance of the Canadian Competencies in Hospice Palliative Care
  • Consideration of how to include social workers in the use of the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration tools
  • Sharing of innovative projects and services being established
  • Through the email system - sharing of position descriptions and policies
  • Discussion and input into Government Inquiries into Palliative Care
  • Consultation through our representative on the NSW Palliative Care Advisory group and the NSW Palliative Care
  • Expert Advisory Group
  • Offering placements for PEPA so that experience can be gained in specialist units
  • Submitting recommendations to 2012 Senate Inquiry into Palliative Care

Contact us

NSW Branch

P: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

For information or support please contact the NSW branch office on the above number or by email at


AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers