Conference 2017 – Location, Location, Location
This was held 8 & 9 Nov 2017

Where do we die well?

Grampians Regional Palliative Care Conference

A Conference for health professionals wishing to expand their knowledge of Palliative Care
8-9 Nov 2017 | RACV Goldfields Resort (Creswick)

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Mary-Faeth Chenery

Mary-Faeth Chenery is a community member in Daylesford who strives to help find creative solutions to community and individual needs and issues. She works with the local Hepburn Health Service and the Shire as a community representative on a variety of committees. In 2014 when her partner’s elderly father was quite ill, she organised a forum to learn about caregiving, which led to a community discussion series on Ageing Well in Hepburn Shire. Following her partner Gale’s death in 2015, she began work with Ballarat Hospice on ‘dying well in Hepburn Shire’. Earlier in her journey, she lectured in outdoor education and environmental studies at La Trobe University in Bendigo.


Dr Hal Swerissen

Fellow, Health Program, Grattan Institute

Professor Swerissen is an expert on health policy and public health. He is currently emeritus professor of public health at La Trobe University and a fellow in the health program at Grattan Institute. He was previously Pro vice chancellor (regional) and Executive Dean of Health Sciences at La Trobe University. Professor Swerissen has also held a range of Board and Advisor positions for Commonwealth and State Governments, including special advisor on voluntary assisted dying for the Victorian Government. He is the principal author of the Grattan report ‘Dying Well’.


Dr David Brumley

Palliative Care Physician

David is a palliative care physician who began his medical career as a general practitioner. He has spent almost all of his life working in Ballarat but recently moved to the coast. He now works clinically in Geelong and on the Bellarine Peninsula, but maintains ties with Ballarat as the Medical Director of Ballarat Hospice Care. He most enjoys clinical work, but also teaching and particularly teaching communication skills. His other long term interest is in sharing information with palliative care communities in the Asia-Pacific and he has an ongoing relationship with Cachar Cancer Centre in Sichar, Assam. He is a board member of Palliative Care Victoria.


Dr Eve Westland


Palliative Care Physician

Eve is a palliative medicine consultant with the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team within Ballarat Health Services. The team provides palliative medicine consultation, education and promotion within the Grampians Region. Eve is currently undertaking research into the bereavement care practices of residential aged care facilities.

Eve has a background in rural general practice and a particular interest in the provision of palliative care within regional and rural Victoria. Her current clinical work includes the provision of an outreach service within western Victoria, extending to the Wimmera, Grampians and southern Mallee regions.

Eve has a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2014), Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (2015) and is a Fellow of the Chapter of Palliative Medicine (RACP, 2016).


A/Prof Brian Le


Palliative Care Physician Brian is the director of Palliative Care at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, including the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Brian is a specialist in both Palliative Medicine and Medical Oncology, and is an Associate Professor of the University of Melbourne. Brian is the immediate past Chair of the Training Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, responsible for training of all palliative medicine specialists in Australia and New Zealand. Brian is involved with many other Commonealth and State governmental and not-for-profit organisations concerning Palliative Care, and is a past chairman of Palliative Care Victoria. Brian is involved with research in the areas of palliative and supportive care, including clinical trials of novel therapies, and research into palliative care integration and benefits for patients and carers.


Dr Chelsea Baird

Palliative Care Geriatrician

Chelsea is a first year consultant geriatrician at Ballarat Health Services and Western Health. She works across the sub-acute and community services, as well as in CDAMS clinic. Chelsea has an interest in dementia diagnosis and management as well as delirium care. Chelsea is undertaking research into the educational needs of clinical staff providing chronic disease management to people with dementia.


Valerie Armenante

Palliative Care CNC

Valerie Armenante is a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant currently working for DJHS supporting both the palliative inpatient and community cohort. Her career in palliative care nursing has, so far, allowed her to care for metropolitan, rural, public as well as private groups of clients in Victoria and Queensland giving her a great perspective on the challenges encountered by palliative care services as well as the amazing difference these can make in people’s lives with a terminal disease. Passionate about palliative care from the word go, she enjoys the holistic aspect of that speciality. Recently relocated to Daylesford from Melbourne, she is getting to know and love the Grampians region and all its charms.


Dr Ash Hayes


Ash has been a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners since 2013, having completed much of his training at Creswick. Before entering general practice, he also gained extra qualifications and experience in paediatrics and obstetrics/gynaecology. His special interests include antenatal care, child/adolescent health, mental health and palliative care.

In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Ash spends a great deal of time teaching trainee doctors (GP registrars). He is passionate about education, and is committed to helping the next generation of GPs provide high quality care for their communities. Outside of work, Ash is busy with his young family. He is happy to have witnessed his beloved Western Bulldogs win the AFL Premiership in 2016.


Libby Moloney

Natural Grace

Libby Moloney, of Natural Grace, is a Holistic Funeral Director practising natural, culturally sensitive, family led funeral care. Whilst Natural Grace specialises in home based care, its own home can be found in “The Sanctuary”, a purpose built funeral home in Woodend.

Libby is a founding committee member of the Natural Death Advocacy Network (NDAN), a not-for-profit community organisation committed to demystifying and reclaiming death and dying in our community as well as the founding Chair of It Takes A Village Compassionate Communities Inc. (ITAV) which is also a not-for-profit community organisation whose vision is to encourage capacity building in compassionate Australian communities. Passionately committed to raising awareness about natural cemeteries in Australia, Libby works actively with community groups to establish natural sanctuaries for the internment of our dead.


Jeremy McKnight

Shannon’s Bridge

Before March 2016 Jeremy McKnight did not know much about palliative care – he did not need to.

A devoted father, Jeremy and his wife Belinda had been focused on supporting their 17 year old daughter Shannon through two years of intensive treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

When the disease outstripped what medicine could do all Shannon wanted to do was go home and watch the lightning storms roll in across the paddocks.

Unfortunately there is not after hours access to specialist palliative care where the McKnight’s home is. Connecting the family with services was vital to help make Shannon’s wish of staying home a reality.

Shannon’s Bridge is a volunteer run charity formed and named in her honour. They work to improve death literacy, assist with Advance Care Plans, link patients and families with local services and to train volunteers to provide additional support.

Jeremy became an expert in palliative care very quickly – he had to. Jeremy and Belinda work to support other families so that they don’t need to negotiate the system and find help when they are at their most vulnerable.


Dr Jaycen Cruickshank

Emergency Physician

Dr Jaycen Cruickshank, an Emergency Physician in Ballarat since 2001 and Director of ED 2002-2014 is currently Director of Clinical Training and Acting Clinical Director of Internal Medicine. Jaycen is co-author of Adult Emergency Medicine at a Glance.



Danny Vadasz

CEO, Health Issues Centre

Danny was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Health Issues Centre in November 2014. Prior to this he spent five years with Australian Conservation Foundation, Australia’s foremost environmental agency, as Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer/Director of Marketing.

With experience in business leadership, management, communications and marketing Danny has a long history in the health, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. He has worked extensively in health, environmental and social issues promotion, and in developing successful social enterprise initiatives.

Danny has a long and powerful background in community advocacy and is passionate about driving sustainable, positive change. Throughout his career he has demonstrated strong commitment to the consumer voice and to social justice.

He brings energy, knowledge and commitment to achieving better consumer health outcomes with and for consumers.


Dr Penny Cotton

Palliative Care Physician GRPCT

Dr Penny Cotton is a palliative care physician with the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team. Penny completed a Masters of Clinical Education and is currently the deputy director of medical student education for the University of Melbourne Rural Clinical School. Penny is passionate about healthcare communication and facilitating communication skills development for health professionals.


Dr Chris Gilbert

GP and Aviation Medical Officer

Dr Gilbert graduated from the Australian National University in 2008 before completing two years at Ballarat Base Hospital. He then went on to work for the RAAF and spent four years in the Northern Territory. During this time, he completed training in aviation medicine, a Diploma in Child Health (DCH) and specialised in general practice (FRACGP). Dr Gilbert enjoys all aspects of family medicine but has interests in preventative medicine, travel medicine, musculoskeletal medicine, children’s health, palliative care and aviation medicine. Dr Gilbert is a registered Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).


Conference Schedule

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