The inaugural meeting for this Network was held in December 2020. The workshop was a collaboration between APLI, Palliative Care Australia (PCA), Australia New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, Paediatric Palliative Care Australia and New Zealand, and the IAHPC.
There were over 40 registrants from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Katherine Pettus, IAHPC Advocacy Officer and Liliana de Lima, IAHPC Executive Director encouraged the formation of this network and provided resources and guidance on setting up the workshop. Liliana formally opened the workshop and Katherine spoke about the principles of advocacy. Kate Reed-Cox from PCA talked about the Australian context of advocacy and engagement in the region, and then two speakers from Fiji, Dr Ane Atalifo and Belinda Chan, talked about the needs and developments in Fiji. The participants from the Philippines were mainly from a gerontology nursing group and their input resonated with Katherine's advocacy efforts in the UN Older Person Forum.
The main aim of the day was to meet each other and explore the establishment of a palliative care advocacy network.
Participants endorsed the need for a network to facilitate awareness of palliative care through education, training and through sharing of knowledge, assistance with improving government support and funding, help raising competencies in aspects of effective advocacy, and to build a supportive network across countries which will directly impact on patient care.
We hope this workshop will also lead to a coordinated effort to increase the representation of palliative care at key WHO events in 2021, including the World Health Assembly and the Western Pacific Regional meeting.
There was unanimous agreement to meet again in early 2021.