From the Editor

‘Apply (verb): to devote one’s energy to; to give or devote assiduously to.’


‘APLI (acronym): Australasian Palliative Link International’


‘In time of emergencies people, and institutions revert to their deepest nature and reveal their true character.’


The above quote comes from Professor Mauro Ferrari, former President of the European Research Council.  On first hearing this statement and with the tragedy of covid-19 in mind, I couldn’t but reflect on the work that APLI has been associated with over the years, in particular two pieces of work. 


The first of these is Project Hamrahi. The long-term vision which is at the core of Project Hamrahi is to support the development of palliative care in India. So far this has involved the efforts of 41 volunteer mentors to 15 sites over the last 11 years. On the following pages there are reports from both first time and returning mentors, together with a collection of photos celebrating the fundraising efforts of one mentor, Penny Tuffin, as well as the work being by the Asha Kiran Society in Odisha. If you would like to read more, please do visit their website: 


With covid-19 taking hold in India, a number of us unfortunately had our Project Hamrahi visits placed on hold. At this stage, it is hard to imagine when we might be able to return to India. So, during this hiatus, a small working group has been established to review its outcomes. Project Hamrahi was conceived as a mentorship program aimed at sustaining recently established Indian palliative care services through the development of long-term relationships with Australian palliative care doctors and nurses – it is therefore important that we review the success or otherwise of what we have attempted.


The second piece of work is that of palliative care in humanitarian aid settings. When the west African Ebola outbreak began in 2014, Brett Sutton brought to our attention the importance of palliative care in humanitarian responses. It is sad to see that very early on in this current pandemic, it was recognised that compassionate, patient focussed supportive care was going to be a key component of our clinical response.


This edition highlights the wonderful work being done by a number of people that APLI is proud to be associated with. Please take the time to read and enjoy…


Anil Tandon