What was your background before volunteering with Advance Care Planning Australia?  

I have a background in nursing and nurse education and have always had an interest in legal aspects of healthcare. This interest, along with my experience in clinical practice, led me to focus particularly on teaching law and ethics and to study health law. I became a specialist educator and worked in both higher education and vocational education at several tertiary organisations and taught in a number of health disciplines. The course content varied depending on the discipline and the level of qualification being sought but topics such as patient rights, autonomy and consent, and law pertaining to end-of-life care were addressed in most of them.  

What led you to begin volunteering?  

When I reduced my hours of paid work, I was considering useful things to do with some of my spare time when I saw that Austin Health was looking for volunteers to assist with education about advance care planning.  My strong interest in patient rights meant I had become a strong advocate for advance care planning, so I applied and became a Volunteer Ambassador for Advance Care Planning Australia.  

What is your favourite part of volunteering with Advance Care Planning Australia?  

It is difficult to identify any one thing about volunteering with Advance Care Planning Australia as my favourite. Offering support and guidance to people who are trying to clarify their thoughts and preferences for their future health care means it is a position of trust and is both intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. It is also very satisfying to be part of a team with a shared passion for patient rights and advance care planning.    

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about advance care planning?  

One thing I wish people knew about advance care planning is that it can’t wait until you are old or sick! It should be done sooner rather than later and shared with family and with treating health professionals, even if they don’t like talking about it.   

Get involved

To get involved in volunteering or to find out more, please contact us