Prominent seniors’ advocate joins as National Advance Care Planning Week ambassador

candid photo of mother and daughter at the park smiling

Advance Care Planning Australia is delighted to announce Chief Advocate for National Seniors Australia, Ian Henschke as an ambassador for National Advance Care Planning Week, April 16-22.

Former ABC broadcaster and South Australian identity, Ian Henschke, joins the ranks of ambassadors who represent clinical experts, researchers, authors and consumer advocacy leaders across Australia, who together are raising awareness of the need for people to make their future health care preferences known.

Following the death of his brother Richard, and with his other brothers, Philip and Mark who both have a background in medicine, Ian has come to recognise the importance and benefits of advance care planning. Ian is keen to ensure more Australians increase their understanding and uptake of advance care planning and that more senior Australians take a more active role in their future health care.

“I can think of no better way to honour Richie’s memory than to support this initiative. While our family still mourns losing Richie last year, we are relieved that he had a good death,” explained Ian.

“Richie had the foresight to have an advance care directive in place, which he developed with our brothers, Philip and Mark. I can’t thank Philip and Mark enough for helping Richie through the process of clarifying his values and articulating what he wanted. It brought the entire family together and gave us peace of mind at a difficult time,” said Ian.

Medical Director of Advance Care Planning Australia, Dr Karen Detering is delighted to welcome Ian as a National Advance Care Planning Week ambassador.

“Advance care planning is not just a medical issue - it’s a family issue and a community issue. It affects all of us. Ian’s personal story, coupled with his background in broadcasting and senior’s advocacy, helps to broaden our reach, raise awareness and underscores the family impact of advance care planning,” said Dr Detering.

National Advance Care Planning Week is funded by the Australian Government and runs from April 16-22. To date almost 50 community groups and health organisations across Australia have signed up to host an event as part of the initiative, starting an important conversation in their community about making their future health care preferences known.

National Advance Care Planning Week is an initiative of Advance Care Planning Australia.


What is advance care planning?

Advance care planning promotes care that is consistent with your goals, values, beliefs and preferences. It prepares you and others to plan for future health care and a time when you may no longer be able to communicate those decisions yourself. 

Key facts

  • Around half of Australians will not be able to make their own end-of-life medical decisions
  • A third of Australians will die before the age of 75
  • 85% of people die after a chronic illness, not a sudden event
  • Research shows that advance care planning can reduce anxiety, depression and stress experienced by families and that they are more likely to be satisfied with their loved one’s care

About Advance Care Planning Australia

Advance Care Planning Australia (ACPA) is a national program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, enabling Australians to make the best choices for their life and health care.

We believe advance care planning is a heartfelt conversation and a personal statement that goes way beyond filling in a form. It’s a commitment to honour and respect an individual’s values and choices. We want to enable every Australian to make the best choices for their life and health care, based on their personal values and beliefs.

ACPA increases advance care planning resources across health sectors and NGOs, improves workforce capability, produces information resources for diverse consumers and communities, and builds the evidence base.

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