State Government Victoria Australia Department of Health header
State Government Victoria
Victorian Government Health Information
Health Home
Main A to Z Index | Site Map | About Health  

June 2019

2 women jpeg
Barwon Health clinical nurse consultant Melanie Davies and palliative care program manager Jacqui White, whose contributions are credited on the podcast website.

Podcasts open door on palliative care

Barwon Health’s new weekly podcast series aims to break down the conversational barriers around dying, terminal illness and palliative care.

Room 64 – A Palliative Care Podcast features interviews with a wife and daughter of former patients at the McKellar Centre, as well as staff working in end-of-life care.

The volunteer-produced podcast is named after the room where Anglesea centenarian Evelyn Brooks spent her final three weeks and was the idea of her daughter, Christine.

Ms Brooks said she wanted people to gain a better understanding of palliative care experiences, including the way people discussed the challenging topic of dying and death.

‘While I was sitting in Room 64 hanging out with Mum, I thought how come I don’t know about any of this stuff and it’s all new to me?

‘That whole discussion around palliative care and the resources available doesn’t happen and my mum certainly didn’t want to talk about death.

‘Room 64 is more than just a medical room in the palliative care unit – it’s one of the places people go at the end of their life and I wanted to reflect that in a meaningful way.

‘That room has happy times, sad times, lots of love and laughter and lots of stories to tell.

‘This podcast is trying to encourage conversation through lived experience.

‘It’s important for other members of the community to hear about these experiences and see palliative care is not just about old people dying.

‘I think we’ve added to the conversation about palliative care, death and dying.

‘If Room 64 can make even a sliver of difference to the conversations going on in families, with people in communities, about death and dying and the resource of palliative care, we’ll have done a great job,’ Ms Brooks said.

Former BBC documentary producer Dominic Black helped host and produce the podcast series.

‘I wanted to help tell personal stories with perspective from people in the field.

‘The podcast is aimed at anybody who will listen and I think it’s a good entry point into the topic of death and dying and being able to hear stories that make it easier to approach.

‘There are a lot of very valuable enriching conversations that can be had around something that’s not very pleasant to think about.

‘The one thing in life you can never do is stop people from dying eventually.

‘The thing that comes across from everybody is that palliative care is everybody’s business and, as communities look forward, you want to grow the capacity for people to engage,’ Mr Black said.

•       To stream or download the podcast visit https://www.barwonhealth.org.au/podcasts or use podcast subscription services including iTunes and Spotify.