Steve Arnott, Harpreet Kalsi-Smith, Rob McKenzie, Prof Samar Aoun, His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM, Mrs Darrilyn Dawson, Dr Jo Doran, Dr Stephen Ginsborg

Weaving connection and compassion across Australia as we live, care, die and grieve together

Compassionate Communities Australia (CCAus) was launched by the Western Australian Governor at Government House in Perth, on 27th March 2024, with many national and international colleagues joining us online. This marked a significant milestone for Compassionate Communities in Australia.

Founder of Compassionate Communities, Prof Allan Kellehear said that “CCAus is a significant
international development….it is incredibly important in the history of public health and also in the history of hospice and palliative care in Australia.

His Excellency the Honourable Chris<br />
Dawson AC APM Governor of<br />
Western Australia

His Excellency the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM Governor of Western Australia

….CCAus will be the pioneering organisation for the development of Compassionate Communities across Australia…it will ensure that the light stays on and burns brightly in Australia and beyond.”

Professor Samar Aoun, Dr Stephen Ginsborg, Dr Joanne Doran, and Harpreet Kalsi-Smith have joined forces to create this much-needed national peak body bringing their unique perspective including research, palliative care, primary care, community development and personal experience.

Professor Samar Aoun

In Professor Aoun’s speech at the launch, she shared, “this national not-for-profit organisation aims to become a hub of knowledge, skills and resources for community-led solutions that lead to social and systems change”.

Dr Stephen Ginsborg

Dr Stephen Ginsborg highlighted, “…that there is art to medicine, and that warmth, empathy and compassion may surpass the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug. The most powerful therapeutic tool that the doctor possesses is herself or himself”.

Dr Joanne Doran

Dr Joanne Doran spoke fondly about “a young patient with complex needs who is dying, but she was not complex to her community who came together with compassion and connection to enable her to continue to experience the joy of living ”.

Harpreet Kalsi-Smith

Harpreet Kalsi-Smith brought her personal experience as a consumer advocate and highlighted that “the heart of the work of compassionate communities primarily sits in community development”.

Compassionate Communities Australia’s role will be to grow connectedness and compassion, working together, to create a supportive environment for those in need. View the speeches made by the CCAus Directors and the speech made by Professor Kellehear below.

Compassionate Communities Australia at the launch

Photo: Dr Sephen Ginsborg, Dr Jo Doran, Prof Samar Aoun, Gabriella Jerret, Liz Clarke, Harpreet Kalsi-Smith, Sandy Wilton, Steve Wilton

Compassionate Communities National Forum, Perth

On March 26, 2024 Compassionate Communities Australia held a national forum in Perth. We had over 150 people join us in person or online from across Australia and New Zealand.

  • From Aspiration to Evidence to Practice, Prof Samar Aoun – Chair, CCAus
  • You Can Do It, Dr Stephen Ginsborg – Director, Compassionate Communities Australia
  • Back to the Future, Dr Jo Doran – Director, CCAus
  • The Power of Your Voice, Harpreet Kalsi-Smith – Director, CCAus
Compassionate Communities National Forum, Perth
Panel discussion with Directors and Shane Bailey

Panel discussion with Directors and Shane Bailey

Directors with Rosemary Walley

Directors with Rosemary Walley

CCAus board meets South West Compassionate Communities Network Connectors

While in WA, the Directors of CCAus met with Connectors from the South West Compassionate Communities Network. The contribution of the Connectors to their local community was recognised by Jaysen Miguel, Mayor City of Bunbury who presented the Connectors with the inaugural Compassionate Bunbury Mayoral award.

CCAus board meets South West Compassionate Communities Network<br />
Jaysen Miguel,<br />
Mayor City of<br />
Bunbury presenting<br />
award to Heather<br />
Jaysen Miguel,<br />
Mayor City of<br />
Bunbury presenting<br />
award to Paul Edwards

Jaysen Miguel, Mayor City of Bunbury presenting award to Heather Wade and Paul Edwards

If you are part of a Compassionate Community we would love to hear from you

Building Compassionate Communities Together

Together we can support each other to live well until our last breath and to die surrounded by the people who care about us.

Compassion is everyone’s responsibility, that’s me, you, all individuals, families, peers, neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, health services, government, faith based, voluntary and other organisations and services.

Building Compassionate Communities Together

We would like to thank those who have reached out to support CCAus to date. In particular the Perron Institute and, Steve and Sandy Wilton for their unwavering support.

Meet the team

Meet the team

Dr Stephen Ginsborg (Director)
Professor Samar Aoun (Chair)
Dr Jo Doran (Director)
Harpreet Kalsi-Smith (Director)
Sherl Westlund (Secretary)
Dr Julieanne Hilbers (Project Lead)

Join Us

We understand that building Compassionate Communities is not a solo act – it requires
collective effort and collaboration. We invite you to join us.