Work with Western Sydney Uni + The GroundSwell Project!

Ref 642/17 Senior Research Officer,

School of Social Sciences and Psychology

Penrith Campus
Part-Time, Fixed-Term Position for a period of 3 years (28 hours per week) 

The School of Social Sciences and Psychology is looking to appoint a Senior Research Officer to join the caring at end of life research team. The work of this team focusses on a community development, health promoting and compassionate communities approach to ageing, death and dying. The research of this team aims to positively impact both services and communities capacity to care for each other in times of need. 

As a result of a research partnership with The Groundswell Project we are looking for an experienced researcher to provide high level project management and research skills to two recently funded projects: to develop, implement and report on a population based death literacy index and, working with a local aged care provider, to implement and research a robust community development and inclusion model for the frail aged. Both projects seek to provide evidence of successful strategies which support ageing, caring and dying in place. 

The Senior Research Officer will be responsible for overall project management in addition to coordinating other research activities such as article and report writing and grant applications in conjunction with the research team. They will also play a leading role in managing relationships with research partners and clients, designing and gathering of research materials and data, data entry and analysis, preparation of publications and preparation and tracking of budgets and independent research. The incumbent may also be required to assist with the production and maintenance of communication materials such as newsletters, social media and websites

The position is for 28 hours a week for 3 years and is based at the Penrith campus of Western Sydney University. Some travel within Australia will be required for data collection and communication of results.

For further information, please refer to the Position Description and address the Selection Criteria to be considered for this role.

Reumeration Package: HEW Level 7 $93,537 to $100,928 p.a. (Comprising Salary $84,388 to $91,056 p.a. plus Superannuation as applicable and Leave Loading).

Position Enquiries: Professor Debbie Horsfall,, (02) 4736 0093

Closing Date: 21 May 2017

Click to view Position Description

Work with us!


We're on the hunt for an awesome PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR. 

Based in Sydney, part-time role 

We are looking for a Project Co-ordinator to undertake a variety of administrative and project coordination tasks. You will help in planning and organising projects and activities as well as support the development of backend systems to manage contacts and communications.

We are seeking someone with a high level of ingenuity and self-drive. If this is you, then download the Job Pack and get back to use by 10th April.

Dying To Know Day a hospital setting

Dying To Know Day was bigger than ever this year thanks to the many passionate people across Australia. In this account, written by Arlene Roache, LHD Palliative Care Volunteer Coordinator and Janeane Harlum, Area Palliative Care Manager for South Western Sydney, we hear about how the area health service designed and implemented a series of events for their staff and community. 


August 8th 2015, Dying to Know Day is an annual day of action dedicated to bringing to life conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement. This initiative to encourage and educate people to start conversations and take action was endorsed by the LHD’s Advanced Care Planning and Care of the Dying ( ACPCOD) committee.


The LHD’s Palliative Care Volunteer Service took a lead role in the organisation of each event which included securing, picking up resources, packing the bags and preparing the signs and posters for the display boards. At each facility, the executive sponsor called for active participation through nominating champions to assist with and the coordination of the information stands in the hospital foyers.   

Printed fact sheets, brochures in English and translated for most languages together with promotional materials were kindly donated and promptly delivered by the NSW Trustee & Guardian, CareSearch and Donate Life.  Posters, Dying to Know Day buntings and conversation starters were purchased from The  Groundswell Project by the area palliative care service  

What we did

 The aim was to engage in meaningful conversations around Death and Dying with staff and the community.  This was done through the pledge cards to assist people to start thinking about “Having a conversation with a loved one”, “Make or update my will”, “Talk to my family about my wishes”, “Appoint my enduring guardian”.

Staff and palliative care volunteers were in attendance at every hospital and assisted with set up, talking to people and pack up.  The volunteers and staff engaged in meaningful conversations around Death and Dying, Living Wills and having conversations around ‘Who will Speak on your behalf if you are unable to do so” as well as listened to many stories shared.  In particular the palliative care volunteers need to be commended on the manner in which they delivered the conversations and acknowledged stories shared.


A total of 250 bags with resources in English and promotional items were given out throughout the LHD, more than 60 empty bags were prepared by people who selected resources in their languages together with the promotional items.  Around 160 staff and members of the community wrote their pledges and 56 people across the LHD stopped to have a chat.  These included members of the hospitals’ executive team.

Feedback received from staff and volunteers who have previously assisted with similar activities during Palliative Care Week were that this was their most successful exposure.  They felt that they were able to engage people in conversations and exchange thoughts and ideas, people spoke of their personal experiences, family and general attitudes, regarding death and dying and expressed opinions as to how these important matters could be raised, and dealt with in a less confronting way.  They felt that this event attracted a larger number of staff members stopping for a chat; some taking away pamphlets that they thought were useful for patients when bringing up the thorny issues of Wills, Advance Care Directives.  The ‘Message Stick’ had worked well within the facility as staff members who came to the stand said that they were encouraged to visit the stand. In Bowral Hospital, staff members from the Private Hospital came over for a chat. The posters were great and delivered the message. The words and language used on the posters were simple and effective.


Thank you to all executive sponsors, clinical governance unit, palliative care volunteer coordinator, volunteers and all staff involved in the organization and delivery of Dying to Know day.  It was a great team effort.