End of life care…yes it is complex… but that’s ok. A blog by Kate Pendlebury

Hi my name is Kate Pendlebury

Currently I am in Marketing, but it has been quite a journey to arrive here. I have worked in community care for around 13 years, firstly in Tasmania my home state, then a hiatus in Western Australia saw me working in rural and remote communities. Finally returning to Tasmania to being my career with The District Nurses – why The District Nurses?  Their ‘mission’ Committed to Care simply said it all for me and what has followed is a front row seat to grass roots community care. Demonstrations of compassion to those who not only require it within our communities, but the compassionate culture in which we co-exist as service providers. The solicitousness I witness every day through our support workers, nurses, coordinators, fellow service providers, and yes Executives, makes every day humbling.

This year my focus has been on our hospice@HOME program. hospice@HOME and the Better Access to Palliative Care (BAPC) partners have afforded all Tasmanians, service providers and specialists’ greater opportunity & choice in closing gaps to see our State join together in delivering end of life care. Through this program I have become involved in a number of activities that support and educate the greater communities across Australia through communication and awareness of end of life processes. One such inspiring initiative is Dying to Know Day, joining people together in conversation nationally and internationally, on the 8th of August.

Dying to Know Day – That rocks and 3 years on!!! It is one of the great initiatives born from The GroundSwell Project.  The conversation of death, yes can be confronting, and the physical conversation for our Australian culture is slowly evolving through barriers and stigmas.  In a role as a communicator/marketing I have had the ability and fortune to hear the experiences not only from the hospice@HOME project, but families, carers and the service providers’ perspective across the state; including the end possesses & bereavement.  Working together, we can promote and identify positive and successful end of life wishes and create a shift in end of life process’ and promote early conversations.  End of life care…yes it is complex… but that’s ok.

For me, it was only recently I had the conversation with my own Mother.  “Just cremate me Kate, although I do like the idea of that organic burial I saw on the internet??” my younger sister with us at the time of the conversation and was horrified!!  This also made me consider my own personal situation, as part of a large extended family, and single Mum of two, my journey thus far is not lost, but would my end leave my closest questioning??

Communication & conversations, because we can!! Awareness for all ages’ death dying and bereavement, the end of life conversation is as beautiful and natural as our preparation for birth.

This will be the second year The District Nurses and hospice@HOME will be involved in Dying To Know Day activities, we will not only be joining fellow organisations in planned activities across the state, but in the South we will be holding a death inspired trivia night, joining around 60 service providers in a night of trivia, death inspired games, fun laughter and conversation.

‘If we embrace the reality of death, we can also embrace the beauty of life.  By ignoring the truth of our existence, we put our passions at risk’ 


  • A Will for the Woods film + Our Final Footprint booklet launch | Hobart | July 23
  • TAHPC will hold the first of their Death@the Pub series 'dying For a Beer' | Aug 7
  • Free Film Screening of 'Love in Our Own Time' and light refreshments | Eaglehawk Neck
  • Scones, Jam and Cream @ Burnie LINC | Burnie
  • Paper Garments for the Grave - the Film + song launch | Ulverstone
  • Dying To know Day informal discussion | Inveresk 
  • A Will for the Woods | Devonport
  • "Such is Life (and Death) | Penguin
  • "Get it done. But make it fun." | Penguin | July 29 + Aug 9
  • Love in Our Own Time | Moonah | Aug 13
  • a Death inspired exhibition | Burnie |  Aug 13
  • Death inspired trivia night | Carlyle Hotel, Hobart | Aug 20



Kate Pendlebury is a member of the D2Kday leadership group in Tasmania. 

See more events in Tassie here.

Dying To Know Day is August 8th.

Go to www.dyingtoknowday.org for more details.

Find an event HERE and register your personal action HERE

Read the big list of death literacy builders HERE