Becoming death literate – panel discussion


After Brisbane’s first Deathfest – a microfestival which explores, challenges, and celebrates our understanding of death, dying, and bereavement – I’m pleased to share a panel discussion which addressed grief, death, and end-of-life care in modern-day Queensland.

Joining me were Fiona Hawthorne, general manager at Hummingbird House, Queensland’s first children’s hospice; Ian Mellor, who manages body bequests for Queensland University of Technology; and Dr Sarah Winch, healthcare ethicist at the University of Queensland and author of Best Death Possible.

In an age when literacy has come to mean so many things – always with a sense of empowering people to read or make sense of some new terrain, topic, or experience – what would it mean for us to become truly “death literate”?

You can listen to the panel discussion now by clicking on this link or visit the State Library website.

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For more on healthcare and wellbeing work during my 2016 Queensland residency, read  “On Health and Wellbeing” and “Giant Robots Need Therapy Too“.

For more on Deathfest, visit the Metro Arts website.

On health and well-being

Professor Martin Paul Eve of Birkbeck College, University of London writes today in the Times Higher Education Supplement about suffering a stroke in his twenties. You can read  ‘Coping with Illness’ here.

I’ve been working with medics and healthcare professionals as part of my 2016 creative residency in Queensland, Australia. I use Martin’s story as part of my workshops. It reminds practitioners that healthcare is about people as well as processes, and highlights how culture and access to information shape our experience of health and wellbeing.

When health organisations seek to deliver targeted community interventions, develop inclusive health systems, or improve their relationships with the populations they serve, there are overlaps with my field of creative work and community engagement.

Read more