Living Well Dying Well Community Forum encourages conversation

Community Forum panellists and MC

Held during National Palliative Care Week, the Living Well Dying Well Community Forum has already started much-needed conversations about death and dying in our community. A large gathering of guests and panellists, in person and via livestream, was able to reflect on share their personal experiences.

Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and expertise, attendees heard from guest speakers, on aspects of Living Well Dying Well including:

  • medical and clinical aspects of palliative care from institutional to community
  • current policy and advocacy work being undertaken to support those who have a life-limiting illness and their loved-ones
  • discussions regarding the academic, philosophical and ethical elements of end-of-life support in the community

Speaking passionately about these topics to people in the room and those joining via livestream, the guest speakers encouraged us all to play our role as a community in palliative care and provided ways in which we can all normalise healthy conversations about death and dying.

“Each panellist tonight has given me something to reflect upon and reminds me of my own woundedness in this mystery of building a relationship with another who is suffering.”
Maggie, Community Forum attendee

A recording of the forum has been included below. Please help increase the impact of this event by sharing this with others in your network.

Living Well Dying Well Panellists

Monica Doumit (MC)

Director of Public Affairs and Engagement, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Monica is a multi-disciplinary professional whose education and experience have seen her traverse law, bioethics, communications and politics. She is a confident communications advisor, with a focus on challenging issues, a sought-after opinion columnist and public speaker, corporate lawyer and bioethicist.

Associate Professor Megan Best

Associate Professor of Bioethics, Institute of Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia and Honorary Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, the University of Sydney

Megan has a clinical background in Palliative Medicine. She has taught medical ethics at a tertiary level for many years and is internationally known for her work in ethics from a Christian perspective. Her research interests include spirituality in healthcare, existential suffering, psycho-oncology, whole person care and ethics at the beginning and end of life and is well published in these areas including hundreds of citations. Megan’s research has been taken up across Australia and has influenced medical curricula and the work of the European Association of Palliative Care.

Patricia Thomas

Grief Care Managing Consultant, Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria

Patricia was awarded the Honour of Dame of the Order of St Sylvester by Pope Francis on 3 December 2021, in recognition of her distinguished service to the Church and wider community. Pat has served the Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria for over eight years and under her guidance and leadership the Grief Care team provide support, conversation, referral and education for people grieving a death or seeking to understand the loss and grief experience.

Associate Professor Maria Cigolini

Senior Palliative Medicine Physician and Associate Professor of Medicine, the University of Sydney

Until recently she was the Clinical and Administrative Head of the Palliative Care Department at RPAH, responsible for service provision and expansion, specialist training, research and funding advocacy within the RPA hospital and community sector. Her strengths include policy development and application toward a consensus approach for Supportive Care models in cancer and Chronic Care, Advance Care Planning and patient centred health care delivery.


These Living Well Dying Well resources will help you support someone in your network who is facing death.

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Mark Phillips, CEO CatholicCare Sydney

Mark Phillips, CEO
CatholicCare Sydney

Living Well, Dying Well is the promotion of a Christian approach to death and dying that will assist people to have less fear of death and to regard it as a normal part of life. Our hope is that people die in a state of grace, reconnected with God and at peace with others.

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