End of Life Project

What we are doing

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services for three years (2017-2019) the Victorian Councils: Supporting Communities Around End of Life Project aims to:

  • build the organisational capacity of councils around end-of-life
  • build community capacity in end-of-life support through local government structures and networks
  • improve community understanding of healthier approaches to death, dying and bereavement, and evaluate the effectiveness of this approach.

The intent of the project is to explore how local government can play a role in building capacity of communities to better accept that dying is part of life and encourage more Victorians to actively participate in caring and supporting people at the end of their lives at home and in their community.

The broader context for the project includes:

  • an international movement, Compassionate Communities which aims to build compassion and capacity in communities to support people during dying, death and bereavement.
  • a public health approach to dying and death – recognises that while clinical support for people with a life limiting condition may be vital for many, ensuring their comfort, their care and their wellbeing depends on the community
  • the Victorian end of life and palliative care framework prioritises a greater emphasis on engaging communities and strengthening community capacity to support individuals, families and carers during the period around end of life
  • the role of local government as a key leader and facilitator of inclusive and connected communities.

Resources will be developed throughout the project by the MAV and La Trobe University to support councils in their work around end of life initiatives and for distribution and promotion within local communities.

Demonstration projects

As a new area for local government, three demonstration projects have been funded at Mansfield, South Gippsland and Whittlesea to further inform the potential role of councils in this area of work and to explore potential strategies, actions and processes. Video presentations of the Demonstration Projects recorded as part of the Victorian Councils: Supporting Communities Around End of Life Project Community of Practice Session are available below.

Demonstration projects Summary Report 2020

Background Paper for Aged and Disability Services on End of Life

The MAV has prepared a background paper to assist councils in thinking about why end of life should be embraced by local government within their ageing portfolio. It provides useful material on initiatives happening in communities and why it is relevant to council support for older residents.


View our web page for a comprehensive list of End of Life Project resources


Jan Bruce
Positive Ageing Adviser
(03) 9667 5546