Bull Creek: expo tries to take stigma out of talking about death

Palliative Care WA executive officer Lana Glogowski, Perth Death Collective end of life practitioner Shoalia Fitzgerald, Royal Australian Air Force Association WA chief executive John Murray and spiritual healer Susan Ashley at the Dying to Know Day expo.
Palliative Care WA executive officer Lana Glogowski, Perth Death Collective end of life practitioner Shoalia Fitzgerald, Royal Australian Air Force Association WA chief executive John Murray and spiritual healer Susan Ashley at the Dying to Know Day expo.

AN EXPO trying to remove the stigma surrounding talking about death was held today in Bull Creek.

The Dying to Know Day expo was held at the Royal Australian Air Force Association (RAAFA) WA Memorial Estate with organisations from around WA coming together to inform the public on issues related to death.

RAAFA WA welfare officer Carena Blair said there were many taboos in Western culture to do with death.

But the Dying to Know Day expo is trying to help people deal with the end of their life in a more positive way.

“What we are promoting is just to think of death as the last chapter and to understand it,” she said.

“We had 30 vendors here that can help people make plans as well people from Palliative Care WA, legal representatives, funeral homes, aroma therapists and spiritual healers.

“There was so much colour and beauty here and I think people enjoyed coming through and thinking about these issues.

“You might not expect it but people were expressing their gratitude for the expo as well as smiling and enjoying the conversations.

“We are encouraging people to have conversations with their loved ones and talk about their plans because you don’t know when you’re last day is.”

Among the organisations at the expo was Dying with Dignity WA, who advocate for end-of-life choices.

The WA Parliament established a Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council in August 2017 with a decision expected soon.

Committee member Dinny Laurence said they were encouraging people to let their local MLAs know how they felt about the issue.

“The vast majority of people die in a hospice, palliative care or in ICU,” she said.

“We are holding a rally on August 23 on the steps of Parliament House and we encourage people to be vocal with their local MPs.”