Palliative Care Victoria has taken the opportunity during National Palliative Care Week to officially thank the Greek community for its efforts in supporting the organisation.

Michael Bramwell, chair of Palliative Care Victoria, highlighted the work of the Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS), which has worked closely with the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria since July 2014 in helping to raise awareness of its services for Victorians with a life limiting disease and their families.

“We value greatly the support of Voula Messimeri, CEO of the AGWS, and her staff,” he said.

“It [AGWS] formed a reference group, contributed to the development of suitable resources and encouraged Greek community members to sign up for free information sessions about palliative care in Greek by trained health educators,” said Eddie Micallef, chair of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

The Culturally Responsive Palliative Care Project was developed in response to recommendations that arose from forums in 2010 and 2012, which showed a need to provide information about and access to palliative care services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Melbourne.

So far the initiative has proved to be a success, with 250 members of the Greek community attending free information sessions in the Greek language, with feedback indicating that at least 47 per cent had no knowledge of the services prior to attending.

Mr Micallef also made special mention of Greek reference group members Vicky Sagiakos, Mary Loulakis, Soula Antoniadis, Kassi Goudas, Roula Barberoglou, Adonis Maglis, Tania Samartza, Tracey Mander, Mahi Xepapadakou and Tania Samartza, thanking them for conducting the information sessions for the Greek community.

Members of the Greek community interested in palliative care are encouraged to sign up for free information sessions in Greek until June 30. Greek leaflets about palliative care are also available. For further information, contact Tatiana (03) 9349 4122 or Heather (03) 9662 9644.