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Artists awarded ahead of palliative care conference

Ahead of the biannual Australian Palliative Care Conference (17APCC) held in Adelaide this week, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) announced the winners of the online art competition, ‘Connection with Community’.

Kerrie Marriott Anderson won the People's Choice Award with her painting 'A Light Touch' (Source: Palliative Care Australia)
Kerrie Marriott Anderson won the People's Choice Award with her painting 'A Light Touch' (Source: Palliative Care Australia)

Entrants were invited to create a piece of artwork reflecting on the theme, with a dress created out of teabags awarded as the Overall winner.

Karen Benjamin from Queensland, created her piece titled ‘Dying for a Cuppa’ out of teabags collected from grieving family members and co-workers from her workplace.

“As a casual worker at a funeral home I make a lot of cups of tea for members of the community who are planning a funeral or grieving for a friend or family member.

“At times the grief seems overwhelming. The gesture of a cup of tea and the chance to speak openly about death and dying soothes the soul,” says Ms Benjamin.

The People’s Choice winner, was awarded to Kerrie Marriott Anderson from Victoria for her painting titled ‘A Light Touch’. Ms Anderson modelled her painting to capture the isolation that can accompany the struggle of living with a terminal illness, but also how a connection with the community can provide much needed support.

“Living with a terminal illness and grief can feel like living in a bubble. Removed from the world’s colour of activity,” explains Ms Anderson.

The final award, the Palliative Care Australia winner, went to Shara Jenkins for her painting ‘Float’. Inspired by the support received from her community, Ms Jenkins’ painting contrasts the experience of learning how to trust with learning how to float.

“Learning to trust community support can take a lot of time and effort, and be very frustrating at times, but when you get it right, and learn to trust and accept that strength and support, oh what a difference it can make.”

The Overall Winner and People’s Choice award winner will each receive $1000 in prize money, whilst the Palliative Care Australia winner’s artwork will be featured on the PCA’s marketing and promotional materials.

Judges included last year’s art competition winners Anzara Clark and Ashley Fiona, alongside Margaret Ambridge who is currently holding an exhibition in conjunction with the Australian Palliative Care Conference.

The conference will host a mix of both national and international speakers sharing their expertise on issues regarding palliative care.

Keynote speakers include founder of Center for Global eHealth Innovation Dr Alex Jahad (Canada) and grief therapist Liese Groot-Alberts (New Zealand), as well as  director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide Professor Mark Hutchinson, and senior research fellow at the Simpson Centre for Health Services Research at the University of New South Wales Dr Magnolia Cardona-Morrell.

“There’s a lot happening in the palliative care sector, with an updated national startegy being finalised this year, as well as the national standards being revised,” says PCA Chief Executive Officer Liz Callaghan.

“From the community perspective, there is increasing interest in talking about death and dying and technological advances in how we deal with pain.

“By bringing all these experts together under the one roof we are providing conference attendees an opportunity to develop their skills, as well as make new contacts with industry professionals.”

17APCC will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 6-8 September 2017.

For more information on the event or to register visit http://pca2017.org.au

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