Expo sheds light on taboo sub­ject

Melville Times - - News - Aaron Cor­lett

AN expo try­ing to re­move the stigma sur­round­ing talk­ing about death was held in Bull Creek last week.

The Dy­ing to Know Day was held at the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force As­so­ci­a­tion (RAAFA) WA Memo­rial Es­tate on Au­gust 8.

Dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions from WA were there 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 was try­ing to help peo­ple deal with the end of their lives 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.

“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 your last day is.”

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

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

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Dinny Laurence said they en­cour­aged peo­ple to let their lo­cal MLAs know how they felt.

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 expo.

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