Advocate for end-of-life care
Western Australia | 2023 Australian of the Year
Professor Samar Aoun advocates for a person-centred approach to end-of-life care. She focuses on poorly represented groups, such as those with motor neurone disease, dementia, terminally ill people who live alone and family carers.
She is the Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at the University of Western Australia and an international leader in the advocacy of public health approaches to palliative care. Samar’s work supports and strengthens the Compassionate Communities movement, assisting people to better support those facing death and bereavement.
My vision and hope are that every person, every family and every community knows what to do when someone is looking after somebody who has got a terminal illness, is dying from a terminal illness, or grieving from it ... And it’s everyone’s business to know what to do, how to help each other, so we can have better health care, better quality of life and better quality of death.
Think about the kind of death you’d like to have. You only die once, make it good.
Medal awarded to Dr George Aoun
Samar was inspired to pursue a career in health by her grandfather, Dr George Aoun. Renowned as a compassionate and selfless healer, Dr Aoun was awarded this medal by his country, Lebanon, in recognition of his services to medicine. It is a reminder of her grandfather’s empathy and care of those in medical need and motivates Samar to continue his legacy of community service.
This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council. Portrait images supplied by the National Australia Day Council.