The 5th Biennial Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference was held 6-7 April 2014 in Sydney. The conference focused on ‘Building a bridge to the future – the wide span of palliative care nursing’ and encompassed the concepts of ‘Populations', 'Partnerships’, 'Practice' and ‘Pillars – for best evidence based care’.
These themes provided ample opportunity to explore the transition from chronic illness to a palliative approach, issues of quality and safety and the elements that enable people to die in their place of choice. Participants also had an opportunity to attend a range of advanced symptom management, communication and research workshops.
We extended a warm welcome to our colleagues working in acute care, emergency, ICU, chronic disease management, and primary care nurses working in all care settings where patients die, and invited them to participate in this conference, as both presenters and attendees.
The focus of the 2014 PCNA conference on ‘Building a bridge to the future – the wide span of palliative care nursing’ draws inspiration from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Apart from its physical proximity the Sydney Harbour Bridge has symbolic relevance to this conference.
The Bridge has national significance and its magnitude and grace have made it an iconic landmark that is known globally. Having been completed in 1932, after decades of planning and design and seven years’ construction through The Great Depression it is still the largest steel arch bridge in the world, connecting Sydney’s Central Business District with the North Shore and creating ease of transition across a beautiful natural harbour.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge has contributed to Sydney’s transport system, economic growth, urbanisation, imagery and tourism, and formed the backdrop to many ceremonial and celebratory moments in Australia’s history, such as during the Sydney Olympic Games and the People's Walk for Reconciliation between Aboriginal and white Australians in 2000.
Like the visionaries who drove this engineering feat, PCNA sought to attract and inspire nurses with those human qualities that built the Bridge: vision, persistence, innovation, excellence, and hands-on expertise, to promote the construction of better systems, services and outcomes for people and families transitioning through the end stage of life.