Palliative Care Queensland

in those final moments

It’s our mission to ensure that every person who dies in Queensland experiences quality at the end of their life.

We are guided by our purpose

At Palliative Care Queensland we believe that the way we care for our dying is a meaningful indicator of the values of our society. It’s why we work hard to influence, foster and promote quality palliative care for all Queenslanders.

Focusing on the things that matter

We’re working towards achieving real change when it comes to our five focus areas. To see how we’re going to do this, please read our Strategic Plan.

Download our Strategic Plan

Discover how we plan to advocate, educate and support Queenslanders to live, die and grieve well.

Our Governance

Palliative Care Queensland operates under the guidance of an eleven-member board, composed of dedicated volunteers and individuals who are active members of the organisation.

Executive Committee
Prof Anthony Herbert


Prof Anthony Herbert

A/Prof Herbert undertook medical training at the University of Queensland and subsequently obtained Fellowships in Paediatric Medical Oncology and Paediatric Palliative Care.

He is currently Director of the Paediatric Palliative Care Service at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service where he has worked since 2008. He is the Group Leader of the Paediatric Palliative and Supportive Care Research Group at the Queensland University of Technology.

He is also the Project Lead for the national project, QuoCCA, which relates to education in paediatric palliative care. He has been Chair of the Paediatric Palliative Care Working group of the Statewide Child and Youth Network since 2013 and a member of the Care at End of Life Statewide Reference Group (now the Care at End of Life Collaborative) and also a founding member of the Queensland Specialist Palliative Care Service Director’s Group. His prior governance experience include being Secretary and Board Member of AusHEAL and CMDFA.

Mrs Karen Gower

Vice President

Mrs Karen Gower

Karen was the Clinical Nurse Manager of the Wesley Palliative Care Service from 2003 to 2013 having worked in Oncology since 1989. In 2011 she attended QUT Kelvin Grove to complete Masters in Nursing Science to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP).

In 2013 Karen joined Blue Care – Metro North Community Service, as the first community NP for Blue Care. She was fortunate to be part of a project funded through Department of Health and Ageing to ascertain if having a nurse practitioner working with the community domiciliary service would support palliative clients and their families to care for their family member at home. These clients were, generally, in the last three months of life due to a life limiting illness. Working with the client’s GP and or specialist palliative care service at their treating hospital as part of an integrated service showed a significant improvement in service provision and the position was supported to continue across Metro North once the project finished in 2015.

In 2015 Blue Care were fortunate to win a Metro North Queensland Health tender to provide community palliative care funded by Queensland Health. Family satisfaction surveys showed families felt supported to continue caring for their loved one at home and grateful to be able to fulfil their family members wish to remain at home.

In 2017, with changes to funding in Metro North, Karen joined the Metro South Palliative Care Service Queensland Health working part time delivering palliative care in the community whilst continuing to work part time with Blue Care. It has been a privilege to journey with these clients and their families enabling them to remain in their place of choice – whether that be in their own home or in hospital.

Ms Emily Cowan


Ms Emily Cowan

Emily completed her studies for her Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Information Technology at the Queensland University of Technology. Emily is currently working as an Accountant at Vincents, a Chartered Accountancy firm and maintains experience working with clients who vary in size and industry. She is a member of Chartered Accounts Australia and New Zealand and is currently undertaking her studies to become a qualified Chartered Accountant.

Emily Ritchie


Emily Ritchie

Emily is the Senior Executive External Affairs – Policy, Advocacy and Reputation for Medibank, a health company providing private health insurance and health services, including in home care, to more than 3.9 million people in Australia.

Emily has also held senior leadership roles in ASX-listed organisations National Australia Bank and AMP. Emily began her career as a media adviser to the executive team at the Wesley Hospital Townsville.Emily has a Masters of Business specialising in Organisational Leadership and Management of Organisational Change, and a Bachelor of Journalism. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Senior Executive Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School.

General Members
Dr Matthew Cooper
Dr Matthew Cooper

Dr Matthew Cooper is currently an Advanced Trainee in the RACP Palliative Care Training Program, working with the Sunshine Coast Palliative Care Service. Prior to this change in direction, he had worked as a GP for 14 years in Mapleton, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Matthew has also previously worked at Mt Olivet Hospital (now St Vincent’s Brisbane); he is a board member of Cittamani Hospice Service, as well as being a life member of Palliative Care Queensland.

Dr Jayne Hewitt
Dr Jayne Hewitt

Dr Jayne Hewitt is a Registered Nurse with many years of critical care experience. To better understand how the law impacts on healthcare, Jayne undertook a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Health Law. This led to her current role as an academic in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University teaching health law and ethics to undergraduate health students. Combining her clinical experience and interest in law, Jayne’s PhD explored understandings of justice in healthcare. Her current research focusses on translating law into practice and issues in end-of-life care.

Kathryn Hooper
Kathryn Hooper

Kathryn has worked in specialist palliative care inpatient and community palliative care over the last 10 years. She is a Worimi and Gubbi Gubbi descendant and is currently attending her MPhil to PHD in exploring the barriers and facilitators of access, acceptance, and holistic needs of palliative care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Brisbane, QLD and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Kathryn has a Masters degree and specialisations in Aged Care, Emergency Care and Palliative Care. She is Australia’s first Nurse Practitioner with specialty in palliative care and is an endorsed nurse practitioner.

Kathryn currently works in research and education of palliative care at both State of QLD and National levels.

Expert advice when it’s needed most

To die with dignity is something we can give counsel on. We work with organisations and services to provide them with the knowledge and resources they need to achieve best practice in palliative care.

Our consultancy offerings encompass training, system reviews, co-design workshops, community conversation events, death audits, quality improvement suggestions and care strategy recommendations.

Our Team

The passionate people at PCQ help drive our mission, ensuring that Queenslanders with a life limiting illness are able to have a happy end of life.

Ana Vuckovic

Fundraising & Relationships Officer

Amanda Trezona

Projects & Training Officer

Debbie D’Urso

Senior Projects & Training Officer

Debbie Singh

Program & Policy Manager

Julie Gower

Accounts Manager

Lachlan O’Neill

Engagement Officer

Lauren Carr

Program Lead: Ambulance Wish Queensland

Louise O’Neill

Chief Executive Officer

Michael Levick

Senior Communications Officer

Naomi Jowett

Executive Assistant

Rynshika Shayal

Senior Operations Officer

Tisa Lacey

Marketing Coordinator

Yody Espitia

Policy & Projects Officer

Let’s talk

If there’s anything you need help with or simply need a chat about something you’ve read, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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