Palliative Care Queensland

Lifetime Achievement Award – Bronwyn McFarlane

Bronwyn McFarlane is the winner of the 2021 Palliative Care In Queensland Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to rural palliative care in her 21 years of dedicated service to Quenslanders approaching their end of life.

In 1999 Bronwyn responded to an advertisement calling for nurses to provide in-home care in the Gympie Region and has spent the last two decades as an anchor of compassion, a fountain of practice wisdom and a source of spirituality for the patients and staff of Little Haven.

ln her 21 years with Little Haven she has;

  • Grown and developed our model of care – recognised internationally to be the gold standard for hospice care/community based palliative care
  • Mentored many scholars of palliative care – Registered Nurses employed in our service, nursing students, respite carers, allied health professionals and GP registrars on the important aspects of palliative care. Developing in them an understanding and appreciation for palliative care.
  • Made meaningful contributions to the palliative care sector through participation in surveys, conferences and submissions into the Aged Care and Palliative Care enquiries.

Bronwyn’s knowledge, skills and reputation are highly regarded throughout our region Qld by GP’s, Pall Care Specialists and the families we have cared for. Each and every one of them receiving her dedicated interest. Recently on a visit to the ward with Bronwyn to meet a new patient referred Little Haven, a conversation took place that epitomises everything Bronwyn has achieved.

ln the course of the conversation, the patient said to Bronwyn, “Do you remember one of your first patients 20 years ago, a young mum with 3 toddlers?”

Bronwyn not only remembered the patient but also recalled the exact address, husbands name and said ‘Oh, you’d be the lovely mum in law who helped out so much”. Indeed she was, and in due course, she knew when her time came, Little Haven would be there to care for her too.

That is Bronwyn’s magic-making each family feel beautifully supported, getting to know the person who has the disease first and foremost whilst also possessing vast clinical knowledge and intuition.

As she heads towards a well-deserved retirement, this award is a reflection of the passion, commitment and love she has shown in her 21 years with Little Haven.

We caught up with Bronwyn McFarlane to find out what winning the 2021 Palliative Care In Queensland Lifetime Achievement Award means.

What does winning a 2021 Palliative Care in Qld Award mean to you?

That Little Haven is recognised as a wonderful community palliative care nursing service that provides 24 hour access and the support of highly skilled, specialist palliative care RNs who provide an holistic approach for the families and carers of their loved one in the home, allowing them to transition in their chosen environment.

How does it feel to be recognised for your contribution to Palliative Care in Qld?

This award recognises the value of a local community hospice in the home nursing service that began 22 years ago and has grown with need and has developed to be a leading light in the state for community care of the dying with its innovative holistic care and support with full community backing. This makes me very proud.

 Who would you like to thank or acknowledge as part of your award win?

The farsighted founder of Little Haven who wanted better in-the-home care for the dying, the board for their support and direction and the CEO Sue Manton who has ably managed this service to be the best in the state.  Sue’s skill at raising the profile of this type of care and our local community for their continuing generous support has been second to none.

Read about all 2021 Palliative Care in Queensland Statewide Award winners by visiting our website:

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