The Policy Pitch: change to die for?

Tuesday 19 August 2014, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Village Roadshow Theatrette
Entry 3, La Trobe St
Has wheelchair access Has hearing loop

The baby boomers are reaching old age. Over the next 25 years, the number of Australians who die each year will double.

Dying in Australia is highly institutionalised – 86 per cent of Australians die in hospital or residential care. Many deaths are lingering, impersonal and disempowered, and the cost of dying is high. With dying on the increase, this will become a much more significant issue for health policy in the future.

The forthcoming Grattan report, 'Change to die for?', argues that death in Australia is hidden and the topic is avoided. Most people have not discussed the services and support they would like when they die. How do we encourage people to discuss their preferences and choices for end-of-life care, and what reforms are needed to ensure people have a good death?

Join us at this Policy Pitch event to discuss the changes needed to improve the quality of dying in Australia.


  • Professor Hal Swerissen is the visiting Health Program Fellow at Grattan Institute. Hal has an extensive and distinguished record of achievement in health policy research and analysis, and has held senior executive positions as Pro Vice Chancellor (Regional) and Executive Dean of Health Sciences at La Trobe University. He has been a senior advisor to Commonwealth and State governments, and has conducted a range of policy and research studies and inquiries. He has published more than 100 academic papers and research reports.
  • Senator Jan McLucas began public life with her election as a Cairns City Councillor in 1995, and was elected to the Australian Senate representing Queensland in 1998. Since November 2004 Jan has held a variety of ministerial positions, including Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disability and Carers, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Minister for Human Services and Shadow Minister for Mental Health and for Housing and Homelessness.

Reading list

The Policy Pitch is a joint initiative of the State Library of Victoria and Grattan Institute to provide a public interest series on key policy themes. These free public seminars offer lively, intelligent and thoughtful debate.