About APLI

Palliative care is a specialised area of health care, which emerged in response to the need for better care of people with advanced, life-threatening illness, who are approaching the end of their lives. The focus is on whole person care, which includes care for the family or those who are looking after the patient.

In the words of Dame Cecily Saunders, who founded the modern hospice and palliative care movement, “Palliative care aims to put life into days, rather than days into life”.

In many parts of the world, palliative care remains in its infancy. Pain relief in the form of strong opioids is not available to the majority of people, end of life care falls squarely on the shoulders of the family who are largely unsupported by formal health care services. Costs of treatment and care are met by family and often lead to great financial hardships.

Many of us are fortunate to live in countries of greater wealth and associated health care systems which provide for all. Recognising the interconnectedness of our world, our common humanity, has led to the establishment of APLI. It is a way of building community across national and cultural boundaries, to work with our colleagues in other countries towards the common goal of the relief of suffering, reduction of isolation and lifting of the human spirit.

We often feel powerless to change or to respond to the suffering of others, trapped in our own lives, expectations of others, self-image, fear. APLI may help provide a bridge to another world, where our expertise, generosity, friendship can make a difference.

Personal reflection of Founder of APLI

“Finding your people”: Jean Vanier, who developed L’Arche, wrote and spoke about the importance of “finding your people”. For some, it is people with disability, for others, the homeless, for others, the elderly. Knowing who are “your people”, will provide motivation, and perseverance along the way. Volunteering in the Home for the Dying, Calcutta, India as a young doctor, made a deep impression and later led to many wonderful friendships among palliative care pioneers there. Working with people with cancer who are approaching the end of their lives, is my place in medicine and these are “my people”.

Odette Spruyt,

Founder, APLI

Who are we

We are a small organisation with a membership mainly of palliative care professionals, mostly Australian. We have supporters and friends who help with the activities of APLI.

We have a small executive who meet bimonthly by teleconference.

All are volunteers.

APLI became an incorporated association in 1995 and a registered charity in 2016.

Our strongest links are with Indian palliative care but we are developing links with other providers of palliative care in the Asia Pacific.

Hippocratic film applauded across Australia

Hippocratic Film Header

With only one city remaining in the Australian launch of the biographical documentary, Hippocratic, it is clear that the film has had great impact here.

One important feature has been the opportunity for Q&A after the movie, where audience members have a chance to delve deeper into the issues raised in the film, such as trying to understand the distressing ongoing shortage of morphine, an essential medication in pain management, a shortage that affects over 80% of the world’s population.

This issue alone should galvanise us to action, to demand change and accountability. However, long time advocates in this field know only too well how difficult it is to bring about change and improvements here.

Films such as Hippocratic are too few and APLI thanks Moonshine Movies for their commitment to contributing to change in a creative and positive way.


Donate to APLI online : BSB 063 806; Acct 10160981

Your donations to APLI help in the following ways:

assist with training of doctors and nurses in palliative care practice in developing nations

support nurses to travel and teach as part of Project Hamrahi

help with purchase of critical site resources such as essential equipment and supplies,  medicines and educational materials