Go Gentle Australia Communication

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Last year was an extremely busy year for Go Gentle Australia, but it was worth it. The passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Law in Victoria was historic – however the fight is not over yet. Already the opposition has indicated it will overturn the bill, should it win the November 2018 elections.

Defending Victoria’s hard-won law is just one of the many challenges ahead of Go Gentle in 2018.

The good news is that there is a growing call for legislation around the country. 

In August 2017 the Western Australian Government put in place a Joint Select Committee to conduct an inquiry on End of Life Choice. This has closed for public submissions and has received over 700, many of which contain the usual misinformation and fear-mongering that was heard in Victoria. It is now in the phase of public hearings and is aiming to report in August this year. 

The government in the ACT appointed a Select Committee on End of Life Choices in November 2017. Public submissions close on 23 March 2018. While this is good news, unfortunately the ACT does not have the power to actually implement such legalisation. However, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner have joined forces with the Northern Territory just a few days ago to prioritise the removal of the Bill that prevents 

 the two territories from considering voluntary assisted dying reforms.

In Queensland, the Clem Jones Trust has announced it intends to campaign for Voluntary Assisted Dying. This agenda is being enthusiastically supported by local media but so far the government remains uncommitted.

In NSW, the cross party working group that saw its last bill so narrowly defeated, is looking to re-introduce a bill again, likely sometime next year.

After three years working full-time on law reform, I will be stepping back from the day-to-day operations as I return to my former day-job on TV. The work of Go Gentle Australia continues, however, and we have appointed a CEO, Kiki Paul. Kiki has been with us from the beginning. She helped put together The Damage Done, and worked on the campaigns in South Australia and Victoria. Both the Board and myself will be working closely with Kiki as we continue to push for more compassionate end of life choices around Australia.

I will also remain strategically involved with fundraising and advocacy (translation: just try and shut me up!)

Go Gentle’s focus will continue to be supporting efforts for law reform around Australia by bringing professional skills and resources to bear to counter the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) campaigns run by our opponents.

We will also be following closely the implementation of the legislation in Victoria.

To do this need your support more than ever. If you believe as strongly in our work as we do, there are two things we need you to do:

1. Consider a monthly donation. Our opponents (the AMA, Palliative Care Australia, Australian Christian Lobby, the Catholic and Anglican Churches) are fully resourced and staffed. We cannot hope to match them by volunteers alone.

2. Sign up one new person to join our campaign. Then ask them to do the same.


The law only changed in Victoria because many thousands of people stepped forward. But compassionate end of life choices shouldn’t stop at the Victorian border. We need you now more than ever.


Andrew Denton

  In English
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