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A brief about talking about dying

While 82% of Australians recognise talking about dying is important, most don’t like to talk about it, often leaving their wishes around their end-of-life care unknown. Our latest work for the Australian Government Department of Health focuses on palliative care, and encourages Australians to have a conversation about dying with their loved ones.

Death is something that affects everyone, but it’s not an easy topic to broach. The biggest challenge with this brief was getting people to actually engage with the creative and not instantly want to tune out. We knew it was important to treat the brief with integrity, honesty, humility, but we also wanted to use a candid, humourous approach (in a respectful way, of course).

Our aim was to try and humanise and normalise dying, enabling people to see themselves and with it, hopefully be more willing to have those important conversations with loved ones.

We conducted a series of interviews with people whose lives have been touched by palliative care in some way. Being allowed to step inside people’s very deep and personal thoughts and experiences about dying was an incredibly moving experience for myself and the whole creative team.

Some of the people we interviewed were facing their end of life head-on—living with a life limiting illness. Sharing their journey was unimaginably confronting, yet brave and beautiful. A true testimony to human strength and spirit.

As a way of coping it’s easy to be flippant and macabre about the prospect of death, but in reality, I’ve found this project incredibly rewarding. Our response has the potential to influence how we, as Australians, live the end of our lives—in turn having a broader impact on our relationships and society in general. Undoubtedly a huge privilege, touching of all of us here at Carbon.