Call for abstacts

Call for abstracts NOW CLOSED

Author notifications sent end of April, and the full program will be available on 16 May 2019


Be part of the program 

The 2019 OPCC program committee would like to invite you to contribute your voice and submit an abstract to present at the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference. We’re looking for abstracts from anyone with an interest in palliative care – doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, academics, volunteers, carers, researchers, educators, advocates, consumers, families, industry partners, peak bodies and national associations.

Universal Access: Oceans of Opportunities

The theme for the inaugural Oceanic Palliative Care Conference is Universal Access: Oceans of Opportunities. The theme will allow for exploration of palliative care as a human right and what can be done to ensure people from underserved populations can access palliative care and have their pain and other symptoms managed at the end of life. The conference will promote the concept that palliative care should be available to everyone, regardless of their location, age, income, diagnosis, prognosis, gender, sexual orientation, social background or cultural origin.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists palliative care as a human right to health but currently worldwide only 14% of people of people who need palliative care receive it. By bringing people from across the globe together for three days of thoughtful, inspiring and practical discussions, delegates will leave armed with information and resources to improve palliative care in their regions.

Important Dates

  • 10 December 2018Call for abstracts opened - World Human Rights Day
  • 6 March 2019Abstract submissions close
  • March–April 2019Review period
  • End-April 2019Author Notifications
  • 16 May 2019Program announced - Dying Matters Awareness Week
  • 30 June 2019Presenter registration closes

How to submit

For each abstract submission, presenting authors will be required to:

  • identify the most appropriate (1) concurrent stream
  • select core focus area/s (max 3); and
  • specify their preferred presentation type


The following streams will feature in the concurrent sessions. Presenting authors to identify one (1) stream per abstract submission.

1. Your story: A personal approach to care

This stream refers to the experience of patients, family and community. Abstracts should consider topics such as relationships, sexuality, self-care, living with uncertainty, spirituality and grief and bereavement.

2. Living, ageing and dying well: Opportunities in aged care

This stream focuses on ageing. Abstracts should consider topics such as dementia, community support, elder abuse, limitations on treatment, home based, community and residential aged care.

3. Many hands: A multi-disciplinary approach to care

This stream examines the different groups involved in providing care. Abstracts should focus on general practice, allied health practitioners, pharmacy, community based care, practical models of care, volunteers, planning for the future, education and training and integrated care settings.

4. A foundation for care: Building strong systems and structures in palliative care

This stream addresses the systems within palliative care. Abstract topics could include advocacy, economics, policy development, future sustainability, standards and quality, socialising dying, using data, compassionate communities and the national palliative care strategy and programs.

5. Access for all: Meeting the needs of diverse populations

This stream should include abstracts on providing palliative care for specific population groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, children, CALD groups, disability groups, LGBTI, refugees, prisoners, homeless populations and other underserved populations.

6. Clinical practice: Delivering all aspects of care

This stream focusses on all types of clinical practice, including pain management, symptom management, wound care, chronic disease, non-malignant conditions and therapeutic treatments as well as the ethical challenges related to the deriving of end-of-life and palliative care.

7. To infinity and beyond: Future opportunities in palliative care

This stream provides an opportunities for submissions on new ideas, innovative projects, learning from failures, alternative ways of operating and planning for the future. 

Core focus areas

Presenting authors are to select a maximum of three (3) relevant focus areas the abstract addresses.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Aged Care
  • Allied Health 
  • Community
  • Dementia
  • Disability intersection
  • Diversity / CALD
  • Ethical challenges such as the impact of VAD on palliative care
  • First Nations
  • Grief & Bereavement
  • Homelessness
  • Medications/Pharmacy
  • Mental health intersection
  • Non-malignant/non-cancer
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative care in low & middle-income countries
  • Primary Care/General Practice
  • Prisons
  • Public Health approach
  • Quality improvements & service delivery
  • Refugees
  • Rural & Remote
  • Self-care
  • Social determinants
  • Spirituality
  • Technology
  • Underserved populations
  • Workforce up-skilling

Presentation Types

Mini oral 

A short six (6) minutes presentation with a max of five (5) PowerPoint slides. Each session will be made up of ten (10) short presentations followed by Q&A time.


Twenty (20) minute oral presentations. There are three (3) presentations in a session with Q&A time at the end of the session.


These are static posters which will be displayed at the conference. You will be expected to discuss your poster informally during the dedicated poster session and during refreshment breaks. Posters are A0 portrait size and will be displayed on poster boards in the exhibition area. All abstracts submitted for poster presentations will be considered to be nominated for the poster awards, more details to be confirmed near to date.


An interactive session where the attendees can join in the discussion/workshop/debate.

How-to / Practical

These must have an emphasis on a practical nature, where participants experience a strategy, a technique or a  practical demonstration, and walk away from the presentation with a new skill or tangible action points to implement in their own work environment. The committee may decide on twenty (20) minute oral presentations or ninety (90) minutes workshop presentations.

*Note: The program committee will determine which final stream and presentation type accepted abstracts are best suited to, based on the overall conference program.

IAHPC Travel Scholarships

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) will be supporting the Oceanic Palliative Care Conference (19OPCC) by providing Travel Scholarships to applicants from Lower, Lower-Middle and Upper-Middle income countries, who are accepted into the 19OPCC program to attend 19OPCC.

Please indicate when submitting your abstract/s if you will be applying for an IAHPC scholarship. 

Please visit to view criteria and apply for a scholarship.

Are you under 40?

Ian Maddocks Guest Lecture

If you are under the age of 40 and working or doing research in palliative care, you can submit your abstract to be considered for the  Ian Maddocks Guest Lecture.

The recipient of the Ian Maddocks Guest Lecture is considered to be the best submission by an author under the age of 40 who is engaged in the study or delivery of palliative care in any of its component disciplines. The winner will be required to present their abstract in a plenary session at the conference.

Submit online

All abstracts must be submitted electronically via the online submission process by 6 March 2019. Emailed submissions will not be accepted. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.

Be prepared with the following…..

Abstracts must be no more than 250 words and must contain sufficient information to allow a delegate to appreciate what may be gained by attending your presentation.

The abstract must submitted within a plain text field (no tables, no graphs etc.)

Please be prepared to have the following ready, as they are required as part of the submission process.

  • Presenter name/s
  • A 50-word biography of the presenting author/s
  • High-res JPEG (2-3MB) head-shot photo of the presenting author/s
  • Identify the concurrent stream
  • Select core focus area/s
  • Preferred presentation type
  • Names of co-authors and their affiliates (organisations)
  • Being considered for the Ian Maddocks Guest Lecture - must meet the criteria
  • Being considered for an IAPHC Travel Scholarship - must meet the criteria
  • Permission for the abstract to be published on CareSearch Grey Literature database post-conference

Once you submit the abstract, it will be blind reviewed by at least two members of the committee against the following criteria; 

  • Relevance to palliative care and the conference theme Universal Access: Oceans of Opportunities
  • Learnings provide unique or innovative thinking
  • Quality be it scientific, academic or practical quality of the abstract

Questions? Contact the 19OPCC Conference Managers


Notifications of acceptance will be sent via e-mail to the presenting/submitting author at the end of April 2019. The presenting author will be the main contact for all correspondence going forward.

Terms & Conditions

If your abstract is successful, all presenters must register and pay for the conference by 30 June 2019 to obtain the discounted speaker registration rate of AU$965.00 (full registration) or AU$495.00 (day only).

Presenters are also responsible for their accommodation expenses and travel to and from the conference. If accepted presenters have already registered, their registration will automatically be changed to the presenter rate.

Please note that in 17APCC, there had been an overwhelming amount of interest resulting on each available spot on the program receiving 5 or more abstracts, meaning 4 out of 5 had missed out on presenting at the conference. 

Decisions made by the program committee about submitted abstracts will be final. Only submissions that address the conference theme and are consistent with the concurrent themes as described above will be accepted. The committee reserves the right to accept or refuse any abstract and to allocate to a session time or any presentation types. The people that are nominated as the authors of an abstract retain all propriety rights and patent rights. The authors retain the right to use all or part of their abstracts in future works of their own.

The presenting author is responsible for obtaining copyright clearance and authority for all material included in their presentation.

By submitting your abstract you agree that we can publish it in any of our productions and that your presentation can be recorded, distributed or made available online and via the conference app. If you need to change or remove anything before this happens, please let us know. The submitting author will have the opportunity to not give consent on the publication during the submission process.