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  • Committee
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • University of Melbourne
12 Aug 2019

Supportive Care and Palliative Care - Working Party

Contribute to the Master of Cancer Sciences program

Working party expressions of interest are invited for the Supportive Care and Palliative Care subject within the Master of Cancer Sciences and its nested programming. Working party membership is an honorary role that will involve providing knowledge and advice to guide the development of the subject. Members of the working party will also have a role in nomination of teaching faculty positions.

The Supportive Care and Palliative Care subject development process will take place from September 2019 to April 2020 and is scheduled for delivery in Term 2 2020 (April - June). The Master of Cancer Sciences and its nested programming, is a collaborative initiative between the VCCC and University of Melbourne.  

Time commitment required is likely to vary, dependent on individual capacity and the activities and milestones of the program. However, there will be four meetings during the development phase:

  • Content expertise - three meetings focused on your area of expertise. These will be held periodically:
    • October 2019- 1-2 hours
    • December 2019 - 1-2 hours
    • June 2020- 1-2 hours
  • Workshop – September 2019 - half day of discussions with the entire working party, during which we will brainstorm broadly about the topics to be covered in the subject and write content for the subject development.
  • Additionally, you may be contacted by email with specific questions/queries.


  • Contribute to the first cancer specific, multidisciplinary and wholly online nested Master’s program offered in Australia and one of only two available in the world.
  • Provide content expertise and write content for development of the Supportive Care and Palliative Care subject.
  • Nominate the most appropriate faculty to present directed instruction, comprise panels, or be involved in other educational activities.
  • Design educational activities and presentations and written content in collaboration with the Subject Development Coordinator, working party and Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education (MSPACE) team at the University of Melbourne.
  • Assist in the development of assessment materials including questions, answers, marking rubrics etc.
  • Collaborate with like-minded peers across the VCCC alliance to develop a Masters level subject.

Master of Cancer Sciences

The Master of Cancer Sciences is a landmark collaborative initiative between the VCCC and the University of Melbourne.  It will be the first cancer specific, multidisciplinary and wholly online Spec Cert, Grad Cert and Master’s program offered in Australia. It will be a multidisciplinary program for cancer clinicians from the fields of medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery, haematology, nursing, allied health and other health professions. This will position the VCCC as a centre for educational excellence, contributing to the creation of a world class workforce that improves the experience and outcomes of cancer patients.

Supportive Care and Palliative Care

With the rapidly increasing volume of patients with a diagnosis of cancer there are an increasing number of patients having to deal with the consequences of cancer. This subject will provide an evidenced-based, best practice approach to both survivorship care and palliative care. It will address the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences of diagnosis, treatment and the supportive care services that address those. Students will also develop a detailed understanding of palliative care, its goals, techniques and limitations. In doing so, students will also explore the role of the multidisciplinary teams in various health care delivery models and how that influences patient centred care.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of the subject, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the consequences of cancer treatment on cancer survivors
  • Determine how supportive care addresses the multi-faceted effects of cancer on patients and their families.
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the role of palliative care for cancer patients, including its goals, techniques and interaction with other medical and allied health clinicians
  • Critically reflect on the psychosocial, cultural, ethical and spiritual issues for patients, families and carers who have, or have had, a diagnosis of cancer

Potential topics

  • Communication and coordination of care
  • Surveillance
  • Late and long-term effects
  • Psycho social care
  • Psychology and psychiatry
  • Multidisciplinary care
  • Self-management
  • Community based supports
  • Returning to work
  • Palliative care
  • Pain management
  • End of life
  • Spiritual/Pastoral care

Submit expression of interest

Applications are open for up to three experienced researchers, clinicians, allied health professionals or educators working within one of the VCCC alliance organisations. If you are highly motivated to join this working group, please express your interest by downloading and completing the EOI form, and attach a copy of your CV, no later than COB Monday 2 September 2019.


Sathana Dushyanthen, Graduate Programs Lead – Master of Cancer Sciences