Violet is a national social enterprise, making a positive contribution to the last stage of life.


Our mission

The Violet Initiative (Violet) exists to reduce regretful outcomes in the last stage of life for Australians, their caregivers and their families.

Violet provides free services, programs and resources to anyone in the community who is caring for someone in the last stage of their life (in either an informal or formal role) to help them be better prepared and supported on their journey.

If this is you, please get in touch.


Without Violet

There are approximately 50,000 regretful deaths each year in Australia. Regretful outcomes are the difference between what is hoped for and what actually happens. This regret costs us all dearly, emotionally as individuals and economically as a society.


With Violet

For the people directly involved, regretful outcomes increase trauma and leads to more complex bereavement. It also creates distress for health professionals and ethical dilemmas for other organisations.

More than 30 years experience

Supporting caregivers and their families for over 30 years has shown us that regretful outcomes often occur when things don’t go to plan - or there is no plan.

Violet provides relief and builds resilience so that people are better prepared and supported as they care for a loved one the last stage of life.


What matters most at end of life?

By Violet CEO Melissa Reader, Prof Kathy Eagar, Director of the Australian Health Services Research Institute and clinical committee members Prof. Ken Hillman, AO and Dr. Leeroy William.

Read the full article on the Medical Journal of Australia Insight+

Violet in the media

View our digital media kit which includes information on our organisation as well as free-to-use video assets.

Are you caring for a loved one? Talk to a Violet Guide. 

Board of Directors


Peter Shorthouse

Interim Chair


Melissa Reader

CEO and Managing Director


Debbie Nicholson



Peter Spicer


Strategic Advisory Committee


Kate Carnell, AO

Former ACT Chief Minister
and small business ombudsman, current Deputy Chair of Beyond Blue and current
Director of Mable


Professor Kathy Eagar, Director,

Centre for Health Service Development and Director, Australian Health Services Research Institute,
University of Wollongong


Professor Keith Evans,

Principal, Integrated Policy Solutions, Senior Research Fellow,
South Australian health
and Medical Research Institute.
Committee Chair

Jane Hemstritch,  Non-Executive Director Lendlease Corporation Ltd, President Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Jane Hemstritch,

Non-Executive Director
Lend Lease, President Walter
and Eliza Hall Institute of
Medical Research

Jillian Skinner

The Hon. Jillian Skinner,

former NSW Health Minister, current Chair of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association


James Viles,

Partner Private Equity and Healthcare, Bain Consulting

Clinical Committee


Professor Rod MacLeod



Professor Ken Hillman, AO

Intensive Care Specialist and Professor of Intensive Care, University of New South Wales


Nikki Johnston, OAM

Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner


Dr Kathryn Mannix

Palliative Care Physician and Author


Professor Imogen Mitchell

Dean of Medicine, ANU Medical School

jo wood

Jo Wood

Palliative Care Social Worker, Monash Health


Leeroy William

Adjunct associate Professor and Clinical Director of Supportive & Palliative Care at Eastern Health.