Media Release: Australians move beyond taboos on Dying To Know Day

August 7th 2018

Australians move beyond taboos on Dying To Know Day

People are getting together on Dying to Know Day August 8th to make Australia a more compassionate place when someone is dying or grieving.


D2KDay started in 2013 and this year over 140 community events are being held across  Australia.

“Everything from small gatherings in the local pub to large events in community centres, film nights, cemetery tours, death cafes and education days have been organised, making Dying to Know Day the nation's biggest community conversation about death and loss”, said founder Kerrie Noonan at The GroundSwell Project.

This year Dying to Know Day comes off the back of multiple reports calling for change in palliative and end of life care in Australia. The release of new research from the Caring at End of Life Research team at Western Sydney University (1) shows large numbers of Australians are willing and able to support each other in the face of dying, death and loss. Most notably, 53% feel able to talk to another family member, 63% have sat with someone dying and 47% of us have provided emotional support to a person who was dying. That’s a lot of caring.

But we still have a long way to go, with almost a third of us avoiding the conversation about death and only 14% of us having an advance care plan. Only 51% have a will.

Researcher Professor Debbie Horsfall said that death literacy will become a significant social issue over the next few decades as the population ages:

“It is important that older Australians and people who are caring and grieving know about their end of life care and support options. Our research has shown that only 20% of people know how to navigate the health system to get the end of life care they want. This goes down to 19% for the aged care system.”

GroundSwell Founder Kerrie Noonan encourages everyone to do their part and take action on Dying To Know Day.  So, if you are curious about death literacy, need help to start a conversation or you want to be part of the movement for change then head to

View the Beyond Taboos Report on Death Literacy

Media Contact: Kerrie Noonan kerrie@thegroundswellproject | 0439040499


About Dying to Know Day

Dying to Know Day events activate conversations and curiosity, build death literacy and help grow the capacity of individuals and community groups to take action toward end of life planning. Over 140 events are happening across Australia. 

The GroundSwell Project (GSP) want to create a world where everyone knows what to do when someone is dying, caring or grieving.  Our purpose is to create a more death literate society, one where everyone has the practical know-how needed to respond well to end of life (EOL). This means transforming conversations into deep community engagement and social action. GSP partners with the philanthropic community, health sector, health insurance and aged care to equip citizens to develop their death literacy.


  1. Noonan, K., Horsfall, D, & Kelly, M. (2018). Beyond Taboos? Australians’ capacity to care for each other through death, dying and loss. Research Report. The GroundSwell Project. Sydney. Download HERE