The City of Bunbury has taken a positive step in growing compassion by endorsing a Compassionate Bunbury Charter.

The Charter is designed to encourage and support people in embracing the values of compassion in everyday life, according to Professor Samar Aoun, Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at The University of Western Australia.

“This is particularly important during life’s toughest experiences, especially during illness, caregiving, death and grief,” Professor Aoun said.

Professor Aoun is co-founder of the South West Compassionate Communities Network and leads the Compassionate Connectors program in Western Australia.

Mobilising networks of care, respecting people’s wishes, acknowledging compassionate acts and building capacity to give and receive support are among ten key themes identified in the Bunbury Compassionate Charter.

The Bunbury Compassionate Charter is accompanied by a toolkit of ideas for taking action, developed through community consultation workshops.

“The Charter encourages the community to be kinder, and be more supportive places in which to live well and die well,” Professor Aoun said.

“In follow-up, we are now asking individuals, families, groups, workplaces and community organisations to grow compassion in Bunbury by making a pledge to undertake compassionate acts over the next 6 months in support of the Charter.

“Rallying around people in need can take many forms, such as emotional support, or assisting with household tasks or driving patients to hospital and medical appointments.

“We each have the capability to step in and help in building a caring community culture.”

The Compassionate Bunbury Charter was developed in consultation with people living and working in Bunbury. It also draws on the experiences of other Compassionate Communities around the world.

This project is a partnership between the Bunbury City Council, the South West Compassionate Communities Network, the Perron Institute, with funding from the WA Department of Health (End of life Care program).