Karuna Hospice Service Ltd

From Australian Buddhist History
Jump to: navigation, search
Karuna Hospice Service Ltd

Karuna Hospice Service Ltd

Main School Non-Sectarian
Founded 1992
Founder(s) Venerable Pende Hawter
Contact Infotmation
Address 27 Cartwright Street
Queensland 4030
Country Australia
Fatal error: Failed to parse or geocode

Fatal error: Failed to parse or geocode

The following coordinate was not recognized: div><span class="errorbox">Fatal error: Failed to parse or geocode</span></div><br /><br />.
The following coordinate was not recognized: div><span class="errorbox">Fatal error: Failed to parse or geocode</span></div><br /><br />.
Loading map...
Phone (07) 3632 8300
Fax (07) 3857 8040
Website http://www.karuna.org.au/
Postal Address PO Box 2020 Windsor Queensland 4030

Karuna Hospice Service Ltd

Karuna helps people deal with loss in ways that transform and enrich lives. Karuna offers a strength based model of care to

Karuna’s services are linked to the times in life when people are most likely to be seeking answers and care either for themselves or others. These include situations where lives are limited by illness, when facing death or dying, when grieving and when seeking meaning in life.

About Us

Karuna is a Brisbane-based charity established to help people live a meaningful and happy life while embracing uncertainty and change. Life is our most precious possession, its loss our most difficult yet inescapable experience. Karuna believes that having the skills and support to face the challenges and uncertainty can make the journey easier. As a result, we have developed models of care and education which help people understand, prepare for and face the end of life with calm and acceptance. Since 1992 Karuna has used its expertise and compassion to help thousands of individuals and families cope with loss. We provide in-home care, counselling, a learning program and have a bookshop full of useful resources. We take the time to understand your needs and provide a holistic approach to delivering the best possible support. We offer in-home care in Brisbane North, Caboolture and Redcliffe areas. In addition, helpful information is available. Most of our counselling and courses are run out of Karuna at 27 Cartwright St Windsor. In serving the community Karuna strives to follow the inspirational ideals and examples set by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Karuna’s Spiritual Patron, whose own lifelong mission is to serve others with universal compassion and kindness. These are Karuna’s underlying values. Karuna relies heavily on the kindness of others. Only a portion of our funding comes from Queensland Health and the remaining money must be raised through donations. Community support is vital.

Our Board

Catherine Mickel, Board Chair

Catherine is a qualified physiotherapist with over 30 years experience across public, private and community health sectors. She is the former National President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and was the APA’s national spokesperson for 7 years. She has a special interest in policy development in Aged Care and Palliative Care and has served on numerous national committees and advisory boards. As a Director on a number of Boards including Foodbank Queensland, she has a keen interest in implementing best-practice corporate governance in the not-for-profit sector. Catherine is also the Director and Founder of Mickel Consulting, a government and community relations consultancy specialising in the health and welfare sectors and KelKel Global Education and Training, a training company specialising in Leadership Development in emerging Asian economies.

Ms Robyn Elliott (B.Comm, MBA, MAICD)

Robyn is a leading business technology executive in the use of technology to deliver value and growth opportunities. As Chief Information Officer of FOXTEL, Robyn is leading the development of entertainment and information services for television and the internet.

Robyn holds Board roles with the CIO Executive Council Australia and the Foundation for Information Technology Sustainability. She is also a member of government panels for digital innovation research. Robyn’s career includes extensive technology consulting experience across Australia and South-East Asia as an IBM Principal and an Accenture Partner.

Dr Pat Treston

Dr Pat Treston is a Palliative Medicine specialist with over 20 years experience in the field. She has been involved in national and international committees and has served as the Treasurer of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine and the Honorary Treasurer of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine.

For the last 8 years she has been a member of the Palliative Medicine Education Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and was responsible for leading the group who developed the Clinical Diploma in Palliative Medicine. She has a special interest in the spiritual dimensions of palliative care and in medical education.

Yeshe Kadro

Yeshe Khadro grew up in rural Queensland and trained as a nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She travelled through Asia in 1972 and on arriving in Nepal attended a meditation course at a Buddhist monastery outside Kathmandu. She remained at the monastery and continued her study and practice of Buddhism for several years.

In 1974 she was ordained as a Buddhist nun by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since then Yeshe has worked for many centres around the world as part of the international Buddhist group The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana tradition. She was appointed Director of Karuna in 1996.

Yeshe is a Board member of Dalai Lama in Australia Limited.

Tracey Porst

Tracey has an extensive background in marketing and corporate communications, creative communications and digital media design and production. With qualifications in Interactive and Visual Design, Information Technology and Marketing, Tracey has overseen the media and communications, brand management and public presence activities of a number of innovative organisations including personalised healthcare, information technology, sports and industrial technologies.

Whilst running Bespoke Interactive, her digital communications company for over 13 years, Tracey is also a published author and has and has written courses, lectured and managed undergraduate and post-graduate courses at QUT in Brisbane for a number of years. Tracey is also actively involved with a number of startup organisations and companies and supports mentoring early career programs for students.

Our heritage and our vision for the future

Our service began in 1992 through Venerable Pende Hawter, a Buddhist monk who saw a need in Brisbane for comfort and guidance for people facing loss of life. With the help of a small team of like-minded health care professionals he established a not-for-profit home hospice service offering information and holistic care. He called the service “Karuna”, a word which means Compassion. His vision was to enable people with incurable illness to live in comfort and peace in the familiar and reassuring surrounds of their own home. Venerable Pende retired in 1997 and Venerable Yeshe Khadro - a Buddhist nun from the Sunshine Coast – was appointed as Director. Today the original vision continues through two core service streams – Karuna Home & Community Palliative Care, a no-fee nursing and counselling service and Karuna Life Education & Information, a range of interactive classes, courses and resources to help people live a happier life and to support them in coping with uncertainty about the future and making sense of life’s challenges. Karuna’s staff and volunteers come from diverse faiths and spiritual traditions but we are united in our values: to serve others with compassion and kindness, to be a trusted place of refuge and knowledge and to empower by building courage and confidence. Backed by a modern business structure, our nurses, social workers, counsellors, educators and volunteers provide much demanded services to thousands of people in any given year.

Gently underpinning our work, our spiritual foundation derives from Tibetan Buddhism, specifically the teachings and practices of Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1983) and Lama Zopa Rinpoche of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Karuna today is one of 200 global FPMT service and teaching organisations. In serving the community we aim to follow the inspirational ideals and examples set by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, whose own lifelong mission is to serve others with universal compassion and kindness. We are grateful that in 2007, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Karuna and accepted our request to be Karuna’s Spiritual Patron. Today our vision for the future is to grow our service so that the many people who seek our support may have it. Our aim is that through care and education we will help people live a rich and meaningful life and be better prepared for the choices they need to make in relation to the end.

Karuna House History

  • 1850’s – original stone cottage
  • 1880’s – sold to James Hamilton Scott who subdivided 90 allotments. He was the first person to change the house, adding a stone building in the east
  • 1885 – house sold to Alfred Jones
  • 1894 – original house possibly demolished (this was common in that time due to poor materials and labour) Jones rebuilt next to the stone wing. Renowned architect G Addison worked on the house in the 1890’s and two acres were added to the site. Several rooms of the house are ‘classic Addison rooms’ and the main front portico. Formal gardens appeared with many varieties of roses and orchids.
  • 1914 – Jones and his three sons loaned the house to the Government for the war period for use as a repatriation hospital. The main treatments were massage and ionization
  • 1916 – first additional buildings appeared which included open air wards with canvas walls
  • 1918 – site was acquired by the Queensland Government for a permanent hospital
  • 1931 – a second stone area of the main house was demolished and a timber area added. The ‘viewing platform' on the east side which used to look out to Breakfast Creek was removed.
  • 1945 – more buildings added to site
  • 1949 – some buildings leased to Royal Brisbane Hospital
  • 1951 – main land to east subdivided
  • 1960’s to 1980’s – used as repatriation hospital
  • 1980’s – used as geriatric and mental health hospital for Royal Brisbane Hospital
  • 1994 – house and some buildings closed down. House empty and vandalized
  • 2005 – Karuna leased building for 30 years from Queensland Health

Karuna House has been decorated with beautiful artwork by well known artist Elliss Rowan and Katy Edwards.

Karuna Green Team

File:Karuna Green Team.png
Karuna Green Team

Karuna is committed to caring not only for clients and their families, but also for the environment. We have put together a "Green Team" to always be on the lookout for further ways that Karuna can keep our planet green.


The Karuna Green Team has already put in place a number of initiatives to cut greenhouse emissions and to generally help reduce, reuse and recycle.

Mobile Phone Recycling

We have a number of collection bins provided for people to drop in their old mobile phones to be recycled. Karuna receives funds for each mobile phone collected.

Compost bin

The Karuna Compost Bin provides fertile compost for our green gardens

Green Alternatives for Everyday Products

Karuna has switched to green alternatives for a lot of everyday items around the office including fair trade coffee, recycled paper towels and toilet paper, printing paper.

Karuna Care

Karuna offers a unique in-home and community based palliative care service to people of all ages from little children to our most senior citizens. We understand that the diagnosis of a life threatening health condition may be the most confronting experience in life. Just as caring for a loved one at home when their health is deteriorating may be an unfamiliar and distressing role. For more than 20 years Karuna’s Home & Community Palliative Care has helped thousands of Queenslanders facing incurable illness to be where they want to be: with family, friends or loved ones, whilst receiving the best of care.In a team effort, our experienced staff work in partnership with patients and their loved ones to offer expert clinical and moral support so that remaining at home for the rest of life is possible, peaceful and positive. Karuna’s Home & Community Palliative Care is a no-fee service accessible throughout Brisbane’s Northern suburbs, Caboolture and Redcliffe. Admission can be simply arranged via:

Our nurses and counsellors are available to answer questions about the service on 07 3632 8300. On admission our care team will meet with you either at Karuna or at home and help you plan the care you need. This will sometimes include talking with your medical practitioner to ensure appropriate coordination of care.

Our Home & Community Palliative Care services may include all or some of the following:

Support for those outside the Metro North area is available via our Palliative Care Help Line.


Admission to Karuna’s in-home care can be arranged through a:

Karuna’s admitting team will work with your medical practitioner to ensure appropriate coordination of care and then meet with you and your family. This can happen either at Karuna or in your home. An individual care plan will be developed in consultation with you and your carer. Please call 1300 KARUNA to access these services.

Bereavement support

Karuna has a reputation as a leader in bereavement support. We have a wealth of experience and expertise helping people suffering from grief and loss. We provide:

  • counselling
  • support groups
  • memorial services
  • Mind Life Wellbeing workshops and courses
  • online information.

Spiritual care

Karuna offers spiritual support and guidance for people faced with declining health, the end of life and loss. Care is provided by counsellors, ordained Buddhists and trained spiritual care volunteers. We provide:


Karuna Hospice Service Ltd