Tracey Porst is CEO and Managing Director of Karuna, a Brisbane-based not-for-profit dedicated to supporting people diagnosed with a terminal illness to receive specialised, personalised care in their place of choice.

It takes a special kind of person to dedicate their life to helping people, especially when they are at their most vulnerable. The team of nurses, clinicians, counsellors, social workers and corporate support are all dedicated to their roles. “The work we do at Karuna is so important, we want to treat everyone at the end of their life with respect and to have the type of death they want in their home surrounded by family and friends,” Ms Porst said. “Working with palliative care patients, making a difference to their last days can be very powerful.”

When Ms Porst was appointed CEO of Karuna Hospice Service in 2018, it was a natural progression from her previous work in the community and healthcare fields. Her professional background is in corporate communications, IT and strategic marketing. Having worked in executive level roles within the healthcare, life sciences and innovation sectors for many years.

Karuna, was established in 1992 to provide holistic, community care in the home to support people live well during end of life care, and in her role, Ms Porst has come to realise that every day decisions can have a profound effect on people’s lives. “In many eastern cultures it is the norm to be born at home and die at home, cared for by family but sadly in Australia, not everyone has the option to choose to die at home,” she said. “It’s not unachievable and the way to start is to start having some of those difficult conversations with our families now.”

As an advocate for caring communities and supporting the not-for-profit sector as a whole, Ms Porst Tracey is also a non-executive Director of Health Consumers Queensland. Her professional memberships include professional member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, the Women’s Network, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Governance Institute of Australia.

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