Plays give an insight into assisted dying

By Jennifer Kent

AHEAD of next year’s implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021, local group Tying Up Loose Ends (TULE)in collaboration with the Maleny Uniting Church will be providing an afternoon of insight into Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) via a series of short plays, Q&A panel as well as information on the incoming legislation.

The new laws will enable eligible people who are suffering and dying the option of asking for medical assistance to end their lives.

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 was passed in September 2021 and will come into effect next year, with voluntary assisted dying available to eligible Queenslanders from January 1, 2023.

Voluntary assisted dying laws have been passed in all Australian states, and are currently in operation in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. Following Queensland’s implementation on January 1, VAD will commence in South Australia on January 31 and New South Wales on November 28, 2023.

Maleny Uniting Church Minister Reverend Leina Hoffman said the afternoon is about creating awareness, and starting conversations about voluntary assisted dying in a safe and caring space. 

Rev Hoffman explained that it is important to note the official position of the Uniting Church in Australia is that they oppose the Act, but they will not abandon the dying; rather, accompany and hold the hand of the dying.

“We provide compassionate companionship to those in need, creating a caring and safe space for people to ask questions,” Rev Hoffman said.

“This is a journey when people are at their most vulnerable, and we hope to initiate conversation and awareness for people of all ages.”

Questions about how the process works, how you know if/when you’re ready and many more will be addressed in a series of short plays, using drama to explore such topics and giving context to questions posed. 

“The plays are short, but provide a good context to address some of the questions and concerns commonly heard,” Rev Hoffman said.

“One of the plays is written by someone in on the panel who experienced it [VAD] first hand in another state.”

Rev Hoffman also explained there will be a question and answer panel, as well as access to legislation and information with pastoral support available from the Church and from TULE.

Dying to Know Day will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 3-5pm at Maleny Uniting Church, 1284 Landsborough Road, Maleny.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through, with afternoon tea provided.

For more information, see the TULE Sunshine Coast Facebook page. 

More information on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021 can be found at

Actors Marianne Osborne and Ross Hurwood will perform at Dying to Know Day.