Joan Marston has graciously agreed to become an ICPCN Global Ambassador, alongside our other wonderful ambassadors. And there is nobody better qualified. As our first and immediate past Chief Executive and one of the founding members of the original ICPCN Steering Committee in 2005, Joan has had an inspirational and influential role to play in the growth and development of this organisation.
A global citizen, Joan is however based in South Africa and comes from a background in Nursing and Social Science. She has 22 years’ experience in palliative care for children – caring for children when the Executive Director of Bloemfontein Hospice and then founding the Sunflower Children’s Hospice in 1998 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, as well a regional network for life-limited children, the St Nicholas Bana Pele Network, in 2009. As the national paediatric development manager for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, from 2007 – 2010 Joan and her team developed a strategy for a national network of services, promoting the considerable growth of the number of children’s palliative care services for children in South Africa. During that time she was the Project Manager for a programme to develop children’s palliative care Beacon centres in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa.
Joan was part of the group that developed the new Guidelines for Persisting Pain in Children, as well as Guidelines for Disclosure in Children, for WHO.
Married to Richard with two adult children living in the UK, and an active member of the Anglican Church, Joan is a Lay Minister in the Cathedral in Bloemfontein; and an Honorary Lay Canon of Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire, England.
A committed advocate for children’s right to palliative care and pain relief, Joan believes that this can be achieved worldwide when people share knowledge and resources, and work together to expand access to palliative care for all children.