Welcome to Preparing the Way


Established in 2015 by Helen Callanan, in response to growing requests for education in
end of life doula care and services, Preparing the Way has grown to become the
leading provider of end of life doula training.


Operating across Australia and New Zealand, Helen and the PTW educators
have trained hundreds of doulas to provide end of life care that is transforming
the way people experience death.
Podcast - end of life doula

Preparing the Way is the leading provider of end of life doula training in Australia and New Zealand, offering comprehensive death literacy education, and training and support for those wishing to help others at their end of life – whether privately or professionally.

In The Media

A large part of having an empowered end of life is being informed. Learn more about how an end of life doula can help, here.

Video Appearances

Dying to Know Day 2020 is Home Delivered!
In May 2020, The Groundswell Project had an in depth conversation with Helen Callanan from Preparing the Way and two End of Life Doulas, Carolyn Vaughan and Kylie Hutchison. The conversation was moving, informative and refreshing.

Studio 10 LogoStudio 10, Channel 10
December 16, 2019

Dying To Know Day
September 13, 2017

The Project TV LogoThe Project News TV
August 15, 2016

ABC Radio Logo​Radio Interview
ABC Radio Tasmania with Melanie Tait
October 18, 2016

2Day 104.1 LogoRadio Interview
Rove & Sam Radio 2day on Hit104.1
September 2016



Preparing the Way is proud to deliver the most comprehensive end of life doula training across Australia and New Zealand. Covid forced us to take our training from face-to-face to Zoom – we are thrilled that this now gives us the opportunity to connect with people, wherever you may be.

Our Zoom training has received some fantastic feedback, hear what our doulas have to say about the training:


Helen is a standout presenter and star. She is refreshingly candid, generous in sharing her experiences and expert at leading the group through the well-structured and paced course. Given the content, Helen also created a safe, inclusive environment, checking in with each individual and the group as a whole to make sure everyone was supported through the process and supplied with treats along the way. I really enjoyed the zoom course and how it progressed from sharing individual experiences, listening to Helen talking through the course folder, to group break out activities and the final day of watching the exceptional Natural Grace videos. I also appreciated the pace and breaks which allowed us to turn off zoom and have private time throughout the day. And lastly my fellow participants were an added surprise highlight, amazing women with diverse experiences and insights to share.
It was exactly what I wanted and more than I had expected. The course folder is jammed with information and contacts which I am currently re-reading, and one of the last activities you do in the course is to create a next steps list so you are well prepared to continue your journey.
~ Anne, Librarian, Newtown

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop & 4 Day Intensive / Zoom April & May 2020

The Preparing the Way foundation workshop and 4 day course delivered everything that was promised… and more. There was a clear description of who a doula is and what kind of support they provide. Along with some wonderful discussions among the participants, there was appropriate information and practical experience.
Helen’s approach is professional, collaborative and encouraging. She has the ability to identify stumbling blocks, whether they be theoretical or personal, and finds the right way forward for each person. Her approach certainly reflects the premise that an End of Life Doula is about compassion and care.
There is also a strong focus on the business aspects of starting out which means participants leave with tangible plans for where they go from here.
~ Gabrielle A., Counsellor

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop & Intensive

I attended the End of Life Preparing the Way one day Foundation Workshop and found it to be such a valuable experience! I now feel I have a much greater understanding and interest in helping people who are terminally ill and am able to share a greater knowledge of death and dying from a perspective of positivity and life-force in Preparing the Way.
~ Di B., Natural Therapist, Reiki Master

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop / Skype

I found Helen to be just the ray of light I needed to get through this workshop. It was as equally provoking as it was profound. Having never spent any time contemplating my own mortality or someone close to me dying it has been without doubt pretty transformational. The fear that I had instilled in my own head that shrouded my idea of death is no longer present. As a doula, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend I couldn’t recommend a more holistic but approachable course to help you understand the last and possibly the most important transition in your life. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you, Helen.
~ Olivia DK., Birth Doula, Manager

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop & Intensive

Helen is a force of nature! Her energy, compassion & commitment to Doula’ing & education is infectious.  During the course she generously shares her knowledge and experience and creates a safe and nurturing environment where all participants feel appreciated and valued. Throughout the course she encourages and supports every participant and creates a learning environment that anyone that wants truly to move forward with this, feels confident and empowered in their capacity to do so.  Thank you, Helen
~ Shelley C.

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop & Intensive

I would recommend this course for anyone who might be dealing with someone who is palliative.  It gives a good overview of what the last few days can be like.  It also gives practical guidance about the legal aspects such as making a will, power of attorney and other issues that come up at the end of one’s life. It is a very supportive course and run by women who are sensitive to the emotional content and run the course with respect and dignity.
~ Kate C., Social Worker Palliative Care

Preparing the Way Intensive

The End of Life one day workshop was riveting from the first to the very last moment. Helen is a charismatic and invigorating presenter who leaves you wanting more. Her stories are inspiring and heart-warming. Her depth of knowledge and experience are as impressive as her humility. I am counting the minutes till the 3-day course I will be attending.
~ Lee C., Educator, Editor, Doula

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop

As a baby boomer I realised it was time for me to start planning for a good death. Death literally is the new revolution so I decided to debunk the myths & understand my rights and choices as far as my mortality. It’s time we all started this conversation. I think Preparing the Way End of Life Doula training was professionally presented by Helen Callanan who was extremely helpful & sensitive to the needs of the group as we moved through uncharted waters. Helens strong voice and leadership in this field is inspirational.
~ Barb Z., Education, Volunteer Manager

Preparing the Way Foundation Workshop & Intensive