Spiritual Care Australia 2021

2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

1: WORKSHOP - Navigating the terrain

Advocacy Strategies for Spiritual Care 
Ilsa Hampton, CEO, Meaningful Ageing Australia 

A workshop for leaders or those who have to rise to the challenge of leadership in their organisation. This workshop will include input on successful strategies to improve on the position of spiritual care in your organisation, as well as opportunity to begin your own action plan.


2: WORKSHOP - Companions along the way

Pastoral/Spiritual Care: An embodied ministry 
Frank Wortley, COORD Chaplain Central Coast LHD and Ecumenical Chaplain to Gosford Hospital, BaptistCare NSW/ACT 

“We do not have bodies, we are bodies. All of our experience is physical. Feelings are physical, spirituality is physical, thinking is physical. All of the stuff going on in and around us is physical. How would we know that anything was going on if there weren’t some sort of experience that was noticeable to us? Physicality is basic.” For some, perhaps many, there is an internal disconnect from our bodies. For some, perhaps many, a Basic Unit becomes a point of awakening that bridges that disconnect. It is a doorway to awakening an experience of self. It is an intentional and essential practice for successful ministry to the patient/supervisee. The presentation defines and explains embodiment as it relates to pastoral care. It examines the skill of pastoral embodied presence through the lens of empathy and active listening to the patient as an embodied person, and the intentional use of the carers embodied self to help create the pastoral/spiritual space. I distinguish between being “fully there” in presence from mere connection to the patient. We will look at the approaches we use within the Gosford Hospital CPE Centre to help our students to gain insight into and express their unique embodied mode of embodied pastoral/spiritual care. 

3: WORKSHOP - Obstacles/Challenges across the road

Spirituality in healthcare - what is the evidence? Addressing spiritual needs: the optional extra in Australian healthcare? 
Megan Best, Research Associate, University of Notre Dame Australia 

I will present the Australian research which shows the importance of spirituality in healthcare for Australians, including how it can be measured, and the impact it has on factors such as quality of life. I shall also present research about Australian patients' view on whether they want healthcare professionals to engage with spirituality in the hospital setting.

4: WORKSHOP - Safe arrivals and departures


Using Contemplative practices in supporting patients, families and staff in an acute healthcare setting 
Nic Aunger, Pastoral Care Practitioner, St John of God, Bendigo Hospital 

What are contemplative practices, and how they can contribute to our work in Spiritual care, both personally and professionally. The benefits of contemplative practices, including meditation, in supporting patients and their families facing serious and life limiting illness; death and dying. Including current research and findings - drawing upon Ancient Wisdom in modern times. An example / case study of the program we have been running at SJOG Bendigo. How Catholic and Buddhist come together to offer this support in a Catholic healthcare setting - 'our story'. The workshop will include an experiential component ie. a meditation session.

5: SEMINAR - Where to from here?

A journey with many paths: models of lifelong learning within CPE and supervision 
David Glenister, Coordinator of Pastoral and Spiritual Care Services, Royal Melbourne Hospital & Bernadette Wurlod  

This is an opportunity to gain ongoing insight into learning that can emerge from 
participation in CPE Level 2 and a CPE Supervision pathway. An hour of group dialogue and engagement with two accredited and diverse Supervisors.   

6: SEMINAR - Roads less travelled

Disability 101 for pastoral carers 
Roslyn Wetzler, Baptist Chaplain, John Hunter Hospital / Hunter District Baptist Association 

Exploring the gaps; what pastoral care might look like in the worlds of intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, communication diversity.



3.50 pm – 4.50 pm

7: WORKSHOP - Navigating the terrain

The PC 7: A new model for spiritual assessment in palliative and end-of-life care 
George Fitchett, Professor, Rush University Medical Center 

Chaplains have begun to recognize the limitations of one-size-fits-all, narrative models for spiritual assessment. A team of Chicago-area palliative care chaplains has developed the Pc 7, a new quantifiable model for assessing and reporting unmet spiritual needs in patients receiving palliative care. I will describe the model, its conceptual foundations and its development. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to use the model to assess unmet spiritual needs in a patient receiving palliative care. The strengths and weaknesses of the model, as well as areas for future research in spiritual assessment in palliative care, will be discussed.

8: SEMINAR - Companions along the way

Unmasking the Pain: Exploring the Intersection of Spiritual Care with Trauma-Informed Care in a patient undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplant 
Irene Adamson, Pastoral Carer, St Vincent's Hospital 

How might trauma in a patient’s story influence/modify our approach to delivering spiritual care? Principles of Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) will be explored within the context of a detailed case example of a patient on a haematology ward of an acute tertiary hospital undergoing autologous stem cell transplant. The critical place for attending to spiritual needs, providing targeted interventions and reporting outcomes will be demonstrated. The impact on a person’s journey toward healing and transformation will be illustrated through the place of deep, compassionate, listening presence coupled with specific TIC skills. Evidence and method will be presented as to how effective spiritual care can be pivotal in harnessing comprehensive care from across the multidisciplinary team and actually be a driving force for person-centered care. Implications for spiritual care practice will be drawn and suggestions made for future training programmes for spiritual carers, alongside presenting evidence from the literature. Opportunity will be given for attendees to explore more deeply the place for Trauma-Informed Care and reflect upon what specific skills they may already bring to their practice. This seminar will both encourage and enlighten those who strive to tailor their care to the traumatised patient whom they may encounter in any given moment in their practice.

9: WORKSHOP - Obstacles/Challenges across the road

Being in Tune: Spiritual care or supervision 
Peter Powell, Consultant Psychologist & Provisional Educational Consultant, NSW College of Clinical Pastoral Education, Pastoral Counselling Institute

10: WORKSHOP - Safe arrivals and departures

Cessation of Dialysis – a place for Spiritual Care 
Fran Prem, Spiritual Care Practitioner and Provisional Supervisor, Peninsula Health 

This workshop will explore the role of Spiritual Care in supporting patients and their intimate circle when cessation of dialysis is being considered and/or enacted. While not commonly spoken of as a palliative approach to care, dialysis is undertaken by patients who have a terminal illness and withdrawal from treatment will result in death within days. There are a range of factors that lead a patient to choose withdrawal, including pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, financial and/or social burden and growing ineffectiveness and unwelcome side effects of the treatment. Exploring withdrawal can be very challenging for all parties involved, with a commonly held view that withdrawal is a form of suicide or "giving up". Navigating this landscape can be traumatic for the patient, distressing for loved ones, difficult for their faith leader who may have theological concerns and confronting for medical staff. This workshop will explore the spiritual aspects of this difficult journey, including diverse beliefs and values held within faith traditions, and by those who are spiritual-not-religious or secular. It will invite attendees to reflect upon their own personal and spiritual responses and how these may impact on their ability to walk with patients and loved ones in these times.


11: SEMINAR - Where to from here?

Spirituality is everybody’s business: The development of a spiritual care training program in neurorehabilitation 
Kate Jones, Social Worker/Researcher, Royal Rehab 

This workshop provides an overview of the development and evaluation of a spiritual care training program in neurorehabilitation.  

12: WORKSHOP - Roads less travelled

Masculinities and spiritual care - re/gendering our narratives 
Scott Holmes, Chaplain, Brotherhood of St Laurence 

In recent years there has been an increasing attention on the ways that social expectations of male behaviour impact both men and women. A particular focus has been on male violence toward women, with social movements such as #metoo shining a light on the prevalence of this violence, but other themes have included violence toward other men, male self-harm, risk-taking behaviours, and homophobia. It is not clear to what extent spiritual care practice makes use of this framing of male socialisation when working with men to make sense of their experiences and decisions. What is clearer is that many spiritual traditions have been shaped by patriarchal narratives and that there are significant tensions around how these traditions operate in the context of contemporary approaches to gender and sexuality, as evidenced by some current religious reactions to same-sex marriage. This workshop will look at contemporary research on masculinities and ask how this research can inform the way that spiritual care practice works with men. This includes issues of gender essentialism, dominant patriarchies, categorisation of sex, gender and sexuality, and male peer relations. In particular, the workshop will explore some of the tensions that exist in this work. These will include the framing of men as both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of masculine social norms; how we understand the role of shame; the privileging of patriarchal narratives within faith traditions; and how we maintain accountability to a gendered analysis, particularly when pastoral and spiritual care is being offered by male practitioners.



2.05 pm – 3.05 pm

13: WORKSHOP - Navigating the terrain

Mission formation for staff and equipping, resourcing and promoting of spiritual care in a mission-based organisation 
Adam McKintosh, Associate Director of Mission, UnitingCare Qld & Bruce Moore 

Mission formation for staff and equipping, resourcing and promoting spiritual care in a mission based organisation. Exploring the approach of UnitingCare Qld on the journey of supporting, resourcing and forming staff for spiritual care. In 2018, UnitingCare Qld had 17,000 employees. UnitingCare has been implementing various approaches to mission formation and promoting the importance of mission practices and spiritual and pastoral care across the organisation. This will be a workshop exploring our learning.

14: SEMINAR - Companions along the way

Training for conducting quality improvement projects for teams and organisations in the provision of pastoral care 
Jenny Washington, Pastoral Care Manager, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney 

There is an increased emphasis on quality and safety in healthcare organisations. It is imperative for pastoral care teams to make quality improvement an integral part of their service delivery. The aim of this workshop is to present skills and a framework for pastoral care teams and departments to develop implement and present successful quality improvement projects. We will present the results of a successful quality improvement project on how to practice and measure effective documentation of spiritual care plans and outcomes.

15: WORKSHOP - Obstacles/Challenges across the road

Sky Hooks - where do we hang our cost and quality figures 
Jean Shannon, Head of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Practice, Uniting NSW.ACT 

As spiritual support becomes mainstreamed in services, providers are called to greater accountability. Organisations need to budget for spiritual support and demonstrate value for money in service streams. So far, various benchmarking methods have been adopted but on what do we hang our figures? How do we know what to assure when it comes to ensuring quality support that is efficient and effective?’ How much is enough? The question of measurement of inputs and outcomes is complex. This workshop will explore various approaches and their limitations.  

16: WORKSHOP - Safe arrivals and departures

Bereavement: one-session grief counselling 
Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement

17: WORKSHOP - Where to from here?

The Pilgrimage Continues: where to from here? 
Jenni Harris, Therapist, The Arts Therapy Studio 

This workshop is an invitation for participants to experientially explore and consolidate learnings from the conference using a guided arts-based reflective process.  

18: SEMINAR - Roads less travelled

Fear Reducing Holistic Approach (FERHA) to Mental Illness 
Salih Yucel, Lecturer, Centre for Islamic studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University/Australian Catholic University 

A new holistic way of treatment of mental illness. Fear Reduced Holistic Approach (FERHA) which combines spirituality and rationalism.  


3.50 pm – 4.50 pm

19: WORKSHOP - Navigating the terrain

The Capability Framework for Professional Spiritual Care Practitioners in Health Services: Equal Partners in Care in the 2020’s 
Heather Tan, Manager Education and Research, Spiritual Health Association 

This workshop, based on the evaluated and update version of "Capability Framework of Spiritual Care Practitioners in healthcare services aims to familiarise with and expand understanding of the use of and need for such a tool moving into the 2020's. 

20: WORKSHOP - Companions along the way


“This ward has no ears": role of the pastoral care worker in the hospital ward
Megan Best, Research Associate, University of Notre Dame Australia and Jenny Washington, Pastoral Care Manager, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney   

If patients’ spirituality has important implications for healthcare how is this information collected by Pastoral Practitioners shared in order to benefit the whole healthcare team in providing person-centred care to patients? A study was undertaken to investigate the experience of Pastoral Practitioners is sharing the information they collect with their colleagues in the healthcare team. This workshop will report the findings from a study of data collected from interviews with fourteen Pastoral Practitioners working in two Sydney Hospitals. One an inner-city Tertiary Hospital and the other a cosmopolitan suburban Hospital. In the analysis of the date five themes were identified. These were: (1) the role of pastoral care, (2) documentation, (3) communication with other ward staff, (4) barriers to communication, and (5) official recognition of Pastoral Practitioner. Understanding the experience of Pastoral Practitioners in their role in the healthcare team enables us to identify areas that need to be addressed to support and build greater professional capacity. These areas include; the development of a common professional language including a format for documenting spiritual care, the development of communication skills to assist with interprofessional dialogue, greater knowledge and understanding of the roles of others in the healthcare team, larger consideration of how a patient’s values influence their medical decision-making and spiritual well-being, research including case studies that demonstrate the direct benefits of spiritual care on patient experience and outcomes.

21: WORKSHOP - Obstacles/Challenges across the road

LAUGH, YAWN, CRY, SHAKE – another tool in our care of self and others 
Gabbi Sar-Shalom, Pastoral and Spiritual Care Coordinator, Alfred Health 

We human beings are amazing. We connect, care deeply, make a difference in the world. This is key to Spiritual Care! But sometimes it can be hard to be our loving, connected, generous, energetic selves. The workshop will provide a listening toolkit where people take turns to share and to listen. People share stories to recover from past feelings of loss, pain, fear, anger, embarrassments. When someone listens with respect and in a relaxed way, people begin to heal. This is most possible through the release of emotions attached to those stories. As people heal, they get new perspective, new thoughts, and deepening connection. The workshop will provide ways to permit and encourage the emotional release. There will be some theory about Re-evaluation Counselling, and a chance to practice the tools and ask questions. This is learning both a tool for ourselves, each other and an innovation to utilize in Spiritual encounters.

22: WORKSHOP - Safe arrivals and departures

Time to say goodbye: patient voice in end of life decisions 
Laura Zane Kolmar, System Patient Experience Officer, CharterCARE Health Partners 

End of life decisions pose challenges for the care-provider. Two case studies explore how to negotiate this journey with patients and families. 

23: WORKSHOP - Where to from here?

Therapeutic Landscapes in Spiritual Care 
Richard Mallaby, Spiritual Care and Well-Being Coordinator, Baptcare 

Therapeutic landscapes enhance the provision of spiritual care and healing: inviting a greater awareness of place and belonging, offering perspective through the experience of wonder, and encouraging a sense of calm and peace amidst discomfort, pain and loss. Encounters within the natural world draw people to reflect upon the nature and relationship they have with the creative life force which intrinsically indwells the natural world. Often in a natural setting the expression of faith, along with the desire to find meaning, place and purpose are more closely associated within themes and tones in harmony with the natural world. Being involved in gardening tasks, walking or sitting within green space, or even viewing a natural landscape through a window, prompts storytelling and recollection, alongside the desire to share spiritually related feelings and emotions. Such opportunities enrich quality of life and offer a wholistic approach to health, healing and wellbeing. This paper will present practical examples from a growing body of research, along with the integral place of design in greatly enhancing these outcomes. Spiritual care working together with horticultural therapy can bring wholistic outcomes and better promote the overall benefits of therapeutic landscapes, gardens and natural settings within health care provision.

24: WORKSHOP - Roads less travelled

Send in the Clowns: Chaplin/Chaplains: spiritual care as a circus 
David Glenister, Coordinator of Pastoral and Spiritual Care Services, Royal Melbourne Hospital 

Utilising scenes from Charlie Chaplin’s final silent film, The Circus, we will playfully explore Spiritual Care practice and training  



9.50 am – 10.50 am

25: WORKSHOP - Navigating the terrain


Guidelines for Quality Spiritual Care 
Cheryl Holmes, CEO and Christine Hennequin, Manager - Support and Development, Spiritual Health Victoria 

This 1-hour workshop will focus on the key features of the new Guidelines for Quality Spiritual Care in Health. These Guidelines replace the Towards Best Practice Framework which were published in 2016. The presentation will describe how the guidelines have been developed within the context of the new Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare standards (2017), the National Palliative Care Standards (2018) and the National Consensus Conference (2017): Enhancing Quality and Safety: Spiritual Care in Health. We will describe the road less travelled in its development: the breadth of the consultation process and some of the feedback received during that process. The presenters will highlight key guidelines and the change of focus which has occurred since 2016: Professional spiritual care: integration, assessment, evidence of outcomes: Qualified and credentialled spiritual care /Workforce planning: Spiritual care is the responsibility of all staff: latest screening tools, the need for all staff education, research in that area: The alignment of your health service or organisation with the new guidelines. There will be an opportunity to discuss and use some of the tools developed to implement the guidelines in your health service or organisation. There will be time for group discussion and questions. Participants will be provided with a copy of the guidelines to take back to their workplace.

26: WORKSHOP - Companions along the way

How journaling assists in the ongoing spiritual formation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferers 
Minh Towner, Civil Chaplain, Uniting Church 

Abused. Orphaned. Imprisoned. REDEEMED. From journaling to award-winning memoir, Straining Forward--PTSD sufferer shares how writing helps with healing.  

27: WORKSHOP - Obstacles/Challenges across the road

Making our Cases: an introduction to chaplain case study 
George Fitchett, Professor, Rush University Medical Center 

The seminar will provide an introduction to chaplaincy case studies. It will include: the rationale for chaplaincy case studies; what should be included in chaplaincy case studies; an example of a published Australan chaplaincy case study; and a description of developments in chaplancy case stduies. There will be a discussion of next steps for chaplaincy case studies in Australia.

28: SEMINAR - Safe arrivals and departures

Two Roads worth travelling: poetry and song 
Tony Brennan, Director of Mission, Calvary Healthcare Hobart 

The Robert Frost poem of the same title as our conference theme invites us to take the road less travelled. And yet reading poetry and singing have becomes roads less taken for many people.


29: WORKSHOP - Where to from here?

Embodied Spirituality for Secular Workplaces 
Michelle Trebilcock, Chaplain, Brotherhood of St Laurence  

Secular workplaces are increasingly defined by a diverse, egalitarian culture where religious and non-religious, spiritual and rational systems and practices are welcomed to support the work of human flourishing. This context has given rise to a creative era for spiritual care professionals, to offer genuine human-centred care which respects and supports the individuality of each person. It also poses an exciting opportunity to strengthen communities of practice through the spiritual dimension and through leveraging this diversity of thought and practice as a strength. The challenge for the spiritual care professional is how to move into this secular space, beyond their own tradition of spiritual experience, with respect, integrity and confidence. This workshop explores the resources of an embodied mindfulness practice which invites the gifts of individual spiritual experience and wisdom, whilst building communities of spiritually informed practice in the secular workplace. It will draw upon two fundamental frames of reference from Open Floor International (www.openfloor.org) - the four dimensions of embodiment (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and the four “wild hungers” for relationship (with self, other, community and Spirit). Participants will be invited to participate in a movement-based, contemplative exercise (with movement adapted to the capabilities of those present). The group will then be invited to a reflective conversation about how the body might be understood as foundational for spiritual care in a variety of contemporary, secular contexts.

30: SEMINAR - Roads less travelled

“Where Old Maps No Longer Work”.... Spiritual Care in the Australian Paediatric Palliative Care setting, a road less travelled 
April McNeil, Pastoral Educator, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney 

Evaluation of the provision of spiritual care in the Australian Paediatric Palliative Care Setting. It will outline best practice guidelines, map existing pastoral care services in paediatric palliative care across Australia, & reflect on current service delivery.