The month began with a week in Canberra to present at the Air Force Chaplains Symposium on the journey of spiritual care in the health sector. This was followed by a number of meetings at the Department of Health and Aged Care to fly the flag for the spiritual care workforce and follow up our federal budget submission. SHA has responded to the federal budget, and you can read our response here. My final meeting in Canberra was with the CEO of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Kylie Woolcock, where we discussed the work of SHA and the role of spiritual care.
I have been pleased to participate in a course development panel for a new Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Care being facilitated by Robyn-Wrigley Carr, Spiritual Care Program Director for the University of Divinity. Ongoing discussions about education pathways are vital for the full recognition of spiritual care practitioners in the health sector. This was certainly made very clear to me in my Canberra meetings.
An unexpected invitation to present to the Griefline Community of Practice was received. It was a joy to meet with this group and share understandings of spiritual care and spirituality, and their significance when working with people who are encountering grief and loss.
We are excited at the level of interest shown to our invitation to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) to pilot the co-designed National Model for Spiritual Care in Health. EOIs close on 1st June 2023 and you can find out more here.
Finally, there has been much preparation leading up to the launch this week (during National Palliative Care Week) of the feature film Live the life you please. SHA has been so proud to sponsor this film. Three of us travelled to Canberra on Monday 22nd May for the launch in Parliament House.
What a wonderful event this was, and it was closely followed by our own Melbourne launch on 23rd May co-hosted with Palliative Care Victoria. Over 170 people joined us at Palace Kino for the screening. This is a film that showcases the work of spiritual care as an integral part of palliative care. Russell Armstrong, spiritual care practitioner from Barwon Health, features in the film and his sensitive, compassionate, and gentle approach is beautiful to watch. There were very few spiritual care practitioners at the screening last night and I would really encourage you to see this film. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate and advocate for spiritual care. There are screenings happening across Australia – don’t miss it! Visit Live the life you please to find a screening near you.
Cheryl Holmes, CEO