SHA Fondly Farewells Alicia Stafford

We will miss Alicia, our Comms and Admin Leader, dearly as she moves on after three years at SHA. Reflecting on past projects and achievements, Alicia shares how they have 'helped [her] grow as a leader and have enabled [her] to share our messages in ways that honour the profound essence of spiritual care'.

Reflecting on my expansive three-year journey with Spiritual Health Association (SHA), I am filled with gratitude. Working as Communications and Administration Leader, I've had the privilege to blend my passion for spiritual care (sparked 15 years ago when working in aged care) with my experience in communications and arts-health initiatives. This role allowed me to contribute significantly to SHA's mission of spiritually inclusive healthcare, making contemporary spirituality and spiritual care more visible and understood. 

My time with SHA has been marked by significant challenges, namely the COVID lockdowns in 2021, and more recently by the threat to our operational funding. Despite these ongoing periods of uncertainty, our little team has made significant strides. Throughout my time here, I've had the privilege of leading and collaborating on several pivotal projects, including:  

  • Overseeing the design and edit of The Little Book of Spiritual Health and The Small Gift.
  • Developing messaging and visual design for Spiritual Care Week evidence-based resources.
  • Leading the Support Spiritual Care campaign, raising awareness through advocacy and media engagement.
  • Sponsoring the Live the life you please campaign and hosting the Melbourne screening event following a trip to Parliament House in Canberra for the national launch.
  • Adapting The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia report for digital platforms.
  • Creating video content on spirituality and mental health.
  • Expanding our social media presence with Communications Assistants Joey Goh, Sabrina Dong, and Sarah Francis.
  • Transitioning our Annual Report to digital.
  • Facilitating the PD Program 2021-2022 with partners SCA and ANZACPE. 

These efforts have helped me grow as a leader and have enabled me to share our messages in ways that honour the profound essence of spiritual care.  

In recent times, a key part of my role has been collaborating with the team and consultants to pave the way for new partnerships and working toward a new membership model. I have learned so much from these diverse experiences and I’m excited to see how our collective efforts manifest over the coming months, with our lovely new Business Development and Partnerships Leader Dorothy Donaldson on board. 

I'm deeply thankful to Cheryl Holmes, our CEO, for her wisdom, support, and leadership, and to my wonderful colleagues Jenny Greenham, Joey Goh, Craig Exon, and Reza Homan, as well as my previous colleagues - working with you all has truly been a joy. I also extend my gratitude to SHA’s Chair Luke Bowen and our board directors for your confidence in me and for your guidance and support. 

As I prepare to embark on my next chapter as the Communications and Engagement Manager at LiverWELL, I do so with a heart full of gratitude for the experiences and lessons learned at SHA. 

I wish SHA and everyone the very best and will continue to advocate and cheer you on at every opportunity! 

With heartfelt thanks,