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29 September 2017 @ 9:00am to 4:30pm

Pastoral and Spiritual Care Symposium

St Mark's National Theological Centre

Spiritual care in a secular age:
a symposium for practitioners and leaders in later life care

Pastoral and spiritual care for older people plays a crucial role in well-being and quality of life. Transformative pastoral and spiritual care requires effective leadership that enables, empowers and equips care teams.
This symposium will

  • extend leaders and practitioners to shape the culture of spiritual care in their organisations
  • address the challenges of spiritual care in a secular age from the perspective of Christian theology
  • showcase a range of specialists in leadership and practice
  • present opportunities for further professional development. 

The symposium will feature prominent leaders in the pastoral and aged care space, including:

  • Christine Bryden — Author, Writer, Speaker, and Alzheimers and Dementia Advocate
  • Julie Philpott — Carrington Care Winner of Meaningful Ageing Australia Award in 2016
  • Elizabeth MacKinlay — Professor in Ageing and Pastoral Studies, Charles Sturt University
  • Mavis Salt — Former St Mark’s student and current Research and Resource Officer for Ageing Australia
  • and many more! 

This symposium is ideal for those coordinating and leading pastoral and spiritual care for older people in a range of contexts, including residential aged care, home care, seniors ministries within churches, and chaplaincy.

Event details

  • Date: Friday 29 September 2017, 9.00am to 4.30pm
  • Venue: Durie Room, St Mark’s National Theological Centre, 15 Blackall Street, BARTON  ACT 2600

COST: $99 per participant

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Image: Map of Venue
Image: Map of Venue
9:00amWelcome to the Symposium: Opening RemarksRev’d Dr Andrew Cameron, St Mark's National Theological Centre
9:15amPlenary Speaker 1 — "Contemporary issues and practice in ageing and spirituality"Rev Adjunct Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay AM PhD FACN
9:40amPlenary Speaker 2 — "Challenging the discourse of loss of self in dementia"Christine Bryden
MORNING TEA (provided by St Mark's National Theological Centre)
10.45am to 12.30pmConcurrent 1ASpeaker 1 – Associate Professor Ann Harrington

"Spiritual Assessment"
Speaker 1 — Sr Colleen Clear, Southern Cross Care
"Recruiting and engaging volunteer pastoral carers"
Speaker 2 — Julie Philpott, Carrington Pastoral Care Coordinator, "Intergenerational Reminiscence Program"
11:00am to 12.30pmConcurrent 1BSpeaker 1 –  Rev Adjunct Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay AM PhD FACN
"Engaging Baby Boomers"
Speaker 1 – Prof Bruce Stevens
"Self-awareness in the pastoral carer: The Life Tasks model"
Speaker 2 – Rev'd Debbie Mazlin
"Ageing and Spirituality: seniors ministry perspective"
Speaker 2 – Captain Mavis Salt, Salvation Army & Helen Blayden, Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre
"Inclusive Spiritual Care on the Dementia Journey"
LUNCH (provided by St Mark's National Theological Centre)
1:30pm to 2:10pmPlenary Speaker 3 — "Spiritual leadership for an ageing sociey"Ilsa Hampton, Meaningful Ageing Australia 
2:10pmPlenary Speaker 4 — "Professional development opportunities"Rev’d Dr Andrew Cameron, St Mark's National Theological Centre
2:20pm to 3:00pmConcurrent 2Rev'd Andrew Heron, Anglicare

"Integrating spiritual care into a residential care home"
Elizabeth Pringle
"Presentation: Supporting all staff to offer spiritual care in everyday work.
3:00pm to 3:20pm
AFTERNOON TEA (provided by St Mark's National Theological Centre)
3:20pm to 4:20pmPlenary Speaker 5 — "Palliative Care"Associate Prof Ann Harrington
4:20pm to 4:30pmCloseRev’d Dr Andrew Cameron, St Mark's National Theological Centre

Contemporary Issues and practice in ageing and spirituality, Rev’d Adj Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay | 9.15am

In Australian society, the proportion of older population is still increasing and with it, issues of meaning, well-being and economics, frailty, end of life issues and issues of dementia. A new cohort of older people: the baby boomers, is emerging. Ageing volunteers, ageing congregations and ageing communities all present challenges. This paper explores important contemporary issues of ageing and spirituality within the context of the ageing of church and community.


Challenging the discourse of loss of self in dementia, Christine Bryden | 9.40am

The common view of dementia is of loss of self.  This talk by a person living with dementia proposes that there is no loss, and a sense of self continues throughout the lived experience of dementia. The session will propose that three aspects of a sense of self continue in the lived experience of dementia: embodied self; relational self; and narrative self.  The good news of the Gospel is that what is important is who we are, not what we do.  Created in the divine image, we all receive love and grace within communion, held in grace to the Father, through the Son, and by the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Assessment, Assoc Prof Ann Harrington | 10.45am

This seminar/workshop will be interactive to enable participants to contribute their experience of spiritual assessment, to the care of older people.  Small group work and plenary sessions will be used. Issues to be covered include the definition of ‘spiritual assessment’; offering models for the assessment of the spiritual domain; developing strategies to undertake a spiritual assessment; promote the adoption of a model for professional use.


Recruiting and engaging volunteer pastoral carers, Sr Colleen Clear | 10.45am

This session will give attendees practical tips on the art of recruiting and forming Pastoral Carer Volunteers. The session will cover how to attract them, retain them, allocate them to the right areas, support them, and ultimately lead them.

Presentation: Supporting all staff to offer spiritual care in everyday work, Elizabeth Pringle | 10.45am

Ageing and Spirituality: seniors ministry perspective, Rev’d Debbie Mazlin | 11.00am

Engaging Baby Boomers, Rev’d Adj Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay | 11.00am


Self awareness in the pastoral carer: The Life Tasks model, by Prof Bruce Stevens | 11.00am

Professor Stevens will present on his life tasks model. To undertake a life task is a work that takes a lifetime. There are three life tasks: 1. Discovery of hidden learning, 2. Testing of what is discovered. 3. Integration into life and vocation. This model is helpful for the pastoral carer to the aged because it is based on an implicit learning model rather than the more inclusive unconscious. People vary in their degree of insight and the life tasks point to a way to greater self-awareness. The implications for ministry are explored in this presentation.


Inclusive Spiritual Care on the Dementia Journey, Captain Mavis Salt and Helen Blayden | 11.00am

All those who participate in the lives of people with dementia should understand that, despite changes and loss of abilities, people with the disease can still find pleasure and experience satisfaction. People with dementia are frequently denied the basic rights and freedoms available to others. In many countries, physical and chemical restraints are used extensively in care facilities, for elderly people and in acute-care settings, even when regulations are in place to uphold the rights of people to freedom and choice. People with dementia are individuals and need to be treated with respect, integrity, compassion, dignity, and concern for their privacy, safety and well-being. People with mild to moderate symptoms may need support in finding opportunities to enhance their quality of life. As the disease progresses, preserving the quality of life of the person with the disease will require appropriate spiritual, social and physical support. This session will explore the Butterfly Model and its impact on spiritual and pastoral care.


Spiritual leadership for an ageing society, Ilsa Hampton | 1.30pm

It is well documented that Australia has an ageing population – by 2055 the number of people aged over 65 will have doubled. This is a new experience for us as a society. We need to learn how to age, and how to embrace an ageing population. An active spiritual life is essential for any human life to flourish, particularly as we age. People ministering in pastoral and spiritual care have a unique opportunity show leadership in workplaces and indeed a society that views ageing as a problem, and does not understand the riches that spirituality and spiritual care have to offer.


Professional Development Opportunities, Rev’d Dr Andrew Cameron | 2.10pm

St Mark’s National Theological Centre, in partnership with Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology,  has over 15 years of professional development training in ageing, counselling, and pastoral care studies. Dr Cameron will be taking you through the various opportunities available for further study for career development.


Integrating Spiritual Care into a Residential Care Home, by Rev’d Andrew Heron | 2.20pm

Effective Spiritual Care is an important part of holistic care of older people. The residential aged care setting presents unique opportunities and barriers to the provision of this care. This presentation will look at how spiritual care has been provided in residential care homes operated by Anglicare Sydney by engaging dedicated Pastoral Carers who work alongside Chaplains within the framework of Anglicare’s  philosophy of care called ‘Rhythm of Life’.  The presentation will include testimonies from various staff members of Anglicare who work in the provision of Spiritual Care.


Palliative Care, by Assoc Prof Ann Harrington | 3.20pm

This session will cover an introduction to palliative care; the definitions of ‘palliative care’ ‘hospice’ ‘terminal illness’ ‘palliative approach’ and ‘end of life care’; myths and medications in palliative care; and palliative care in residential aged care.

Rev’d Dr Andrew Cameron

Director, St Mark’s National Theological Centre | Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University

Andrew has been a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia since 1993, with pastoral experience in a variety of Anglican and other denominational settings. He has also taught in ethics, social ethics, political and public theology, theological anthropology, theology and philosophy at a range of levels and institutions. His doctoral research interest was in a theological account of the relationship of ethics to emotion, and since then he has several other topics at the intersection of theology, ethics and public life.

Rev’d Andrew Heron

Residential and Community Chaplaincy Manager, Anglicare

Andrew is an ordained Anglican minister in the Diocese of Sydney. He is also a graduate of Moore college, Morling College and, most recently, St Marks National Theological Centre.  As part of his studies, Andrew has been investigating the theory and practice of effective pastoral care amongst older people in parish and aged care settings.   At Anglicare Sydney, Andrew currently leads a team of  40 chaplains and pastoral carers who care for older people living in residential care and the community.


Assoc Prof Ann Harrington RN DNE B.Ed M.Ng. PhD FACN MPCNA

Associate Professor in Nursing Care of the Older Person, Flinders University

Ann is Associate Professor, Health Care for the Older Person in the College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide Australia. She has over forty years of teaching experience in health and higher education institutions in New South Wales and South Australia. Her research expertise is in the area of ageing, spirituality and palliative care. Her grant success covers such areas as the resident as a consumer in aged care; cultural and spiritual care for older people; palliative care; the aged care workforce and community palliative care. She currently teaches in both undergraduate and post graduate programs and is primary supervisor of 7 PhD students. Her publications include refereed reports, book chapters, book reviews and numerous conference presentations at national and international levels. She is a Registered Nurse, a Fellow of Australian College of Nursing and is a member of the Palliative Care Nurses Association. Return to top of Speakers List.


Professor Bruce A Stevens

Wicking Chair of Ageing and Practical Theology, Charles Sturt University

Dr Bruce A. Stevens (PhD Boston University, 1987) is the Wicking Professor of Ageing and Practical Theology at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia. He was ordained in the Anglican Church in 1980 and served in parish ministry until 1993. He is an endorsed clinical and forensic psychologist, who has written seven books for publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins, PsychOz Publications, Australian Academic Press and Wiley-Blackwell. He is an active member of Wesley Uniting Church.


Christine Bryden AM MBA

Current PhD Candidate, Charles Sturt University

A former science and technology advisor to Prime Ministers Hawke and then Keating, Christine was diagnosed with dementia in 1995 and has written four books: Who will I be when I die? Dancing with Dementia, Nothing About Us, Without Us (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) and Before I Forget (Penguin Australia).  Her books have been translated into seven languages to date.  She has also co-authored two book chapters, written two articles, and a book foreword.  This work was drawn together in an integrating essay, examining the key issue of a presumed loss of self in dementia, which was submitted for a PhD by Publication in March this year. Christine was a member of the Alzheimer’s Disease International Board (2003-2006) and Alzheimer’s Australia Consumer Dementia Research Network (2010-2015).  She is a member of Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Scientific Panel, Queensland’s State-wide Dementia Clinical Network Steering Committee and the Cognitive Impairment Advisory Group of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. In 2016 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her advocacy work.


Sister Colleen Clear RSJ

Pastoral Care Team Leader for Southern Cross Care, Canberra and Goulburn

Sister Colleen was educated by the Sisters of St Joseph at Culcairn and has over 45 years of early childhood education experience in rural communities including North Goulburn, Narrandera, Temora, Leeton, Batemans Bay, Batlow, Coolamon, and Canberra. She was also part of the Josephite Justice Groupr and ran Seasons for Growth in Goulburn, later becoming the school coordinator until she retired from teaching. Sister Colleen has also volunteered with refugee settlement in Goulburn. She is now the Pastoral Care Team Leader for three of Southern Cross Care’s facilities: Goulburn, Garran (ACT) and Campbell (ACT). Her current role includes the recruitment, training and support of volunteers for those facilitites.


Rev’d Adj Prof Elizabeth MacKinlay AM

Professor in Ageing and Pastoral Studies, Charles Sturt University

Elizabeth MacKinlay is a registered nurse and an Anglican priest. She was Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at St Mark’s National Theological Centre from its start until 2013, and is currently a Professor in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University. Elizabeth was Chair of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing in 2008 and was the ACT Senior Australian of the Year for 2009.


Elizabeth Pringle

Course Coordinator for Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies, Lecturer in Pastoral Practice in Ageing: Politics, Policy and Practice, Charles Sturt University

Elizabeth has her own consultancy Improvement Matters Pty Ltd providing services in ageing, aged care, spirituality and quality improvement. Elizabeth managed the project to develop the ‘National Spiritual Care Guidelines in Aged Care’. Previously, she was the General Manager, Operations of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) responsible for accreditation of residential care homes and quality review of home care services. In this role, Elizabeth had responsibility for managing the accreditation of 2730 aged care homes across Australia. Prior to her role in Operations, Elizabeth was the General Manager, Education with national responsibility for promoting quality through education, establishing the Better Practice conferences. Elizabeth also worked for ACS (NSW & ACT) an aged care industry association in developing industry education. Elizabeth has been a volunteer in nursing homes for over 15 years in various roles including pastoral care and leading worship services.


Helen Blayden

Centre Manager for Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre, Canberra

With more than 34 years’ experience as a Registered Nurse, Helen has found her true passion in caring for and assisting those living with dementia in her role as Centre Manager for Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre in Narrabundah, ACT. With nearly 30 years’ experience in the aged care industry backed by a Diploma in Frontline Management, Helen has managed several homes with dementia specific areas and managed home care programs for the elderly across ACT and NSW. Helen has also worked as a Senior Complaints Investigation Officer and served on the Board of Alzheimers Australia. Helen has led and managed the implementation of the UK based Dementia Care Matters, Butterfly household Care Model at Mountain View Aged Care Plus Centre which is continuing to transform the lives of those living with dementia.

Ilsa Hampton

Chief Executive Officer, Meaningful Ageing Australia

Ilsa Hampton, MPH, BA, BTheol, GradCertMgt, GradDipEd, commenced in March 2016 as CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia. Ilsa has extensive experience in the strategic integration of pastoral and spiritual care in aged care and communication about pastoral and spiritual care to people from a wide range of backgrounds. Prior to joining Meaningful Ageing Australia, Ilsa worked for 8 years at aged and community services organisation Baptcare (Victoria & Tasmania) in a number of senior roles including Manager Pastoral Care with a growing team of 23 chaplains and 45 pastoral volunteers; and held various sector positions such as Chair of the multi-faith Diploma of Pastoral Care and Ageing Committee, and Chair of Spiritual Health Victoria’s Aged Care Advisory Group. From 2002 Ilsa has also worked as an accredited supervisor in Clinical Pastoral Education in various locations around Melbourne; building on ten years of experience as a pastoral carer in a wide range of settings. Ilsa is a regular worship leader at the very multicultural Brunswick Baptist Church in Melbourne.


Julie Philpott

Pastoral Care Coordinator, Carrington Care


Captain Mavis Salt

Research & Resource Officer for Ageing Australia, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus

As a Salvation Army Officer, Captain Mavis Salt spent 5 years as Chaplain/Mission Director within Aged Care Plus.  Ministering within Chaplaincy, a spiritual care assessment and planning process was begun and in years following, Mavis also had opportunities to present at industry conferences on this as well as teaching Chaplains at Aged Care Plus. She facilitated the development of a Spiritual Care Policy and training resources for Aged Care Plus. Mavis’ current role is as Research & Resource Officer for Ageing Australia both within Aged Care Plus and the broader Salvation Army. Mavis is also keen to promote well-being and resilience for all involved in ministry within The Salvation Army as well as multi-generational ministries. She is an alumnus of St Mark’s National Theological Centre.

Spiritual reminiscence for older people: Finding meaning in later life, especially for those experiencing dementia

Related workshop

Spiritual reminiscence for older people: Finding meaning in later life, especially for those experiencing dementia

The Colloquium for Ageing Perspectives and Spirituality (CAPS) is holding a workshop at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture on Thursday 28 September.

The workshop aims to equip participants with beginning skills to facilitate spiritual reminiscence small groups for older people with and without cognitive decline. These skills can be used with individuals or in small groups, and in any situation that involves working with older people.

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