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Farewell from the EO

DP -August 2013

It is with some sadness that I will soon be concluding my time as the inaugural Executive Officer of PASCOP. But it is also a good time to reflect on what has happened in just over three years.

I started day one with the association incorporated and some bank accounts and, of course, the very valuable sponsor funds from our foundation sponsors. But apart from that no office, no phone, no computer – a real greenfields opportunity. Now, three years later, I think we can safely say that we have moved beyond the establishment phase and the development of sound infrastructure and systems and can claim to be a mature organisation that has established its presence in the marketplace with a clearly identifiable mission and services and a valuable role that is already being appreciated across the sector.

PASCOP has and continues to developed its own products and services such as the “Spiritual Care – an integral part of care” training module, the Training & Education Guide, the Meaningful Ageing seminar series, Conversation Partners and the PASCOP Quality in Pastoral & Spiritual Practice Awards.

We also work in partnership with others to develop specific resources. The world-first National Guidelines for Spiritual Care in Aged Care, funded by the Australian government, is being are developed in collaboration with Spiritual Health Victoria (SHV), the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Improvement Matters is one example and the Pastoral and Spiritual Care online training series with the Aged Care Channel (ACC) & Health Television Network (HTN) is another. And there are many more products, services and collaborations under way which will manifest valuable products and services during 2016.

During the last three years, PASCOP has also successfully made the transition from sponsorship funding to member fee subscription and we enjoy a continuous growth in our member numbers across the mission based, community based and private organisations operating in the industry. Our increasing profile in the sector is reflected in the rising number of presentations requested of us at National and State sector conferences and in the number of advocacy roles we are involved in.

Obviously all this progress doesn’t happen spontaneously and clearly is only possible with significant contributions from a broad spectrum of supporters. Firstly let me pay tribute to the PASCOP Board whose members bring a wealth of expertise, knowledge and experience and have not only been a significant support and encouragement for me but have provided an invaluable strategic and governance foundation from which PASCOP operates. They and the organisations they are from have given generously to PASCOP in both time and resources.

The PASCOP staff and contracted service providers likewise have all made significant contributions to the development and operations of PASCOP thus far and often well above and beyond their remuneration and fees. There has also been outstanding support and practical assistance from PASCOP member organisations and their representatives and the myriad of other stakeholders across the sector. To all of these I express my sincere and great appreciation and gratitude.

As I handover to the new PASCOP Executive Officer, Ilsa Hampton, I am very confident that the next phase in the life of this valuable organisation will be one of significant growth and development rapidly increasing the awareness of the essential and beneficial role that the provision of good spiritual care in aged care has to offer. I wish Ilsa and PASCOP every success for the future.