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From the CEO – April 2024

by Rachael Wass, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia

Melbourne has moved into a change of season. The Kulin Nation peoples call this period between April-July Waring Season (Wombat Season); a time that brings morning mists, higher rain fall, and the nights grow longer.

Wombats emerge from their burrows taking in the last of the sunshine – and I’m taking this queue to make the most of sunshine after returning to live in Victoria away from the warmer temperature up north.

As the autumn leaves fall and the mulch grows, I’m reminded that even the mulch is something I’m thankful for.  My practice this month is all about appreciating the mud as much as the lotus that grows out of it, such as the famous quote: ‘Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

April also marks the anniversary of the World Health Organisation back in 1948. The Global Health day theme for 2024 was ‘My health, my right’ about the importance of honouring and respecting individual autonomy across health and aged care.

In some respects, the new Aged Care Act, (when legislation passes) with emphasis on human rights and the freedom to express spirituality, holds some potential to address the multifaceted nature of health and well-being.

In order to meet these multifaceted needs, the funding of spiritual care in aged care remains unclear. This is why this month, we are hosting round table sessions and conducting surveys to gather insights from leaders and stakeholders in a proactive approach to benchmarking and addressing the needs for spiritual care.

We hope that by engaging in dialogue and sharing experiences collectively, there’s an opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of spiritual care within aged care frameworks and policies over time. You, as a reader and someone interested in our work no doubt appreciate the interconnectedness of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors through the biopsychosocial spiritual model of care. A model that is supported by WHO.

Where ever you find yourself today, may you enjoy the sunshine when it appears or even the mulch underfoot and enjoy reading this month’s newsletter.

In friendship & harmony, Rachael

  • Hosting our next round of CEO Leaders lunches in Newcastle and Canberra
  • Roundtable meetings on funding and professional recognition for spiritual care in aged care
  • Provide expert advisory to LHA as part of The National Silver Rainbow Advisory Committee
  • Attend in Social Impact Fellowship W3-6 & attend launch of Australian Institute for Purpose Leaders
  • Present to SALT Shakers aged care business network on MAA and value of spiritual care
  • NACA Steering Group meetings and Co-Chair First Nations Working Group
  • Provide advice to the Aged Care Quality Sector Reference Group on spiritual care
  • Attend ANZAC day memorial services and attend World Healing Day Multifaith prayer ceremony