Newsletters Blog

From the CEO – March 2024

by Rachael Wass, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia

What are the titles called in the chapters of your life and the encounters that have shaped you? Wouldn’t that be a fascinating book to read!

Several years ago, Professor Maria-Giulia Marini and I delved into the narratives of people living with a life changing condition. Maria-Guilia is a friend and expert in Narrative Medicine, which underscores the impact of storytelling on a person’s wellbeing, it recognises the significance of being present and listening to someone’s story.

Our exploration revealed captivating stories that held the circumstances that led to their conditions and their narratives surrounding their body image. Narrative Medicine mirrors a related discipline within spiritual care: understanding and acknowledging the unique life experiences and perspectives that contribute to one’s overall journey, including life chapters where spiritual distress has been present.

I think my story might run something like …country kid lives in 24 different places, goes on a pilgrimage and finds a calling in mid-life. When we look, I think we find that many of our life stories hold chapters of hope and resilience.  

There is a paragraph in Maria-Guilia’s book, Languages of Care in Narrative Medicine: Words, Space and Time in the Healthcare Ecosystem:

What is spirituality? . . . I like to call it, a little ironically, an intangible asset. Words might be redundant or not adequate to explain it; however, narratives might be the key factors for endorsing spirituality. It can refer to those invisible but real qualities which shape a person or community, such as love, hope, peace and truth.

Read on for this month’s feature article asking us to challenge ourselves about being trauma-aware and being trauma-informed and look out for our new free 3-part conversation series called How we are changed, which explores aspects of grief, loss and trauma.

In friendship & harmony, Rachael

  • Hosting our next round of CEO Leaders lunches in Sydney and Melbourne in March
  • Meetings with several members: and International affiliate member Bethany Community (Canada)
  • Strategic partnership meetings with other spiritual care peak bodies, SCA and SHA
  • Attend Social Impact fellowship kick off sessions – setting intentions for the fellowship journey
  • Attending Sector Reference Group meetings, National Aged Care Alliance Steering Committees
  • Hosting webinar for CEOs and Heads of Mission on 200 Minutes of care, funding for spiritual care
  • Attend Researchers in spirituality meetings and connect with our honorary International Researchers
  • Planning workshop for the integration of our SeeMeKnowMe website and refreshed content
  • Looking at new funding and philanthropy opportunities for MeetAkira2 – Death & Dying