Critical to the success of the Bereavement Care
Centre is the active participation and commitment of volunteers
- here are the stories of some of our most valuable team members,
in their own words.
I was originally a nurse, later trained as a psychologist and
have specialised in bereavement counselling since 1986 when I
completed Post Graduate training with Di and Mal McKissock. I
also completed an intensive 2 year course in clinical Supervision
at the Bereavement C.A.R.E. Centre, and have continued to divide
my working week between the BCC and my private practice. Another
professional interest is working at The Institute of counselling
as a counselling skills teacher, trainer and group facilitator.
I have been involved with the NCCG from its beginning
in early 1994. My role has primarily been with bereaved families
and I facilitate the support groups for bereaved partners (parents
of children in support groups) currently held on Wednesday evenings.
In all of my roles I have found my nursing training and experience
invaluable. That background helps me to understand many aspects
of the process of terminal illness that create pain and distress
for grieving families, and to interpret medical and coronial reports
My husband and soul mate Richard and I have experienced
the richness of family life with our two children, an adopted
son called David and a foster daughter named Suz-ann. David was
born with Progeria and died when he was nine years old. Suz-ann
was born with an intellectual disability and is now a delightful
21 year old, living in a protected, semi independent environment
close to our home.
Richard and I both love out door holidays involving
camping or house boats, and often return from these adventures
with stories of getting lost on waterways, or tents being flooded
with torrential rain. We love spending time with our large extended
family, with friends, and enjoy reading, playing cards and competing
I have worked as a social worker in a variety of health settings for over 3 & a half decades. I took a break from full time work for a few years to raise a family. On returning to paid employment, I was part of a maternity unit team and part of my role involved taking care of bereaved families and assisting staff when a baby or child died.
To enhance my skills in this area, I did some courses with Mal and Di in the early 1990’s.
I became increasingly more drawn to working in the area of death and dying and bereavement and did further study. This began a passion for this area of work, which continues to the present day.
For some years I combined working as a social worker in palliative care and working at the BCC and NCCG.
I have been with the Bereavement Care Centre as a counsellor since 1999.
Nowadays I work only one day a week at the BCC as I also work as the bereavement counsellor for the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital.
I have always felt extremely fortunate to be associated with the BCC and NCCG and all the wonderful people who have worked here over the years.
My time here has added invaluably to me as a person and as a professional. I feel honored to have a been a part of people's lives as they have rebuilt their lives around the pain of loss and am grateful for all I have learnt from them about life, love and loss.
On the personal front, I am married and have 4 adult children. Being a mother has been a wonderful part of my life and, trite though it may sound, it has taught me much about love and caring. It has brought out the best and, at times, the worst in me!
I have a love of Labrador dogs and spend my non- working time enjoying yoga, walking, reading, going to the movies, catch ups with family and friends and travelling and perhaps especially spending time near water which I try to do reasonably regularly.