JUNE 2022


The past few weeks have been momentous, with a new government and renewed hope for new energy into the aged care sector. Encouragingly, Prime Minister Albanese has stated his love of the ABC series Old Age Home for Four-Year-Olds. In 2020, he said, ‘I want us to build a society that sees ageing as a positive stage of life’.

In other important news, the long anticipated national research report, The Future of Spiritual Care in Australia, has been released. Congratulations to our great friends at the Spiritual Health Association who engaged this important research into how Australians communicate about spirituality, their experiences of spiritual care and their thoughts about spiritual care in health. Australians have a desire for spiritual care!

  • 77% believe that spiritual care should be offered in private hospitals

  • 75% believe that spiritual care should be offered in public hospitals

  • 65% of Australians have had extremely positive/ very positive experiences with spiritual care

  • 54% of Australians would be interested in receiving spiritual care in the future.



Grief: the price we pay for love

By Dr Irene Renzenbrink

Dr. Irene Renzenbrink is an Australian social worker, art therapist and pioneer in the field of grief and bereavement care. A member of the prestigious International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, Irene teaches an online Art of Loss course for the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute. Her book,
An Expressive Arts Approach to Healing Loss and Grief: Working Across the Spectrum of Loss with Individuals and Communities was published in June 2021.

“And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one weak creature
makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the
width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up.”

Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

In September, 2011 my beloved mother died in her sleep at the age of 95. She had moved into a ‘low care’ residential facility eighteen months before her death and had found it extremely challenging. She said it was harder than migrating from The Netherlands in 1952 and that was saying something!

Although she was of very sound mind, a heart attack had shaken her confidence about continuing to live independently. On the day before she was to have a pacemaker procedure she showed me a list of all her previous operations and her various medical conditions. She had written the words: ‘enough is enough’.

She had once told me that she felt like a tree that was losing all its leaves one by one and the memory of that conversation inspired me to paint the Tree of Hearts in her honour.

It was my way of saying good bye, I love you and thank you as I grieved for her, the mother I had known as my secure base for over sixty years.

Read the full article here

Leadership Lunches

Don’t miss this event!

Don’t miss this great event hosted by Spiritual Care Australia, ‘A Guide to Spiritual Care with Older People’ on Wednesday 8 June, featuring Adam McIntosh, Deputy Chair of the Meaningful Ageing Australia Board.

You can learn more and register for the event here.

Our Zoom events this month

Is your organisation ready to become a member?


Meaningful Ageing Australia is the national peak body for spiritual care and emotional wellbeing in the context of ageing.

Spirituality is about how we create meaning, hope, purpose and connection in our lives. It can be more than religion, but it certainly encompasses this expression of faith.

Meaning, hope, purpose, and connection are also at the heart of quality of life and quality of care for older people in residential and community aged care settings.

Meaningful Ageing Australia creates practical resources that support aged care organisations to build staff capability to integrate emotional support and spiritual care in their work. When staff are able to meet all the needs of the older people they care for, then organisations are better able to meet the expectations of community and the Aged Care Quality Standards.