Workshop A – Spirituality and Reflective Practice – Kate Englebrecht

Spirituality is a fundamental element of human experience. It encompasses an individual’s search for meaning and purpose in life and their experience of the transcendent. In this workshop Kate Englebrecht will discuss spirituality in the context of caring for people at or near the end of their lives. Kate will also explore reflective practice for practitioners and how meaning is made or formed from our experiences of caring.

Workshop B – Experiences around Dying – Dr Michael Barbato

In this workshop Dr Barbato will speak about experiences around dying – dreams, visions, symbolic language and unconsciousness around the moment of death. He will draw on his experience in research, clinical practice and pastoral care roles to help attendees to understand the variety of phenomena that may occur around dying and to highlight the ways in which we can better support people at end of life.

Dr Michael Barbato spent 20 years working as a specialist physician in rural NSW before moving to Sydney in 1989 to commence work in palliative care. Prior to his retirement in 2012 he directed palliative care services in NSW and the ACT and did regular locum work for the Northern Territory Palliative Care Service. His areas of interest include the holistic care of the dying, end-of-life dreams and visions, the experience of dying and the moment of death. He has a long-standing interest in unusual experiences at end of life. He is the author of three books on palliative care including ‘Caring for the Living and the Dying’ (2010) and has published widely. Together with Ann, he facilitates ‘Caring for the Living and the Dying’ workshops for professional and community groups, and runs the Midwifing Death Correspondence Course.

Workshop C – Mindfulness and Grief – Michael Dash

This workshop will focus on understanding, practicing and applying the skill of mindfulness in everyday life to benefit ourselves and the people we are supporting. Mindfulness meditation develops the skill of consciously bringing awareness to our own experience in the present moment and letting go of preoccupation with the past or the future. Research in universities around the world indicates that the regular practice of mindfulness can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, improve resilience & alleviate pain. Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat or blanket.

Michael Dash is the coordinator of the Sydney Local Health District Bereavement Counselling Service and has worked as a bereavement counsellor since 2000. Michael has worked in the area of HIV/AIDS and with young people at risk as well as in Local Government and was a teacher and school counsellor in Victoria. Michael teaches mindfulness based practices and has been a mindfulness practitioner for over 20 years, studying in Australia, Thailand, Burma and Nepal. Michael also teaches mindfulness based practices to groups and individuals including patients undergoing or recovering from cancer, focussing on alleviating suffering and empowering each person to take an active role in the management of their health and wellbeing.