We are all just walking each other home
| End of Life Guide | Death Educator & Advocate | End of Life Doula | Funeral Celebrant | Grief and Loss Navigator |
I consider myself practically a Gold Coast local, originally from Wellington, New Zealand, but having lived here now for the past 20 years. In my work, I value the privilege of being of service in my local community.
What I bring to this role is over a decade of applied experience in providing heart centred support, service, care and advocacy for families and individuals at end of life stages. I have also committed 25+ years to my personal and professional development, ongoing research and industry relevant formal study.
I first discovered my desire to demystify and normalise dying and death at a fairly young age, after experiencing several significant deaths in my immediate family. Undoubtedly my greatest knowledge was experiential, as a result of my hands on role as caregiver to my younger sister, after journeying alongside her through a terminal illness. Throughout this extended period of living with cancer, navigating treatment options and making decisions on end of life options, I experienced first hand the empowerment of seeking and having access to information, education and personalised choices.
Upon the death of my sister, I came to see that I had ‘midwifed’ her through all of the end of life stages, through a terminal illness diagnosis, treatment options, holistic care, bedside vigiling, funeral preparation and a home wake. There was great clarity for me, in the value of supporting and creating meaning throughout the entire journey, the transition from life to death. The profound need to live, even whilst dying. The experience of this caregiving journey has been documented in my book, Many Rivers to Cross.
In my current role, I serve to educate and support my community in dealing with end of life processes. This includes providing services as an end of life doula, a death educator, mentor and advocate, to assist with pre-planning end of life options, running workshops and providing space for grief journeying and expression of emotions through grief circles.
My formal qualifications include a diploma of counselling, a post graduate qualification in palliative care, and a degree in applied theatre (performance) and I am a current member of the Australian Funeral Celebrants Association. I have worked previously as a Funeral Director, volunteered with hospice, as a volunteer with a not for profit supporting people living with chronic illness, have hosted Death Cafes, facilitated educational workshops and information sessions, led dramatherapy workshops, volunteered with disability, alongside consistently upskilling with diverse reading, industry relevant training, workshops and professional development.
With a benevolent work ethic, my specific qualifications, hands on industry experience and a unique personal background, I am a compassionate and relatable guide and companion for those facing their end of life.
I truly see supporting others at the end of life as the most fulfilling and life affirming role I could ever undertake.