Dialog Box

Volunteers Conference

The 2022 conference theme – one step – one word – one heart – recognises that volunteering has changed during the pandemic but also new opportunities have emerged.

We can adapt to the new environment one step at a time and with kindness which will enable us to return to our roles we so love to support people with a life-limiting illness and their families to live, die and grieve well.

Our society continues to become more diverse and by embracing diversity, positive ways to benefit our communities will emerge. Volunteers play an important and valuable role in this.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity for Volunteers and Leaders of Volunteers from a range of organisations including palliative care, health care, aged care, chronic illness, ethnic communities and LGBTIQ+ community to share experiences, learn from diverse and innovative approaches, and explore what volunteers can do for their self-care and wellbeing.

Conference details

Wednesday 18 May 2022, 9:30am – 4:00pm
Rendezvous Hotel, 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne

  • Grief and Loss
  • Diverse communities
  • New volunteer programs/roles
  • Dementia
  • Self-care and wellbeing
Post Conference

Thank you to all the delegates who attended our Volunteers Conference. We received excellent feedback and are delighted that delegates enjoyed the variety of speakers and topics. We also want to thank all presenters for their support and generosity of spirit. Forgoing your speaker’s gift enabled us to make a donation to the Flying Doctor Memory Lane.

Scholarship recipients

It was a pleasure welcoming 13 scholarship recipients from Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia (pictured in photo above) thanks to funding from Palliative Care Australia. PCV has released an eBook with essays from all 13 scholarship recipients sharing their personal highlights of the conference. Below are some quotes reflecting their experience:

“To walk into the Rendezvous Hotel I immediately felt I was amongst like-minded people who value community and hold care for others as a core value.”

“This conference was the richest with relevant, take home messages.”

“The overall Conference was well managed, and orchestrated. The food and venue were excellent.”

“Another highlight was MC Husna Pasha. Her anecdotes and humour kept me and others entertained.”

“The conference opened my eyes to many new ideas and viewpoints particularly around cultural views on death.”

Speakers presentations and resources, where provided, can be found below.

Memories of the day
Access our booklet 'Impressions of PCV's Volunteer Conference 2022'
You can view and download photos taken by our photographer Barry Kearney.

Conference MC - Husna Pasha

Husna Pasha is a business woman, media personality and recent owner and founder of Alisha’s Cafe Collective.

Following University (B. SC. Occupational Therapy) Husna began her own “Talk Show Series”, then hit the stand-up comedy scene and soon after an appearance on Channel 10’s ‘The Project,’ became an in-demand speaker and facilitator at a range of corporate, educational and lifestyle events. ABC Compass also ran a documentary on Husna’s amazing life journey and how she began her own Talk Show known as The Husna Pasha Show.

Husna, mother of two, balances her full life of speaking, facilitating, media appearances and consulting, as well as running the Happychondriac Society who’s mission is to bridge the gap between humans by creating happier people. As a skilled MC and interviewer, Husna recently hosted a Q&A with Deborah Glass, the Victorian Ombudsman, where they both shared their stories on power, purpose and positivity. Husna’s mission is to bridge the gap between humans by creating happier people, who can laugh at themselves and celebrate the cultural diversity which Australia represents.

Keynote Speaker - Doris Zagdanski, BA DIP ED

Doris has worked in the field of grief education and support for grieving people for almost 40 years. Much of this time has been spent employed in and around the funeral industry in roles such as National Training Manager and General Manager Qld Funerals for InvoCare, from where she retired in 2021 after a 27-year career. She is also an experienced Funeral Director and Funeral Celebrant.

Doris is the author of 7 books on themes around loss, grief and empathy – subjects which she speaks about with passion and authority. She ties this in with a strong focus on the areas of customer service, communication skills and business success.

She is also an active community volunteer and has spent many years assisting bereavement support groups. Currently, she is a sponsor and judge for Australia’s annual Grieve Writer’s Competition which sees up to 1000 entries every year. In Queensland, she is a regular supporter of the Homicide Victims Support Group, and the Care For Life/World Suicide Prevention Day.

Doris was born and raised in Geelong, educated at Monash University, Melbourne and now lives on the Gold Coast.

Are you ok Fact Sheet NEW.pdf
Some tips for you when you're grieving FACT SHEET-3.pdf

Presenter - Melissa Davy

Melissa is a certified Thought Field Therapist, mentor, and intuitive healer, with a strong focus on helping people overcome their anxiety and depression.

For more than 10 years, Melissa has drawn upon her own personal experiences, and professional training, to help hundreds of clients walk away feeling calmer, lighter and happier.

Set Me Free with TFT

An introduction to this powerful healing technique, and the many benefits it can have to your health and wellbeing.  TFT is fast and effective to release anxiety, and other painful emotions, allowing you to feel calmer, think clearer and sleep better.

Palliative Care TFT script M Davy.pdf

Panel discussion with faith leaders

We will offer a panel discussion with faith leaders to explore the different approaches to death and dying within their faiths/beliefs/culture. Our panelists are:

  • Ayman Islam (Muslim)
  • Geeta Devi (Hindu)
  • Hojun Futen (Buddhist)
  • Zita Heywood (Aboriginal perspective)

View the bios for these faith leaders

There is an opportunity to include questions for the panel of faith leaders when registering for the conference.  This is a chance to ask a question you have been wanting to know the answer to but were too hesitant to ask – even the ones you thought “oh, I can’t ask that”.  These questions will be anonymous. We will also accept questions from the floor during the panel discussion.

Resources shared by Zita Heywood
Advance Care Planning Book_Web Size.pdf
Zita's Sunset poem with art (002).pdf

Concurrent Sessions

Workshop – “Grief, loss and empathy” facilitated by Doris Zagdanski

This workshop will focus on the idea of ‘holding space’ with grieving people: how do we show up; what do we say and do? Participants will practise empathetic responses to grieving people, using real life examples and Doris’ 4 step empathy communication model.

Workshop – “About Dementia” facilitated by Mary-Lou Doswell, Dementia Australia

This workshop provides an overview of dementia. It covers the risks, prevalence, types of dementia and the triggers leading to changes in behaviour, as well as where to access services and support.

21071 CDL_Flyer_19_EnablingEDIEA_(f2f).pdf

Delegates gained knowledge in:

  • The nature of dementia, including prevalence, risks, types of dementia, how the brain works and signs of dementia.
  • Understanding triggers contributing to behaviour changes associated with dementia.
  • Resources and services available.
Workshop – “Caring for our Diverse Communities – Culture, Connection and Communication” facilitated by Monita Mascitti-Meuter, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

This workshop explores ways to improve understanding and responding appropriately to inclusion so that those we care for feel safe, supported, respected and valued. Presented through a Cultural Diversity lens, special attention is paid to unconscious bias; cross-cultural communication and strategies to improve responsiveness to our diverse communities.

SVHM Talk to Me Application_ Flyer_ 2022.pdf
useful resources.pdf

Discussion round – “New ideas/programs and learnings from COVID-19 presented by volunteers

Find out more about Advance Care Planning Australia Support Pathway Program, Flying Doctor Memory Lane, Eastern Palliative Care’s SmileMakers, Palliative Care South East Memorabilia Program and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre’s Palliative Care Peer Navigation Program and robot to be used to facilitate virtual visits.

conference program