How It All Began

“In 2007, during a time of deep personal grief, I began conversations with other people who had lost someone they loved. It was through these discussions; gathering stories and learning from the pain my family and I were in, that healing began. From these stories, a book began to evolve. During this time, it became apparent in my professional life as a wellness consultant and corporate trainer, that unresolved grief was having a devastating impact on many people’s lives. With this realisation came a new and deeper understanding of grief’s ability to break hearts, people, and families.

During a discussion with Michelle, a respected colleague and friend, the importance of a centre for those in grief emerged. While having spent many years working in the business sector, Michelle’s own journey with grief at a young age had a profound impact and would eventually lead her to her work in the funeral industry as a Funeral Director and Celebrant. Shortly after our initial conversation around the importance of a centre for grief, Michelle and I co-founded The Grief Centre of Western Australia.

Since then, we have been gathering a support team with a mix of well-qualified, Pro Bono and volunteer staff from diverse backgrounds and experiences. As a team, we are excited about the work and share a passion to change the way grief is viewed and responded to within the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

We acknowledge the great work already done by many in the field of grief and loss in Western Australia. We hope to work with, and build upon, their years of experience and dedication.”

Christine Richardson

Who We Are

The Grief Centre of Western Australia (GCWA) is the trading name for WA Grief Support Incorporated (WAGS). As the legal entity for our charity, WAGS operates under the guidance of a Board of Management and the following aims and objectives.

Our Organisational Aims

  • To provide quality counselling, support groups and associated activities, and practical services, support and advocacy, for people in Australia living with grief.
  • To research the causes and effects of grief on individuals, culture and society, and to educate the community about the grieving process and its implications, with a particular focus on the link to homelessness.
  • To provide information, services and support aimed at minimising grief including end-of-life care, advanced health directives and funerals.
  • To affect changes in policy regarding how dead, dying and grieving people are treated by corporations, companies, and government departments, as well as any other associations where services are found deficient.A grieving heart has a longing that will always remain; yet death is rarely discussed and conversations about grief are often avoided. When we find understanding, support and a sense of community, it is possible to not feel so alone in our grief.
Our broad embrace and understanding of grief gives WAGS the remit to develop and run a range of services, programs and support that are targeted to different areas of concern. In addition to providing grief counseling and support opportunities for people whose loved one has died, our charity also provides specific support and services for people who are homeless through our Street Friends program.

Our Founders

Christine Richardson

Co-Founder / Program Developer

Christine has spent much of her professional life researching and working in behavior, thought and emotional management. In 2007 during a time of deep personal grief, she began to look more closely at the profound impact of loss on people’s lives. 

This personal journey provided the backbone for her successful book “Grief – Mothers’ Stories of Heartbreak and Hope”.

Christine’s work as an educator in both the private and public sector fuelled her commitment to found an organisation which offers tools that bring hope and a belief that recovery from grief is possible.

Michelle’s personal experiences with grief led her to work in the funeral industry as a Funeral Director and Celebrant. She is actively involved in advocating for and supporting the disadvantaged in our community in a variety of roles.

Michelle has also been a Director of a multi-national company for over a decade. Her vast professional and personal experiences enable Michelle to work for, and on behalf of those who have been impacted by grief.

As a team, Christine and Michelle are excited about the work and share a passion to change the way grief is viewed and responded to by individuals, families and communities.

Michelle Dunlop

Co-Founder / Treasurer