“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 Dunlop, a 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.
Around that time I met Karly Rauchelle. After her own tragic loss Karly as a young widow had also identified the gap in specialized grief support for individuals and families. During a time of raw grief, she commenced the heavy paperwork and compliance tasks of forming and starting an Australian Charity to address this community need.Over a café table two strangers met and the two organisations merged. Karly’s achievements were an invaluable asset to the Grief Centre. Karly was ready for change after the handover, and so with grateful thanks to each other we moved forward. Michelle and I would spend the next few years in the continuance of the work we began before following her other passions with homelessness and disability work. I remained at the helm of the Centre.
The Grief Centre today has a Advisory Board, a Business Development Officer and a Business Lead Team to manage and grow our range of community-based specialist grief support services. This mix of well-qualified, pro-bono and volunteer staff are from diverse backgrounds and each member brings unique skills, passion and wisdom from their lived experience of grief. Together we are excited and committed to changing the way grief is viewed and responded to within the lives of individuals, families, workplaces and communities. We acknowledge the great work being done by many in the field of grief and loss in Western Australia. We look forward to working with, and building upon, their years of experience and dedication.”
– Christine Richardson
To read a review and to purchase Christine's book "GRIEF - Mothers' Stories of Heartbreak and Hope", click here.
Who We Are
The Grief Centre of Western Australia (GCWA) is the trading name for WA Grief Support Incorporated the legal entity for our charity. We are a Health Promotion Charity with Deductible Give Recipient status. The GCWA operates under the guidance of an Advisory Board and the following aims and objectives:
Our Vision and Mission
The Grief Centre of Western Australia is a community, where grief is acknowledged as a healthy normal response to life events, attended to and transformed for the wellbeing of individuals, families, workplaces and communities.
The Grief Centre works to ease the heartache of grief and loss through care, creativity and understanding through;
Quality counselling, support groups and creative workshops for people living with grief.
Information, resources and community connection to honour and guide the grief journey.
Training and development to increase awareness, understanding and support of grief in the workplace.
Building grief and death literacy, including the implications of unresolved grief for individuals, families, communities and in the workplace.
Our broad embrace and understanding of grief gives the Grief Centre the impetus to develop and run a range of services, programs and support that are targeted to different areas of concern. In addition to providing grief counselling and support opportunities for people whose loved one has died, our organisation also offers support for people experiencing other losses in life including the loss of identity, work, culture, relationships, security, hope, etc.
The Grief Centre recognises the often strong link between unresolved grief and relationship breakdown, substance abuse, homelessness, crime, suicide, and a range of mental health issues. Acknowledging and attending to grief is key to the health, well-being and resilience of individuals, our families, workplaces and community.
The Grief Centre also encourages people of all ages to take the time to think deeply about death, dying and funerals as a way of living life well and with care, respect and compassion for themselves and those they love. In addition to providing services in grief, The Grief Centre is soon to launch a range of end-of-life planning sessions to empower people and their families with clear and considered decisions that are known to minimise the depth and length of the grief journey.