“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 Management Committee, a Business Development Manager and an Executive Leadership 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
Who are We?
WA Grief Support Incorporated, trading as The Grief Centre of Western Australia is a Health Promotion Charity with Deductible Gift Recipient status. GCWA operates under the guidance of a Management Committee.
The Grief Centre of Western Australia is a society where Grief and Death are honoured and responded to with deep care, respect and emotional intelligence. A community where people can process their grief and experience healing.
Our mission is to become the key Community Resource and Support Centre for grief and loss in Western Australia.
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 Targeted Response to Grief and Loss
Our broad embrace and understanding of grief, fires our passion for developing and implementing a range of services, programs and supports 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.