Our History

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 to go to, 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, Michelle and I co-founded The Grief Centre of Western Australia.

During the initial stages of development, I was introduced to Karly Rauchelle. After tragic circumstances left her and her children without a husband and father, Karly began her own grief support group. Over the next few years, Karly worked tirelessly to support and advocate for men, women and children in grief, while also achieving outstanding results at the governance and procedural level.

Karly and her team established a path, with high aims and a core belief closely aligned to our own. Even though Karly decided to step back from her work in grief, she remains a founding member of The Grief Centre of Western Australia.

Since those early days, 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 (CEO/Co-founder)

The Grief Centre of WA was created to provide Understanding, Support and Recovery to the people of Western Australia. We are committed to helping those suffering and advocate on their behalf to change the way grief is viewed and responded to in the community. Our organisational aim is to:

  • Provide practical, psychological and emotional support services for people experiencing grief through bereavement.
  • Provide education to the community about the grieving process and its social, mental, emotional and physical impacts, both personally and professionally.

Christine Richardson (CEO/Co-founder)

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 Dunlop

Michelle Dunlop (Community Engagement Officer/Co-founder)

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

What we do

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. We offer this support – regardless of when the loss occurred or how it happened.

The Grief Centre of WA is an independent registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) and is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient. It currently offers a range of services, including:

  • Individual and family counselling;
  • Group meetings;
  • Community education programs and workshops;
  • Corporate training;
  • Young people and children’s workshops; and
  • Art therapy.

It is acknowledged that early support and education can prevent many of the issues that arise from unresolved grief and, when managed well, can profoundly affect a person’s ability to heal and resume their place within relationships, employment and community.

The Grief Centre of WA is committed to working collaboratively with local, state and federal governments and those within the private sector, to increase awareness and provide tangible support to those in grief. The Centre can also provide employees and employers tools for greater understanding of the impacts of unresolved grief on productivity, absenteeism and morale. This training can assist colleagues in seeking and/or offering support, which aids the recovery process for the bereaved.