Four Funerals knocks 'em dead!

We performed "Four Funerals in One Day" at the Arts and Health Conference to great international acclaim!. It was so exciting to see a full auditorium of international people clap madly and give a standing ovation to the incredibly talented team of Alan Hopgood, Michelle Hall, Jenny Seedsman and Margot Knight at the completion of the performance! The forum that Alan and I convened was equally well received. It was also really exciting to have Ambassador for Ageing, Noelene Brown in the audience. Gotta say I was a little star struck having watched her on television when I was a kid!

Four Funerals has done really well this year touring widely in metropolitan and rural Victoria and interstate. Everywhere we go, people really engage with the concepts explored during the play and enjoy the interaction of the forum. So many people have said to me that they were a little nervous that it would be 'morbid" because of course the topic is death, but it's wonderful to hear people laughing during the performance and to hear their responses afterwards. Things like "It was funny, I laughed out loud but it made me think at the same time" are common things we hear from people.

Next year we hope to take "Four Funerals in One Day" back interstate and to do some more performances in Melbourne and Victoria. If you're interested in bring it to your town..........let us know. We'll go anywhere! It's a great way to get your community thinking about how they can support each other by having timely conversations about death and grief.

Special thanks to my close friend and colleague Alan Hopgood and to our wonderful team of performers for making "Four Funerals in One Day" the success it has been to date and I can't wait to see it go international in 2010!

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Arts and health Australia Inaugural award for Health Promotion

Receiving my award
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Some speaking gig shots from 2009

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Conference and speaking engagements are finished for the year

Well all of my speaking gigs are finished for the year now and it's been a busy one! It was great to speak at the national Palliative Care Australia and Asia Pacific Hospice conference "Together 2009" in Perth in October. Met some wonderful people from all over the world and was thrilled to be speaking about leadership and resilience to health professionals who are usually so focused on caring for others that they forget themselves!
Also had a great time at the inaugural Arts and Health Australia conference in Port Macquarie where I gave a keynote address on encouraging communities to talk about death and grief. This was a wonderful conference organised by the ever resourceful Margret Meagher and I was thrilled to win the inaugural Arts and Health Australia Award for Health Promotion.....very unexpected, but a great thrill!
Utopia International Retreat in Noosa was again a blast. I had the joy of being Master of Ceremonies as well as giving a keynote and running a workshop on working with grieving clients. It's amazing that people from the holistic, metaphysical and complementary therapies areas are sometimes not prepared for the depth of grief that clients carry with them when they come for a massage or an energy treatment. It was great working with these inspiring and experienced practitioners who openly embraced 'role play' exercises to practice their new skills as grief supporters!
I also did a bucketload of two day seminars for Ausmed all over the country this year. Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on "Dealing with Disruptive Staff Behaviour", "End of Life Care", "Counselling in terminal illness", "Leading with emotional intelligence" and "Compassionate Management". It never ceases to amaze me the wealth of knowledge and experience we have in the health professions. I love doing these two day gigs 'cause it gives me an opportunity to engage with lots of health professionals, particularly nurses, who are so passionate about what they do, but often not supported by their organisations.
I truly believe that nurses need to re-engage with the inate spirit of nursing....the ability to connect on an intimate level with people at their most vulnerable. This is the craft of nursing and we sometimes forget that and hide behind the technology that has become such a part of the modern profession.....more on that another time!
Next year is shaping up to be just as exciting with lots of gigs booked already, so keep your eyes on my website to see where I'm speaking and when and lets have some more fun together!!
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