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THeMHS Summer Forum 2018 - Sydney, February 2018

Trauma Matters: Values, Evidence and Responses to Trauma in Mental Health Services. TheMHS Summer Forum 2018 explores how mental health services can recognise and respond to trauma and shows the way forward with trauma-informed care and effective, evidence-based responses that promote healing and recovery.

When:       Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February 2018

Where:       Mercure Hotel, Sydney NSW

The 20th TheMHS Summer Forum is an annual two-day educational program that highlights a contemporary topic in mental health. It will guide, challenge and inspire you. Audience discussion and participation are actively encouraged. Trauma leaves an indelible impression in the lives of survivors. Trauma is associated with the development in a person’s life of mental health problems and substance use, as well as major impacts on social, emotional and physical health. Download the flyer for more information. Click here for more information and to register.

Spiritual Care Australia Conference - Newcastle, May 2018

Mark your calendar for the 2018 SCA Conference being held in Newcastle, in the beautiful Hunter Valley of NSW. With the theme “Towards New Horizons,” the Hunter branch of SCA are planning a conference that will speak to your spirit and to the practicalities of providing spiritual care in the 21st century.

When:    Sunday 6 - Wednesday 9 May 2018
Newcastle City Hall, NSW

In today’s society, people engage with religion and spirituality in traditional, new and diverse ways. Spiritual care is evolving too, exploring new horizons to meet contemporary needs.

Horizons from a distance are a constant,
they give us perspective,
they define and keep us safe,
they determine what is seen,
they alter as our reference point changes,
they invite exploration
and we wonder with anticipation what is beyond...

Keynote speakers already lined up include
•    Eliane Miles, Director of Research and trend analyst at McCrindle social researchers, on the state of Australia’s spirituality as revealed in the latest Census and the Faith and Belief 2017 report;
•    Cheryl Holmes, CEO of Spiritual Health Victoria and always a favourite with SCA, on the important moves being made toward national recognition of spiritual care as a profession;
•    Kathleen McPhillips, an expert on gender, power and religion based at the University of Newcastle, on the implications for spiritual carers of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
•    Also lined up are Graham Long, pastor of Sydney’s Wayside Chapel; Claire Dunn, author and educator on eco-spirituality and the human-nature connection; Prof Terry Lovat of University of Newcastle, a thought leader on religion in political/public life; Rob Sutherland, defence force chaplain speaking on moral injury; and Tim Mansfield with an interactive session on spiritual abuse.

More detail on all the speakers will be on the website soon!
Great workshops are being offered by your peers! If you attend every day, you’ll be able to choose five workshops. A taste of what’s on offer includes group PC work in a psychiatric ward, a contemplative approach to supervision, idealism and hard reality in NZ, spiritual care and well-being, using technology for PC in aged care and many more. As turn our gaze towards new horizons to meet the spiritual needs of people in the 21st Century, what is inviting us, what is challenging us? Plan to come to Newcastle in 2018 as we look to and move towards new horizons. Click here for more information.

Dates to remember:
Early Bird Registrations open 29 January – 16 March 2018. You will be able to register for the whole conference and choose your workshops.
30 April 2018 – Final day to register for the conference.

06 May 2018 – Opening event.

Things to know:
The Conference will be held in Newcastle’s beautiful and historic City Hall, with many accommodation options an easy walk from the Conference venue. Accommodation deals will be advised in coming months.
Newcastle is well served by air and train, and is an easy drive or train ride from Sydney. Newcastle has daily direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are good transit points when travelling from other centres.

Please spread the word! Many people register because they hear about the Conference from someone they trust! Make that person you!

SCA Pre- Conference Research Intensive - Newcastle 6 May 2018

Research Intensive - add value to your Spiritual Care Australia Conference attendance. Offered by Spiritual Health Victoria, Meaningful Ageing Australia and Stirling Theological College – University of Divinity.

When:         Sunday, 6 May 2018 (9am - 4pm).
Where:        King Room, Crowne Plaza, Newcastle.

Can you prove it? Research and Spiritual Care
  •    Does spiritual care make any difference?
  •    Why do we need spiritual care?
  •    What value does spiritual care add?
  •    Can we provide an evidence base for spiritual care without losing its essence?
Make plans now to attend a pre-conference intensive workshop on research and spiritual care that will help you answer questions like these!

If you have ever struggled to answer questions like the ones above, then this research intensive is for you. The day will focus on enabling you to understand the importance of research for developing more effective and evidence-informed practice, for teaching and community education, and in formation and training. You will gain practical skills in understanding and initiating research and hear stories from practitioners who have already embarked on the research journey.

Speakers will include:
  •    Dr Heather Tan, Manager Education and Research, Spiritual Health Victoria.
  •    Dr Alan Niven, Director of Research and Professional Development, Stirling Theological College – University of Divinity.
  •    Practitioners actively engaging in research.

Registration details:
You may register on the SCA website along with your SCA Conference registration when registration opens 29 January 2018. It will be possible to register for only the intensive if so desired.
Places are limited so register early.
Cost of $80 (incl GST) includes access to all slides and keynote speeches, morning tea/coffee and lunch.

Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute - Boston, July 2018

The 2018 CRSI will be a four and a half day conference and hosted by the School of Theology at Boston University for Transforming Chaplaincy: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes. 

 When:   July 23-27, 2018
Where:   Boston University School of Theology Boston, MA

Chaplains have embraced the importance of a research-informed approach to chaplaincy practice, including the importance of research literacy. The Transforming Chaplaincy project and other activities such as the APC Webinar Journal Club are helping chaplains to develop research literacy. Through the Chaplain Research Fellowships, Transforming Chaplaincy is also helping to develop a cohort of chaplains with the training to contribute to chaplaincy research. What is missing is an opportunity for chaplains with more limited time to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to undertake basic but important research and quality improvement projects. The purpose of the Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI) is to equip chaplains with that knowledge and those skills in a short-term intensive format with follow up. An additional purpose is to develop a network among novice and experienced chaplains engaged in chaplaincy research.

Participation will be limited to 30 persons. Participants must be working or otherwise engaged as a chaplain, or providing consultation to chaplains, in a health-related context (hospital, clinic, hospice,long-term care). With nationally-renowned faculty like George Fitchett, Wendy Cadge, Daniel Grossoehme, and Katherine Piderman, participants are sure to leave the Institute invigorated for original research and novel contributions to spiritual care.

For more information, including the Institute's schedule and application information, see the flyer or contact Kathryn Lyndes at or (312) 942-0247. See you in Boston!

Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference - Gold Coast, May 2018

The Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association is hosting the annual Australian & New Zealand Addiction Conference which will focus on three overarching themes of Prevention, Treatment & Recovery.

When:      Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May 2018
Where:     QT Gold Coast Hotel, Surfers Paradise

The nature and complex condition of addiction has plagued medical experts for many years, prompting us to question:
•    Is addiction preventable?
•    Is it genetic and how is it identified?
•    Is it evident in certain personalities?
•    Is family or professional intervention best?
•    What are the risk factors?
•    What are the solutions?

The 4th annual conference will cover a broad range of topics that will include prevention, treatment, systematic responses, behaviours, mental health and harm reduction in relation to all types of addiction.  The program will include emerging trends and the various addictive habits of alcohol and other drugs, gambling, internet, sex, gaming,  food, shopping, pyromania, kleptomania to name a few. The conference promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psychosocial and peer based approaches offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians and researchers alike.  Presenters are encouraged to focus on not only what they have discovered but also on how delegates can apply their learnings.

Click here for more information.

2018 International Dementia Conference - Sydney June 2018

Mission Impossible - Truth and Lies in the age of choice

When:       7  - 8 June 2018

Where:      Hilton Sydney NSW

Mission Impossible? This is the question we’ll be addressing with thought leaders from across the globe. Choice is at the core of this International Dementia Conference and we will confront and debate what choice means in every aspect of our lives, clinical decisions and care. ‘Truth and Lies in the age of choice’ will provide a major platform for listening and learning from the international and Australian communities through research, experience and practice in our plenary talks and concurrent sessions, with many opportunities for important networking and engagement.

If you have any questions at all about how we can support you as a person with dementia or family carer to attend the International Dementia Conference, please don’t hesitate to phone our Conference Team on +61 (0)2 8437 7355, or send us an email at

For more information go to the website.

Call for Papers closes Nov 24 2017 
We are calling for submissions of oral and ‘E-poster’ presentations on a range of contemporary and critical themes.

Parliament of the World’s Religions - Toronto November 2018

The next international gathering of the Parliament of the World's Religions has been announced. 

When:  1 - 7 November 2018

Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

More than 10,000 people will participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world’s religious communities and cultural institutions.

Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, modern Parliaments have attracted participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations to its international gatherings in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004), Melbourne (2009), and Salt Lake City (2015). These Parliament events are the world’s oldest, largest, and most inclusive gatherings of the global interfaith movement. Professor Mark Toulouse, Co-Chair of the host committee, believes that “the selection of Toronto was a perfect match for the Parliament.”

He continues, “As one of the most international, multicultural, and religiously pluralistic cities in the world, Toronto provides a perfect venue for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. More than 140 languages are spoken every day, and at least 47% of Toronto’s population speak a native language other than French or English. Over half were born outside of Canada, representing more than 200 ethnic origins.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory added his support for a Toronto Parliament, saying: “Nowhere is our diversity more evident than in the variety of places of worship you can find in communities across Toronto. These institutions are an integral part of the social fabric of our city . . . [and] our faith communities help build bridges of mutual understanding and make Toronto a welcoming place for people of all beliefs.”
In the coming 18 months, the 2018 Parliament program will be developed in close consultation with Toronto itself, as well as with religious and civic stakeholders across Canada and around the world, so that the event reflects the perspectives and priorities of multiple faiths and ideologies.

Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea, Parliament Ambassador and Interfaith Chaplain who serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Toronto Interfaith Council, will be among those introducing the 2018 event to groups across Ontario.

He said, “more than a symbol, the Parliament is an instrument of peace. This is why the Parliament of the World’s Religions will be converging on Toronto in 2018.”

Click here for more information.



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