We Listen, We Care, We Support

Stories

Read about the wonderful people working and volunteering for GriefLine. They each bring life and energy to our work.

Razor Ride makes an impact on people’s lives

People often say the most difficult choice a woman makes is when she decides to leave her abusive husband. GriefLine begs to differ – it is the first of many challenging decisions she will have to make for herself and her children. If the social stigma attached to a single...
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Funds needed for Victoria Police counselling program

GriefLine is looking for funding to continue its service to support people who have experienced sudden death and trauma due to incidents which have involved police attendance. The service has been working with the Victorian Police’s outreach program since 2014. The referrals cover a wide range of incidents from performing...
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GriefLine attends inaugural Victims of Crime Awareness Day

The aftermath of the Bourke Street massacre saw 1,200 Victorians who either witnessed the scene or were affected by it contact the Victoria police. Many of them were referred by the police to GriefLine for counselling support. Kathy Wells, Manager of the Helpline and Bereavement Counsellor, was overwhelmed by the...
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Chinese counselling service to begin in 2018

GriefLine’s Chinese counselling service will get under way in 2018 to coincide with the Chinese New Year. The service will be led by Hao Wu, who came to Australia from Nanjing as an international student in 2006. GriefLine was his first social work placement, and he is now a counsellor...
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Japanese counselling service starts

GriefLine has started a Japanese Counselling Service as part of its commitment to supporting people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through loss and grief. Dr Kaori Shimoinba is leading the service. She is a lecturer at Monash University, and a member of Palliative Care Nurse Australia, Japanese Cancer Nurse...
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Ten tips to get through the holiday season

Grieving the loss of a loved one is a difficult challenge at any time but the holiday season can magnify a sense of loss and a painful reminder of the absence of a loved one. With a plan, however, the season can also provide ways to focus on good memories...
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Christmas can be lonely if you are grieving

Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year even if there are family and friends around to share the celebrations and family gatherings. GriefLine volunteers are already fielding calls from anxious Australians who are scared about how they will manage the festive season. “Often the calls are...
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Christmas is not always joyful

Dear Friends Welcome to our last newsletter of 2017. As you will read, the GriefLine team is passionate about finding new ways of supporting all Australians through loss and grief. Our service is crucial for so many Australians. This last year alone we received 52,000 calls from individuals about a...
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‘Born in One Country, Dying in Another – Power of Story’

The ‘Born in One Country, Dying in Another – Power of Story’ seminar held on Wednesday 13 September, was a showcase of stories from the Chinese and Indian communities with other community leaders and GriefLine volunteers. The speakers provided insight into their experiences in the community, the challenges in both...
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Ageing parents seek a listening ear

An increasing number of ageing parents are calling GriefLine about the stress and worry that comes with looking after a child with poor mental health. According to Kathy Wells, Manager Helpline & Bereavement Counsellor, the incidence of calls has increased over the year and appears to be spearheaded by the...
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New grant helps to extend children’s program

GriefLine is set to expand its children and youth counselling program, thanks to a $30,000 grant. The three-year grant will enable GriefLine to re-start the What About Me program, run an awareness campaign about GriefLine and its programs in schools, and, eventually, extend the service to another day. Susan Mathew,...
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Ray Chamberlain, Co-Founder, The Chamberlain Foundation

“I have chosen to embark on the challenge of cycling 600+ km’s from Docklands Stadium in Melbourne through the heart of regional Victoria and back home to Melbourne”. The Razor ride is a signature event of the Chamberlain Foundation, which I started with my brothers Peter and Brian to raise...
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Grief is an often-forgotten part of Mental Illness

GriefLine’s counsellors are already gearing up for additional calls as Mental Health Week (8 – 14 October 2017) approaches. Although media focus attention is usually on the ‘illness’ itself, grief is rarely discussed in public. We know from our work that many people who suffer from mental illness also experience...
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Trivia Night a great success

Around 150 people turned out on a blustery evening at the South Oakleigh Club to take part in GriefLine’s annual trivia night. All proceeds from the night are going towards children experiencing trauma from domestic violence or those who have lost a parent to cancer. From start to end, the...
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The good and difficult reality of being a migrant

The recent Census results highlight a changing Australia, with one quarter of Australians born overseas and an increasing number in Asia and not Europe. The statistic tells many stories but what it does not show is the reality of being a migrant in Australia, and what that means when it...
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Born in One Country Dying in Another – The Power of Story

The impact of a dual nationality, together with differences in culture, become more noticeable as migrants age, according to GriefLine’s CEO Catherine Cini. This complex topic is the subject of a GriefLine seminar and panel discussion on 13 September. Born in One Country Dying in Another provides an opportunity for...
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Hao Wu puts study into reality

Hao Wu is a familiar face and voice around GriefLine. As a volunteer, Hao is a telephone counsellor and he also works closely with others to set up a specific telephone counselling service for Chinese migrants. Hao came to Australia from Nanjing as an international student in 2006, studying Bachelor...
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How does family violence affect children?

One in four children experience or witness family violence. Children’s exposure to family violence can take many forms, including: being subjected to deliberate or accidental violence overhearing violence intervening on behalf of a parent or other person, and experiencing the aftermath of violence, such as being cared for by a...
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GriefLine’s children’s program turns a life around

It is difficult being a teenager at the best of times but when you have directly experienced family violence and seen your mother beaten, teenage years become more difficult. Susan Mathew, Children and Family Counsellor, sees many teenagers but of all of them, there is one young 15-year-old who reminds...
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From the CEO

The promise of spring and new beginnings is in the air. It is always wonderful to see buds blossoming on trees, feel the warmth of sunshine on our backs, and watch people smile at each other and take time to sit in the park. With spring brings hope, and that...
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Clea De Vries – volunteer grief counsellor

Clea De Vries is a GriefLine volunteer. She reflects on her experiences six months on: “I originally came to GriefLine because I was looking for a volunteer helpline work to support my transition into a career in counselling. I am particularly drawn to trauma because I feel that post-traumatic stress disorder...
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Using positive memories to cope with loss and grief

Think of a recent positive memory of being with another person. Move around the memory, engaging all senses as you do. Let it broaden in your mind. Where are you? What do you see? Turn your focus on the other person. Focus on his or her face. What do you...
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Supporting the Victoria Police with their community outreach

GriefLine has been working with the Victorian Police and their outreach program since 2014 by supporting people who have experienced sudden death and trauma. The referrals are to support witnesses, family, friends or anyone associated with incidents which have involved police attendance. Kathy Wells, Manager of the Helpline and Bereavement...
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Establishing a strong and robust volunteer program

When it comes to establishing a strong and robust volunteer program, there is no better person to share insights than Kathy Wells, Manager Helpline & Bereavement Counsellor. Kathy spoke recently at a conference hosted by Volunteering Victoria about the rigour behind GriefLine’s volunteer program, and especially the screening process. “One...
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More Than A Trivia Night

Date: Saturday, August 5th, 2017 Time: 6.30 -10.30 Venue: South Oakleigh Club, 1 Victor Road, East Bentleigh, Vic 3165 Cost: $24 per head Light supper provided. Drinks at bar price Make up a table of 10 or join a table. Bookings essential – jennyf@griefline.org.au. Tel. (03) 9935 7444.   Our annual trivia...
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Our logo

Have you ever wondered what the story behind our logo is? It is a listening shell, moving from dark to light, to symbolise the eventual healing process.

From the Executive Director – Grief is masked

Everyone suffers grief in different ways. For children, the grief is masked by silence especially at school. Girls often withdraw from school while boys behave badly or show up late. Our children’s program is designed to support and encourage people aged four to 18 to recognise and talk about their...
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GriefLine giving circle

GriefLine is looking to establish a giving circle program to grow donations and supporters. Giving Circles are an increasingly popular form of encouraging supporters to give regularly, become more involved in understanding the issues and ‘wicked’ problems that organisations like GriefLine are trying to solve. The GriefLine Giving Circle will...
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Join the Razor Ride for a life changing experience

The Razor Ride is back in 2017, and once again is supporting GriefLine and R U OK Day. Starting in the Docklands in Melbourne and running from the 20 to 25 November 2017, this years’ fully supported event will take riders through some of Victoria’s most iconic cycling locations including...
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Spotlight on Linda Hamilton

Linda Hamilton became a GriefLine volunteer in September 2015. Like many volunteers, she has been touched by loss and grief. In her case, it was the premature death of her third child. While in hospital in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, she was deeply moved by the compassionate care of...
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Leadership for a volunteer organisation

What is the role of a leadership team in building a resilient, sustainable and productive volunteer workforce? Kathy Wells, GriefLine’s Manager Helpline & Bereavement Counsellor, is presenting at Volunteering Victoria’s conference in June on how GriefLine’s leadership team has built a sustainable volunteer program over the past 30 years. Volunteers...
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Federal Budget Offers Little for Volunteering

Volunteering has been sidelined this year in the Federal Budget, according to Catherine Cini, CEO of GriefLine. “While GriefLine recognises that $10 million has been allocated towards volunteer grants for 2017 – 2018, this funding does not acknowledge the backroom work undertaken to ensure effective volunteering,” she said. There are...
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Saving Face: Support for the ageing Chinese community

GriefLine is set to expand its helpline to support the ageing Chinese community, thanks to funding by the Kingston Charitable Fund, a charitable fund account of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. The new program builds on the organisation’s extensive experience supporting migrants, refugees and international students from Greek and Italian,...
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A snapshot of our past

We were established in 1987 with bipartisan support by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, and operated as part of the outreach department at Caulfield’s Bethlehem Hospital. By 2007, GriefLine became an independent, not-for-profit organisation, continuing its essential work of counselling those in need but growing in the...
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From the CEO

GriefLine turns 30 this year, an anniversary that provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our achievements as well as rue the fact that our services are more vital than ever. Over the past 30 years we have supported hundreds of thousands of people across Australia who come to...
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