Faith Representation in the Victorian Public Health System
Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy
The Mission Statement of the Healthcare Chaplaincy Council of Victoria Inc. reads:
“The HCCVI is committed to providing quality leadership and education in the strategic development, promotion and provision of spirituality, chaplaincy and pastoral care in Victorian healthcare services”.
Seeking to increase the representation of the HCCVI Council according to a broader, multi-faith paradigm, the HCCVI approached the Orthodox Churches in Australia – Greek Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox – to discuss the allocation of funding for “the provision of religious services, spiritual counsel, pastoral care and education within public hospitals and healthcare” (FSA). The funding was made available by the Department of Health, State Government of Victoria.
On 23rd April, 2012 a Funding Service Agreement between the HCCVI and the Orthodox Churches was signed. The numerically larger Jurisdictions, namely the Greek Orthodox and Serbian Orthodox Churches, agreed to combine their allocated funding and appoint an Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy Co-ordinator to fulfil the requirements of the Funding Service Agreement, on behalf of all Orthodox Christian Churches in Victoria.
Mr Daniel Bellis, graduate of St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, was appointed to fulfil the role of Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy Co-ordinator in early May, 2012. His appointment was ratified by the Third Episcopal Assembly of Oceania (2012), as was the formation of an Orthodox Christian Chaplaincy Council of Victoria, with the aim of the Council being oversight of the activities of the Chaplaincy Co-ordinator.
Activities of Faith Representation in the Victorian Public Health System
• Various roles of the Orthodox Christian Chaplaincy Co-ordinator include: introduction of new Orthodox Christian denominational chaplains to Pastoral Care Departments/ support of existing Orthodox Christian denominational chaplains; maintenance of up-to-date lists of on-call Orthodox Christian clergy within hospitals; liaison point between Pastoral/ Spiritual Care departments and Orthodox Christian Churches, including complaints resolution.
• The Co-ordinator of Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy allocates a significant, regular portions of time to visit the following major Melbourne Metropolitan Hospitals:
• The Royal Melbourne Hospital
• The Royal Women’s Hospital
• The Royal Children’s Hospital
• The Alfred Hospital
• St Vincent’s Hospital
• Southern Health
• Monash Medical Centre – Clayton
• Dandenong Hospital
• Eastern Health – Box Hill Hospital
• Western Health
• Footscray Hospital
• Sunshine Hospital
• Austin Health
• Austin Hospital
• The Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
• Northern Health – Epping
• Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute
• Training of Orthodox Christian Pastoral Care Volunteers, according to the standards of the Healthcare Chaplaincy Council of Victoria Inc.
• Placement of trained Orthodox Christian Pastoral Care Volunteers within the Victorian Public Hospital system, enabling them to visit Orthodox Christian patients of all Jurisdictions, and complement the existing Pastoral and Sacramental role of Ordained Orthodox Christian Clergy.
• Personal supervision of Orthodox Christian Pastoral Care Volunteers, and Co-ordination of Information/ Professional Development Days.
The Co-ordinator of Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy is currently an active member of the following Committees:
• Member of the Healthcare Chaplaincy Council of Victoria - as Co-ordinator of Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy.
• Member of the Northern Hospital Spiritual Advisory Board – as Co-ordinator of Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy.
• Member of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute Human Research Ethics Committee – as a Pastoral Care representative.
• The Healthcare Chaplaincy Council of Victoria Inc., successful in a grant application to the Victorian Multicultural Commission, has requested the participation of the Orthodox Christian Churches in a multi-faith project ‘Informing Spiritual Care Practitioners in Healthcare of the Traditions and Spiritual Needs Relating to World Religions’. The Orthodox Hospital Chaplaincy Co-ordinator will be one of six presenters as “a person authorised by their tradition, [who can] focus on key reference points in their faith tradition, the resource that tradition is for people when they are ill, and what spiritual needs may need to be identified and responded to”. The presentation will take place over an entire day; the date is as yet unspecified.
• The Orthodox Hospital Chaplaincy Co-ordinator is currently undergoing further training on a part-time basis in the Clinical Pastoral Education method. The ultimate, long-term, goal of this training is for the Chaplaincy Co-ordinator to receive accreditation in the CPE method as a Supervisor - Level 2, according to the requirements of the Association for Supervised Pastoral Education in Australia. This will enable the Chaplaincy Co-ordinator to offer CPE in a way intentionally sensitive to the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. To date no Orthodox Christian person has ever reached the level of accredited CPE Supervisor.
• To develop training and support programs for newly ordained and long-time Orthodox Christian clergy in Pastoral Care and Hospital/ Aged Care visitation.
For further information please contact:
Mr Daniel Bellis
221 Dorcas st, South Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia, 3205.
MB: 0437 565 743
WK: (03) 9245 9010