Meet ACU Engagement team member Vivian Romero, read our latest news and find out about opportunities to get involved.
What are the benefits of Pastoral Care to hospital patients and aged care residents?
“She listened to me even though she had probably heard of all my troubles and cares many times. I feel she encourages me always. She is vitally necessary in my life. She puts so much effort and time into our spiritual needs” -Resident
Pastoral care offers a supportive and comforting presence to identify and accommodate a person’s spiritual needs. While pastoral care practitioners are employed throughout hospital and aged-care settings, there is limited empirical evidence of the benefits. There is also an absence of research in a large-scale, multi-organisational context. Therefore, ACU Engagement is partnering with seven organisations to examine hospital patients’ and aged care residents’ perceptions of their pastoral care experience. These organisations are Villa Maria Catholic Homes, Mercy Health, Southern Cross Care, BaptCare, Cabrini Health, St John of God, and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.
Our research specifically examines:
The perceived quality of pastoral care received by hospital patients and aged care residents
The perceived benefits of pastoral care received by hospital patients and aged care residents
Whether, and how, perceived quality and benefits of pastoral care differ between recipients based on characteristics such as religiosity, age and gender.
To date more than 500 surveys have been completed and the count continues! We are in the process of analysing data and look forward to providing a deeper understanding of the impact of pastoral care to hospital patients and aged care residents.
Donation opportunity - Melbourne
In the spirit of giving, Campus Ministry and ACU Engagement are hosting a sharing activity until Easter – please bring your unwanted but good condition household items to the Mezzanine area just outside Campus Ministry Melbourne so they can be made available to newly-arriving students and staff. Please bring items such as manchester (e.g. blankets, bedroom linen, pillows, towels) or kitchen items (e.g. cutlery, crockery, cups, mugs, serving ware). No electrical items accepted.
Meet Vivian Romero
Hello there. I am the Senior Research Officer for ACU Engagement. My official role is to evaluate the community engagement experiences of ACU students, staff, alumni and community stakeholders. But truly, what I like is gathering the colourful stories that emerge from our interactions within communities. My goal is to promote and celebrate the mutually beneficial acts to provide an understanding of what we do well and what we can do better.
Prior to joining ACU Engagement, I assisted in the creation of various stories in the Philippines, the UK and Australia: from green composting in the desert to responsible alcohol service community campaigns to spontaneous playful environments. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at the Environmental Design and Research Association Conference, the International Urban Design Conference, World Planning Schools Conference as well as several State of Australian Cities conferences. By collecting stories on how people perceive and use spaces and services, I can begin to necessitate visions and actions of what promotes enduring spaces of individual and communal wellbeing.
I’ve come to ACU to make a difference. Share with me your stories of how you engage with the community.
Opportunities to make a difference
Foodbank (NSW) Foodbank NSW is reliant on volunteers to help fight hunger, so your time volunteering will make a huge difference. Staff will be packing and sorting food to help feed those in need across NSW and the ACT. Contact us for dates and more information. Volunteers will need to make their own way to the Foodbank NSW and ACT Distribution Centre (50 Owen Street Glendenning).
Conversation Club (NSW) The Strathfield Conversation Club Program is a weekly program aimed at reducing social isolation and building confidence in conversational English for adults in the Strathfield Council Local Government Area who are from non-English speaking backgrounds. There will be opportunities for you to contribute to whole group and small group activities. If you are interested in coming along on a Thursday from 10am to 12pm to share stories and engage in conversations with participants of the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers will need to make their own way to Strathfield Main Library (65-67 Rochester Street, Homebush).
Chatterbox Café (NSW) Chatterbox Café is a weekly program for adults in the Strathfield Council Local Government Area looking to improve their English language skills. The program provides a friendly environment where participants are given the opportunity to build their social networks and improve their understanding of Australia and other cultures, while broadening their English language skills. If you are interested in helping participants with English-language related group activities, please email email@example.com
Volunteers will need to make their own way to Homebush Public School (Rochester Street, Homebush) and will require a valid Working With Children Clearance number prior to participating in the program.
For more information on, or to register your interest for, any of the above initiatives, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org