Palliative Care NSW Volunteer Support Services Programme
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Creative response to bereavement in Goulburn

See the original story by David Cole in the Goulburn Post 14th August 2017.

Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) and the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery will be hosting a Memory Box workshop on Saturday, August 26 for people experiencing a bereavement.

Bereavement Councillor Chris McCabe will lead participants through a meaningful process of creating a Memory Box to capture memories and forge a connection to the deceased.

STARTS executive officer Susan Conroy said the workshop is designed for people who are bereaved and would like to use a Memory Box or a Shadow Box.

Mrs Conroy said the workshop was about working with people around grief and loss.

“A number of people in the region have experienced major family loss – that rocks that family and communities,” she said.

“There are not a lot of resources to deal with grief in rural communities.

“The purpose is to use their creativity to make a tangible container for memories, objects, a link to the deceased. This may be completed or not on the day, may get changed, may have objects placed in it and changed again.”

She said a pre-group assessment involved a phone chat to get the basic details and discern if this is the appropriate time for someone to do the workshop.

“How raw/new their bereavement is, what draws them to the workshop, how they might feel being with other bereaved people and potential emotions/previous experience in groups or with art making (eg: if a bad experience in school) will be discussed,” Mrs Conroy said.

“Chris will let people know a little of the process of the day, what they can think about to bring and generally get a sense of them.”

Participants should bring: a bring a photo or piece of memorabilia, a box or shadow box if they have anything they want to use.

“People are encouraged to bring things about the person photos object that speak about the person who has died and is still being mourned,” she said.

These boxes can be cardboard, sturdy shoe boxes, wooden boxes, tins or shadow boxes.

“Participants can bring their own materials or anything else that they treasure, speaks to them, objects, letters, photo’s, funeral booklets,” she said.

“It is an experience where the box might be finished, might be a work in progress and might get changed down the track.”

This is a joint project developed by Southern Tablelands Arts and the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.

The day-long workshop will be run at the gallery from 9.30am to 4pm. Morning and afternoon tea and a light lunch will be provided.

To register your interest please contact Giselle on 4823 4407 (Mon – Thurs) or email:

Pic: STARTS executive officer Susan Conroy said the Memory Box workshop is designed to assist people who have suffered a bereavement.

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