History

Based on an approach developed in the palliative care setting, Beyond Words builds on the work first developed by Ivan Lichter at Te Omanga Hospice, New Zealand who invited members of the professional care team to help their patients to tell and record their life story.

Seeing the great value of the approach and potential for community volunteers to contribute, Jenny Kearney OAM developed the Client Biography Service for Eastern Palliative Care which has enjoyed much success, including receiving a United Nation’s Award for innovation in volunteering.

Francis Icasiano, a volunteer trained in the palliative care service and a project manager for aged and palliative care projects, together with Jenny Kearney set up Beyond Words, translating volunteer-based biography to the aged care setting as an independent not-for-profit initiative.  Beyond Words continues to thrive and grow in the Melbourne metropolitan area under the leadership of Carol Walker – Operations Manager and Wendy Shiels – Program Director bringing the benefits of the storytelling process to residents, families, volunteers, aged care staff and the community.

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