The LGPA functions under the auspices of Jesuit Social Services. The LGPA is not an incorporated association, so we have developed operational guidelines so it is clear how things work and how the Association is managed. This is a summary; a full copy of the guidelines are available.
What is the LGPA?
The LGPA is a peak body for specialist loss, grief and bereavement practitioners, volunteers and students working in the field of loss and grief. The LGPA is guided by Vision, Mission Statements and clearly articulated Aims and Objectives of the Association.
Origins of the LGPA
The National Association for Loss and Grief was a not-for-profit association that was first established in 1977 following the Granville train disaster in New South Wales. The National Association for Loss and Grief (Vic) (NALAG Vic) was established in October 1977 and was involved in community education, professional development and education for practitioners, and accreditation of clinical members. NALAG Vic became insolvent and went into liquidation on 13 May 2013.
Following discussions between Jesuit Social Services and GriefLine and a survey of practitioners it was established that there was interest from those working in the field to meet together for professional development and support.
Relationship with Jesuit Social Services
Jesuit Social Services has a commitment to be a social change organisation that fosters opportunities for capacity building, education, advocacy and leadership development. For some years Jesuit Social Services has demonstrated a commitment to the field of grief and bereavement with its specialist bereavement program, Support After Suicide. Following consultation, the Board of Jesuit Social Services agreed to support the development of a new Association for loss and grief practitioners.
It is envisaged that this Association will assist loss and grief practitioners to be better able to provide effective assistance to grieving, traumatised and bereaved people. While Jesuit Social Services is providing the administration of the finances, it has no financial interest in the Association, and will not benefit or profit from this arrangement. By auspicing the Association Jesuit Social Services is facilitating its establishment, but is open to the relationship with the Association changing in the future.
Structure of the LGPA
The LGPA is managed by the Establishment Committee under the auspices of Jesuit Social Services. The Committee is made up of interested members who have self-selected to work towards the formation and successful development of the LGPA.
A recommendation is to hold an Annual Meeting to report to members on the activities and financial status. It is a priority of the Committee to have at least one rural practitioner as a member and, given the relationship with Jesuit Social Services, it is recommended that at least two members of the Committee represent Jesuit Social Services.
An email address, postal address and phone number through Jesuit Social Services. Because there are limited administration resources, the preferred mode of contact is by email or post.
c. A website which will have a section for members. This will provide referral options, articles and resources, a regular newsletter to promote professional development opportunities, employment opportunities, group meetings, and profiles of organisations and practitioners.
d. Activities and events to be arranged at a cost to enable as many people as possible to attend. Effort will be made to ensure at least one of these will be held in a rural location.
e. Rural / regional events and interest groups. The Association will actively encourage the development of interest groups in rural and regional areas, as well as running professional development events in regional areas.
f. Bereavement Practitioners’ Discussion Group. This group was established in 2011 and has met in Melbourne every two months. It will continue to meet, but as a function of the LGPA.
Jesuit Social Services will provide financial administration and management for the LGPA. This includes receiving membership fees, registration fees for activities and from these monies arranging the payment of approved expenditure including website costs, venue costs and other costs associated with the activities of the Association.