Eleven new Hindu Spiritual Carers (Chaplains) certified in Victoria

By: Makarand Bhagwat, Victoria Chapter of Hindu Council of Australia.

Hindu Council of Australia in Victoria today proudly certified 11 Volunteer Spiritual Carers (Chaplains). This team of 11 volunteers went through a 20 hour training based on the guidelines of Spiritual Health Victoria ( now called as Spiritual Health  Association Ltd from 1 July 2019) and a 1000 word essay by each volunteer on why they want to become a spiritual health carer.
Each team member is now formally accredited to work in the Victorian Health Care system, to provide spiritual care to Hindu patients.
The event took place at the ISKCON temple at Albert Park in Melbourne and HCA (Vic) thanks Shri Bhakta Dasa of ISKCON Melbourne, to provide facilities for this event and also a delicious lunch/prasad after the event at the temple. HCA (Vic) would like to thank ISKCON for providing this facility.
Ms Cheryl Holmes, OAM and CEO of Spiritual Health Victoria was the chief guest at this event and awarded the certificates to the qualified volunteers. Makarand Bhagwat, Director, HCA (Vic) presided over the event.
This brings to a total of 24 volunteer health care providers under HCA(Vic) in Melbourne metro.
As a next step, each volunteer will complete a Police Check and Working With Children Check to make them ready for providing services.
All Pastoral Care Managers/Coordinators in major hospitals in Melbourne will soon be informed about the strength of Hindu Chaplains. HCA (Vic) will provide information flyers at all major hospitals in Melbourne metro about caring of Hindu patients which is expected to generate more requests for these services.
Each certified chaplain spoke briefly about their aspirations on providing these voluntary service to the wider Hindu community.
Every volunteer was awarded a Certificate, an ID, and a small kit containing a copy of the sacred Bhagvad Geeta, a neck scarf and a 108 beads mala which they can use during their visit to a patient.

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