Reverend Melanie Moore awarded Best of Care

July 17, 2023

Reverend Melanie Moore, Anglican and Palliative Care Chaplain at Northern Health, was recently awarded the Best of Care Award 2023 by Spiritual Care Australia (SCA).

Melanie was presented with this honour at the SCA Conference in June for her best practice and excellence within the spiritual care sector. SCA is the professional association of practitioners in spiritual care, pastoral care and chaplaincy.

“I feel humbled and honoured. I didn’t even have an acceptance speech written as I was doubtful I would win. I am thankful for being nominated and for working with such wonderful people across many disciplines within Northern Health,” she said.

Melanie has been delivering spiritual care since 2004, and since 2006 at Northern Health, where she promotes spiritual wellbeing and continuity of care to a diverse range of patients, their support network, and staff.

As the Anglican and Palliative Care Chaplain at Northern Health, Melanie spends most of her time in the Palliative Care Unit at Northern Hospital Epping, supporting the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of patients, their loved ones and staff. As an Anglican priest, she also supports patients who request rituals in the Anglican faith tradition and leads bereavement support service to care for the next of kin patient who have died on the ward.

“The role is varied, and I love it. The rewards are numerous. I absolutely love the way that person-centred listening, compassion, and support can bring hope, peace and resilience for our patients and their support people,” Melanie said.

“A great reward is working with such dedicated staff who share my love in caring for and supporting others – it’s not just a job.”

Melanie says a common misconception about the Spiritual Care department is that it only offers faith rituals to those who identify with a faith tradition, and chats with “lonely” patients. While this is true, the department offers much more.

“Spiritual Carers are trained and accredited to assess and support individuals’ spiritual and emotional needs in the form of a supportive presence, conversations, rituals and ceremonies and supply sacred texts and resources,” she said.

“We respect and support individuals’ belief systems and values. A hospital admission can challenge deeply held beliefs, life meaning, and purpose. Our team is available to support individuals as they seek to process and integrate their experiences, and we refer to support services as required.”

Reflecting on her award, Melanie says her close-knit team inspires her to do her best every day.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful people I work with – our small but mighty Spiritual Care team and the Palliative Care Multidisciplinary team. You inspire me,” she said.

Natalia Dewiyani, Spiritual Care Coordinator, said it was a privilege to work alongside Melanie.

“She has dedicated herself to Northern Health for 17 years. Winning the national award is an outstanding achievement and a testament of her excellence care and dedication. Her knowledge, wisdom, skills and most importantly, her caring heart, is an invaluable asset for us and Northern Health. Congratulations Mel, you truly deserve it,” she said.

Dr Cheryl Holmes OAM, Chief Executive Officer, Spiritual Health Australia, said Melanie exemplifies the standard of spiritual care that should be in place across every health service.

“Congratulations Melanie on this recognition for your work as part of the Northern Health Spiritual Care team,” she said.

On behalf of everyone at Northern Health, we give Melanie a big congratulations on this significant achievement. Thank you for all the work you do for our patients and their loved ones.

Featured image: Northern Health Spiritual Carers Kelly Pinto and Reverend Melanie Moore with Natalia Dewiyani, Spiritual Care Coordinator.