Day 1 - Monday 28 October

Location: Old Parliament House

Morning session

  • 8.30 - 8.45am Morning Reflections
  • 8.45am: Welcome
  • 9:00am - 9:30am Welcome from Rt Rev'd Professor Stephen Pickard
  • 9:30am - 10.30am Keynote 1
Keynote 1 sponsored byKeynote

Hammond Care
Keynote 1: Professor John Swinton "Re-imagining Personhood: Dementia, Culture and Citizenship"


The issue of personhood and what it means to be a human being sits at the heart of the many of the conversations around dementia. For the most part the focus has been on philosophy and theology as a way of thinking about personhood. However, citizenship (in combination with the other two) offers much potential to facilitate positive and creative conversations around issues of personhood and humanness. Asking the question: What does it mean for all citizens within our country to live well and flourish helps us to think about dementia not as a problem to be solved, but a life to be lived and lived well. This presentation will explore citizenship as an aspect of personhood with a particular focus on spirituality and the creation of creative cultures of care.
  • 10.30am - 11.00am: Morning tea provided
  • 11.00am - 12.30pm: Concurrent Paper sessions
  • 12.30pm - 1.30pm: Lunch provided and poster presenters

Afternoon session

  • 1.30pm - 2.30pm: Keynote 2
Keynote 2 sponsored byKeynote

Keynote 2: Dr Robyn Wrigley-Carr "Corporate Worship for People with Dementia: stimulating the senses and rituals"

In this session, von Hügel’s three “Elements of Religion” is used as the theoretical schema for exploring corporate worship for people with dementia. Crudely put, the “Intellectual Element” is rational, head knowledge of God, the “Mystical Element” is personal, experiential, “mystical” experiences of God, and the “Institutional Element” includes embodied, sacramental, communal aspects of knowing God. I argue that the best way to respond to the diminution of the “Intellectual Element” for people with dementia is to increase the attention and nurture we give to the other two “Elements” - the “Mystical” and the “Institutional.” In particular, focusing upon the “Institutional Element” (stimulation of the senses, religious rituals and communal aspects), has the potential to enhance experiences of God for people with dementia during corporate worship.

von Hügel argued that “the spirit is stimulated through the senses” and that the primary functions of Church are adoration of God and “awakening souls” - reminding them of the life beyond the grave. In this session we explore ways of “awakening” people with dementia through chapel services that are more accessible and meaningful through sense stimulation and rituals. I will present my research as a participant-observer at weekly chapel services at an aged care home. Having interviewed residents after those chapel services, we will also explore their expressed experiences of chapel, and their suggestions for creative ways forward to help enrich their corporate worship.

  • 2.30pm - 3.00pm: Afternoon tea provided
  • 3.00pm - 4:30pm: Concurrent Workshop sessions
  • 6.30pm - late: Conference Dinner
  Dinner Address
Dr Alan Niven  'What ritual teaches us about life, humour and ageing: Or should that be the other way round?' By Dr Alan Niven

In 2016 Alan concluded his lecturing role after over 30 years within the University of Divinity (Pastoral and Family Studies - Stirling College) and recently retired as Director of Research at Stirling. Continuing research, doctoral supervision and networking interests include: chaplaincy and spiritual care education; pastoral and spiritual care in the context of ageing; grief and loss, palliative care and bereavement studies; pastoral ministry supervision - formation and training. He is currently supervising and consulting within the Human Ageing Project, University of Divinity, Melbourne.

Last updated 24 September 2019