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Title: Report: Eighth International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society
Contributor(s): Chaplin, Dawn (author); Kerslake, Debbie (author); Glassock, Geoffrey (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1080/02682620808657729
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Abstract: This well-constructed and thought-provoking conference was hosted by the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement in Melbourne and it attracted 680 delegates from 15 countries. The overarching theme of the conference was resilience, and complications in the grief experience. Australia's forefathers have shown incredible resilience in the face of adversity over the last 200 years, and the conference opened by offering thanks to them. Each morning and afternoon session began with a personal reflection from a bereaved relative which provided a powerful focus to the day and helped give meaning to the research, though it often proved difficult for members of the audience to compose themselves and focus on the keynote speech which immediately followed. The opening account was by Walter Mikac who lost his wife and two children in the Port Arthur gun massacre in Tasmania in which 34 people died. He talked of the choices he faced and the resilient path he took that has resulted in changes in Tasmanian gun laws. We teach children about the birds and the bees, but we also need to be teaching them about when the birds and the bees stop flying. Beverley Raphael then gave a powerful keynote speech to focus those present on the essence of the conference. Her excellent overview of death, loss and life highlighted current and past research themes. She discussed key aspects which have received attention since the publication, in 1985, of her book 'The Anatomy of Bereavement'. These included the issue of whether grief is a psychiatric disorder, grief as psychological trauma, social construction and cultural aspects of grief.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Bereavement Care, 27(3), p. 55-57
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0268-2621
Field of Research (FOR): 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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