Humanist Care and Chaplaincy
ACTHS is keen to contribute in positive ways to our local community and is continually exploring ways to support Humanists who wish to be involved in positive and caring community work.
One area where ACTHS does this is through our Humanist Community Worker Humanist Care policy. Humanist Care can involve a range of activities including listening, empathising, caring and providing non-judgemental support for people who need it. One way to support members of the broader community is by simply offering an empathic and non-judgemental ear. People who are lonely, isolated, undergoing stressful situations, or simply in need of some human contact can benefit from someone offering to be an empathic and non-judgemental listener; to be a witness to the dignity and worth of the person being listened to.
Many different terms can be used to describe this type of social support. It could be called an intentional friendship, empathic or social care and support, or something else. Over time the goal of the ACTHS is to be able to offer this type of support to any people in the community who need it.
Currently this type of support, when it is available in society, is usually offered in an institutional setting, such as a hospital, prison, aged-care facility or university, and mostly offered by religiously motivated people. Such people are usually referred to as pastoral care workers, spiritual support workers or as chaplains.
While ACTHS’ long term goal is to develop humanist concepts of care and compassion rather than simply borrow existing categories, in the short term it is easier to support humanists into existing roles such as Chaplaincy roles.
Currently the ACTHS supports Humanists in Chaplaincy roles in three major Canberra Institutions; the Australian National University, University of Canberra and the Canberra Hospital.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Chaplain or similar type of volunteer, please use the contact form on this website to let us know of your interest.
If you would like to talk to one of our Chaplains (whether or not you have a connection to one of the institutions they are attached to) please see the contact details below:
Humanist Chaplain at ANU and UC – Geoff Ballard
Humanist Chaplain at Canberra Hospital – Lyndon Storey
Phone: 0432 938 739