Topic: Meaningful Life in Context

Day: Monday 19 October 2020

Time:  1:50pm-2:30pm AEDT


Living a meaningful, purposeful life is essential to an ‘amazing ageing experience’. Within aged care, emphasis is often placed upon physical health, however UnitingSA’s Meaningful Life model ensures that emotional and spiritual health are also prioritised as vital aspects of an individual’s wellbeing.

This presentation explores how an organisation operating for over 100 years approaches spiritual and pastoral care within our residential aged care and community home care services. UnitingSA Minister, Rev. Dr. Leslie Underwood will discuss why spirituality is integral to, but not confined by religion, and how UnitingSA’s pastoral and spiritual care program personalises support and activities to meet an individual’s unique life experiences and beliefs.

Learn about our team of trained Pastoral Practitioners and Volunteers, made up of Christian Ministers, Buddhists, Lay, Sufi, Protestant and Catholic Chaplains. The team is committed to continuous professional growth through UnitingSA’s Clinical Pastoral Education program, which attracts individuals from all walks of life, careers and spiritual backgrounds. Knowledge and skills developed through such education is shared with those delivering clinical and personal care, to ensure spirituality is not overlooked in everyday encounters.

UnitingSA’s spiritual and pastoral care program (shaped by the Meaningful Life model) places residents and the people we support at the centre of our work. Diversity is celebrated, which motivates our team to collaborate, innovate and facilitate a more holistic ageing experience for consumers. This work encapsulates and builds towards UnitingSA’s vision for ‘a compassionate, respectful and just community where all people participate and flourish’.




Reverend Doctor Leslie Underwood is currently the Minister at UnitingSA – a non-for-profit organisation delivering community, housing and aged care services for over 100 years. He’s is also the director and supervisor of UnitingSA’s Clinical Pastoral Education centre. Les has tertiary qualifications in ministry, theology, palliative care and chaplaincy. He has experience working within five missions across New South Wales and South Australia. He has also worked across tertiary education, hospital chaplaincy, aged and palliative care roles. Les has been a passionate member of many church committees and also served on numerous Boards and Councils.