MEET ROSEMARY

Director & Founder, Rosemary Wanganeen

Griefologist – Clinical Loss & Grief Counsellor-General Public & EAP provider; Facilitator; Program Designer; Assessor; Public Speaker; Consultant for research projects etc.
Cert IV Training & Assessment (2003)
Canditure: Master of Philosophy – University of Adelaide (2018-2022)

As a Griefologist Rosemary is a specialist.  She is a qualified educator & assessor, program designer and facilitator, loss & grief counselor, public speaker and a published author.  The foundation to these abilities derives from her lived experiences of grieving through her personal loss and grief from 1987-1992.  During her personal grieving journey she set up the Sacred Site Within Healing Centre in 1993.

Rosemary is a proud South Australian Aboriginal woman with ancestry and ancestral links to Kaurna of the Adelaide Plains and Wirringu from the West Coast. After the Death of their beloved mother, Rosemary and six of her eight siblings became part of the Stolen Generation. It’s a traumatic story, but by reconnecting with her Spiritual Ancestors, Rosemary managed to survive the many years of loss, grief and fear.

Years later, as an intuitive researcher and respected academic trying to make sense of her experience, Rosemary had a life-changing epiphany. She realised her own contemporary loss and unresolved grief was compounding and complicating the broader, systemic cultural losses and unresolved grief that all Aboriginal people have experienced since invasion/colonisation. She saw how all Aboriginal Australians – an entire community – was being funnelled into disadvantage.

Rosemary utilised this intuitive research to develop a new and innovative academic cultural methodology. She reframed the deficit western construct of ‘Aboriginal disadvantage’ and re-classify it under the umbrella of Griefology. The unique and innovative model she personally developed – The Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief© – is the path to Aboriginal prosperity.

Working in the space of health, welfare and social justice for Aboriginal people, Rosemary has nearly 30 years’ experience. Between 1986-1988, Rosemary worked as an advocate and full-time research officer in the Committee to Defend Black Rights (CDBR). In the Sydney office, she campaigned vigorously for a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. CDBR became instrumental in forcing the Hawke government into calling for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC 1988-1991).

As an Aboriginal research officer, she worked in the Adelaide office of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1988-1991), while at the same time, still grieving and healing from her own personal lived experiences. Combining her work, her studies and her personal lived experiences, Rosemary developed the holistic and culturally safe and appropriate framework: The Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief©.

The Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief© model was strengthened by studying with Bereavement Educational Services (SA) in 1994 and with COPE (SA) in Counseling Basics and Counseling Strategies in 1991.

Rosemary has come to the realise that loss and inter-generational suppressed unresolved grief is the basis of so many of the challenges that beset contemporary Aboriginal people as individuals, families, communities and as a race of people. It was also the cause of many of the barriers that contribute to a fear of participation in society and accessing help from mainstream services.

Over 30 years Rosemary has become widely recognised for her expertise and successes in bi-cultural training and griefology. Her work is gaining growing attention and respect from academics and health professionals alike. The Seven Phases to Integrating Loss and Grief© is published in reputable articles and papers about her research, theories and methodologies and her work has featured in several specialist journals.

Rosemary is now renowned nationally and internationally as a public speaker for conferences, seminars and round table talks. Her compelling works pertain to Griefology which pervades the lives of all Aboriginal people and therefore matters to the healing potential for all Australians.

Awards &
Accolades

NITV: Our Stories Our Way – SBS Documentary (2017)
Outstanding Health Project/Program – Aboriginal Health Council (SA) NAIDOC Health Awards 2016
Australian Ethnic Award Nomination 2012
Recipient of Gladys Elphick Award 2011
Winner: South Australian of the Year 2009 – Community Award
Telstra Businesswoman of the Year – Nomination 2000
ZontaClub of Adelaide – Women of Achievement Award South Australia 2000
ICAM –Living Black. SBS Documentary Indigenous Unit 1999

As a Griefologist, Rosemary’s proudest moment came in 2018 when the University of Adelaide awarded her with the professional accolade of Master of Philosophy.