On Thursday 22 March, VMCH CEO Sonya Smart hosted the inaugural ‘Long Table Talk’ at St Joseph’s Mews in Hawthorn.
Established to provide VMCH staff members from across Victoria to have conversations that matter to our organisation and sector, the topic of conversation was Montessori, the VMCH Way.
Special guest Anne Kelly presented her thoughts on Montessori and her ongoing passion for training others in this person-centred practice.
Traditionally associated with early childhood development, Montessori is a philosophy developed to enable individuals to be as independent as possible, to have a meaningful place in community, and have high self-esteem, to make choices and meaningful contributions to their community.
While rollout continues across VMCH, dinner guests joined in the conversation on how implementation was impacting staff and managers.
Louise Care, from VMCH’s Bundoora aged care residence, says the gathering was a good opportunity to discuss how Montessori was working at other sites and to share learnings from the past months.
“There are definitely challenges in doing anything new. Many of these are around staffing and rostering to support the flexibility needed for Montessori. We have noticed such a difference in clients though, so the efforts are well worth it.”
Sonya sees the #longtabletalk conversations as a good way to highlight current issues which affect all staff at VMCH.
“Our next #longtabletalk will be discussing the impending Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation which will come into practice in June 2019. I’ll be interested to hear how staff members are feeling about the new laws and how we will ensure our clients are provided with the best palliative care possible.”