Lisa’s desire to demystify and normalise the process of death and dying started when she was young, after experiencing several significant deaths in her family. Lisa was the caregiver to her teenage sister, Wendy, throughout her journey with a terminal illness.
Through the extended period of exploring treatment and end of life options, Lisa experienced how access to information, education and choices
was empowering to both the dying and their loved ones.
When her vibrant and promising sister died, Lisa reflected upon the experience and realised she had ‘companioned’ her through the end of life stages. Lisa had been with her sister throughout the diagnosis of advanced-stage cancer, exploring treatment options, holistic care, bedside vigils to funeral preparation and a home wake. For Lisa, there was clarity that entire transitional journey from life to death should be supported.
Lisa wrote a book Many Rivers to Cross about her caregiving journey with Wendy. The brutally honest and compelling story chronicles the challenges of living while
dying, along with the demands of being a caregiver. Since her beloved sister’s
death, Lisa has developed her career around providing heart-centred support,
care and advocacy for individuals at the end of life and their loved ones.
Lisa is a qualified counsellor, has a post-graduate qualification in palliative care and is a member of the Australian Funeral Celebrants Association. She has worked as a funeral director, volunteered with hospices and those living with chronic illness, along with hosting Death Cafes. Lisa is a life-longer learner, consistently upskilling with diverse reading, industry-relevant training, workshops and professional development.
A Gold Coast local, Lisa is educating and supporting those in her community in dealing with end of life process. Her work also includes providing being a life transition celebrant for funeral and memorial services and encouraging others through grief and loss. Lisa sees supporting others at the end of life as the most fulfilling and affirming role she could carry out.