RESUME – Dr Annie Bolitho
My diverse work experience is based on my core strength as a facilitator with a reputation for not shying away from difficult conversations. I am the director of Kinship Ritual. Its key premise is: We can change the ways we meet end of life. We can meet it all face-to-face. By co-creating experiences that start from within, a ritual can begin with the first preparations.
I am the author of Death, a love project, a guide to exploring the life in death and finding the way together‘. II have worked as a consultant and manager in business, academia and the public sector. I have also worked a writer in the community arts field and as a celebrant for many years. You can find a career summary appended.
I offer the following services through Kinship Ritual and Annie Bolitho & Associates:
• funerals, memorials and vigils. One-to one facilitated conversations that explore the practical considerations for end of life in terms of preparations, relationship dynamics, a vigil, funeral, memorial• group facilitated conversations exploring advance care planning
• co-created group story writing on universal themes, and individual life story writing
• facilitated café-style conversations that enable people in professional settings to talk together, and explore the little discussed topic of death, for example with coHealth’s Victims’ Assistance program (2016) and at National Grief and Bereavement Conference (2016)
• organiser and celebrant/MC for ceremonies. I have a reputation as a thorough and attentive celebrant, with the capacity to keep myself out of the ceremony. The assistance I give to families is enhanced by experience and knowledge gained through training in home funerals with Final Passages and ongoing contact with the US National Home Funeral Alliance, membership of the Melbourne Natural Death Advocacy Network, and experience as a member of the Greater Metropolitan Cemetery Trust’s Community Advisory Committee.
• education on funeral options: green/eco, burial and cremations, vigils, memorials and products, for example with the Sustainable Living Festival (2012-2017)
My consultancy, Annie Bolitho & Associates focuses on end of life planning, preparation and education. As a consultant I draw on extensive background as an educator, facilitator and expert on public participation. Previous services have included hosting public forums and panels, the design and facilitation of citizens’ juries, community cultural development and capacity building for natural resource management, in contracts with local and state government, water companies, university centres and non-government organisations (2009-2016). Such projects included: consultancy advice to Yarra Valley Water on Community Engagement for ESC pricing plan; facilitation of City of Port Phillip’s Towards Zero Climate Forum; Climate Adaptation Community Engagement framework for City of Melbourne (with Martin de los Rios), education on Participatory Budgeting in the context of Rate Capping for Victorian Local Governance Association (with Chad Foulkes).
WRITING PROJECTS IN AGED CARE SETTINGS
• Caroona Aged Care Lismore (1999) Water and Art Conversations
Objective: develop partnership between an art gallery, an aged care facility and a water company and record residents’ stories of water
• Ballina Dementia Care: FBI (Former Bowlers Included) (1996)
Objective: record stories of former bowlers, their families and mates to inspire further engagements
Outcome: story booklet, DVD and launch event exhibition
• Ballina Dementia Care: You have to Laugh and You Also Have to Cry (1995)
Objective: record stories of professional carers and family carers, and clients in group settings to make their experience real to others
Outcome: exhibition, formal publication of poetry by carer Bonnie Haigh, informal publication of Men’s Group, Writing Group and Carers’ Support Group stories.
• Kirra Day Centre: Elements of Life (1990)
Objective: record stories of day centre clients on the universal themes of earth, water, fire and air for publication
Outcome: publication of stories
RESEARCH ON SOCIAL VULNERABILITY AND ETHICS
• Heat as Emergency, Heat as Chronic Stress, Policy and Institutional Responses to Extreme Heat, with Dr Fiona Miller, Department of Resource Management and Geography, University of Melbourne, (2011)
• ARC project, Investigating Health Research Ethics in Practice with A/Prof Marilys Guillemin, A/Prof Lyn Gillam, Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne (2005-07)
WRITING & PUBLICATIONS
I have a Doctorate of Creative Arts in writing and have a range of experience with writing and publishing.
• Writer in Residence, Camden Haven Pilot Station, through Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre, Writing on Water (2002) story and writing workshops, toward an exhibition of work, and essays and articles used to promote the Pilot Station.
• Doctoral study: new Dimensions in Water Conversation, an inter-animation of writing and water I conducted my doctoral research at University of Technology Sydney, with the support of Rous Water. The key question investigated was: what values do technical-specialist and lay water users ascribe to water at the tap? (1999-2001)
• Australia Council for the Arts’ Community Cultural Development Fund fellowship (1998-99)
• Author (with Mary Hutchison) of Out of the Ordinary, Bringing Communities, and their Audiences to Light (1998). This how-to book, based on the stories of those who built Canberra, and has been widely used by officers in local government, museums and heritage, community health and environmental management.
• Friends of Darebin Creek, Member (2004-present)
• Melbourne lead, Jane’s Walk (2012-present)
• Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, Community Advisory Committee (2014-16)
• Buddhist Council of Victoria, representative (2007-08)
Grant Broadbent Smith, Victims’ Assistance Program, coHealth 0421 743 713
Linnet Hunter, Consultant 0414 629 539
Catherine Kato, client family representative 0413 325 747
CAREER SUMMARY ANNIE BOLITHO
• Independent consultant and educator on end of life practices and options 2016-present
• Independent consultant and freelance researcher (local and state government clients) October 2010 – 2016
• Celebrant 2000-present
• Executive Officer, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne 2008-2010
• Contract course coordinator/lecturer/tutor, University of Melbourne and RMIT University, 2007 – 2014
• RA, ARC Project ‘Investigating Health Research Ethics in Practice’, Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne, 2005-2007
• Manager, Social Capacity Building Project, Victorian Government, Department of Sustainability and Environment 2004-2006
• Freelance writer in community 1988-2004