Safe Massage for People in Care (Therapists)

Latest News - 17/Mar/2020

Former OML Facilitator and Melbourne-Based OM4 Graduate Marie Lapiejko has been engaged to develop the documentation for this training program.  A small group of interested OM4 graduates have also agreed to participate as a volunteer Project Sounding Board.  We aim to complete the Program documentation before 30/Jun/2020, and pilot the Program in the second half of 2020.

OML is currently in conversation with several organisations who have expressed an interest in being involved.  These organisations may well accelerate the program delivery schedule, so stay tuned for further details!

If you are interested in enrolling for this Program, please register your interest now - email OML and we will add your name to the Program Wait List.

Federal Parliamentary Friendship Groups - 24/Feb/2020

The Federal Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care Group which was established in 2008 has been re-established following the 2019 Federal Election. The Group is currently convened jointly by the ALP Senator for Tasmania Catryna Bilyk [ALP, TAS], and the Hon Nola Marino MP [Liberal Member for Forrest, WA].  Palliative Care Australia have added OML to the Members List so we were pleased to attend the first Meeting on the evening of Mon 24/Feb/2020 at Parliament House. 

OML is also exploring connections with a number of other Federal Parliamentary Friendship Groups including:

  • Parliamentary Friends of Ageing and Aged Care – Senator Dean Smith [Liberal, WA], Ged Kearney MP [ALP Member for Cooper, VIC]
  • Parliamentary Friends of Cancer Care and Cure – Senator Deborah O'Neill [ALP, NSW], Dr Katie Allen MP [Liberal Member for Higgins, VIC]
  • Parliamentary Friends of Carers - Emma McBride MP [ALP Member for Dobell, NSW], Craig Kelly MP [Liberal Member for Hughes, NSW], Senator Rachel Siewert [Greens, WA]
  • Parliamentary Friends of Complementary and Traditional Therapies - Senator Stirling Griff [Centre Alliance, SA], Rebekha Sharkie MP [Centre Alliance Member for Mayo, SA]
  • Parliamentary Friends of Dementia - Andrew Laming MP [LNP Member for Bowman, QLD], Senator Helen Polley [ALP, TAS].


The Oceanic Palliative Care Conference in Perrth (10-13/Sep/2019)

Tania Shaw and David Bailey attended the first Oceanic Palliative Care Conference held in Perth from 10-13/Sep/2019, and launched a new "Massage Training for People Working in Care" poster and a new brochure for those seeking the benefits of gentle touch massage for people in frail health.

David, Tania, & Ronna Moore at the OML Booth

There were close to 1,000 delegates attending and we were swamped with interest during the “Welcome Experience”.  The swamping may have been for the free samples of Massage Balm that Tui Balms had kindly donated, but they stayed to listen to the Oncology Massage story.

We got our message across about massage therapy for people in care to many people and we came home with significantly less brochures and business cards than we went with.  OML’s key takeaways from the Conference were as follows:

  • Care v Cure - the ongoing discussions about the balance between treatment and comfort, and the transition from cure to care - valuing the lived experience of people caught up in the palliative care process and recognising the value of Complementary Therapies  
  • Advance Care Planning - the medical establishment's sometimes lukewarm response to Advance Care Planning, and the attempts by patients, families and carers to take control of palliative and end-of-life processes
  • Voluntary Assisted Dying & Euthanasia - "the true measure of a society is how they treat their most vulnerable people; no-one should have to choose Voluntary Assisted Dying because of a lack of access to quality palliative care" - the gaping hole in the availability, accessibility and affordability of palliative care
  • Palliative Care in Collectivist Communities - "when you are well, you belong to yourself; when you are sick, you belong to your family" and "when people are everything, money is nothing" - modern Western cultures may have a lot to learn from this
  • Storytelling - the personal stories of palliative care from the wife and aunty of Jarrod Lyle, the young Australian professional golfer who passed away in 2018 after three bouts of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia over 20 years
  • Profit v Care - the battle that is being fought out in real time in Residential Aged Care Facilities across the country, and has been exposed in the Royal Commission into Aged Care - "decision-making in favour of people's health not corporate profits"
  • Creativity and Innovation - the multitude of little things that organisations across the globe are doing to help people caught up in the palliative care process - from compassionate office spaces in Brisbane, Ambulance Wish in Queensland, non-custodial palliative care in many different communities, and pets in palliative care, to the use of non-commercial kitchens in hospices.

OML is preparing for what might occur in the palliative care space - the value of care and touch is very widely accepted and recognised and, despite rumours to the contrary, touch is the probably last sense to go when a person dies.


OML has always known that our Oncology Massage modality can be a powerfully effective intervention for most people in frail health, not just those with a history or a diagnosis of cancer.  In early 2018, OML started to consider the development of a new training program to meet the needs of massage therapists working with people in Residential Aged Care with comorbidities such as cancer, dementia, chronic pain, etc.

Subsequently, OML has consulted with a number of peak organisations including Dementia Australia (ACT)Pain Australia, and Palliative Care Australia (ACT).  We have been encouraged by their support have been provided with much valuable information.

In Sep/2018, OML brought together a number of our most qualified and experienced Oncology Massage Therapists - Tania Shaw, Tubi Oyston, Ronna Moore, and Cathie Stoffell - to discuss and start designing the Massage Training for People Working in Care Program.

In Oct/2018, OML kicked off a Crowdfunding Campaign and raised over $4,000 for the development of this Program.  And in Nov/2018, under the leadership of Tania Shaw, OML commissioned the Massage Training for People Working in Care Project (MT4PWC) to develop the Course Documentation

In Jan/2019, OML was invited to present and exhibit at the first Oceanic Palliative Care Conference to be held in Perth from 10-13/Sep/2019.  The invitation has been gratefully accepted and Tania Shaw and David Bailey will be attending.

In Feb/2019, a draft of the Course Material was submitted for comment to our internal Project Board.  Feedback is currently being incorporated into the Course Documentation.

Get a Wicking Good Headstart!

You will be learning more about Dementia from industry experts during this Course. Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and, with an estimated 250 people joining the population with it each day, our graduates may already be working with those exhibiting signs and symptoms of Dementia without realising it.

You can get a really Wicking headstart by enrolling for the University of Tasmania Wicking Dementia Centre's Understanding Dementia MOOC.  A MOOC is not a furry marsupial - it's a Massive Open Online Course - it's free, it's open to anybody regardless of training or experience, and it's online - but it's no pushover.  This particular MOOC is recognised worldwide, and has made our "Highly Recommended Further Learning" list.

Enrollments are now open for the next Understanding Dementia MOOC.  Having recently completed the course, I can honestly say that it has helped me to understand what my Mum, my family, her friends, and and her carers went through before she passed away.  I wish I could have finished it before she was diagnosed.

More information on the topics you will be discussing on this Course can be found on the following websites:

Project Funding via Community Rewards

The quarterly contributions from the Canberra Southern Cross Club Community Rewards Program for which OML is very grateful continue to be allocated to this Project.

If you live in or around the ACT and you are a member of the Canberra Southern Cross Club, link your membership number to Oncology Massage Limited here or ask Club Reception to help you out, and $7.50 of every $100 you spend at the Club will go to straight to OML. This Program has contributed around $50,000 to OML over the last few years.

If you would like to financially contribute to the development of this worthwhile Project, please do so here.

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