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Reflective Writing Workshops

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Event description

Beyond the Biography: Reflective writing for well-being.

Presented by Dr Hilton Koppe

As volunteer biographers, we are invited to listen deeply to personal stories. The process of developing a biography is designed to focus on the person whose story we are documenting. It has limited scope to allow us to express our own personal experience. Not all stories are easy to listen to, and it can be difficult to “un-hear what has been heard”. Burnout or compassion fatigue may occur if we do not process our responses to what we experience. 

This lighthearted and fun workshop aims to help transform challenging situations into meaningful experiences. Participants will experience the use of reflective and expressive writing to re-frame some of these challenges, and to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a volunteer biographer.

Bring humility, a sense of curiosity, and a pen. Potentially leave with:

  • A tool for relieving, rather than re-living, life’s challenges.
  • A tool for building compassion.
  • Re-ignition of a (perhaps lost) passion for creativity.

Palliative Care NSW and the Sacred Heart Biography Service are pleased to invite volunteers engaged in biography and life story writing and managers from biography services to attend this reflective writing workshop. The morning session is for both volunteers and managers. The afternoon session is for managers only and will equip them with the tools to run sessions like these with their own team in the future.


9:30 am - 12:30 pm: Main workshop for biography volunteers and managers
1:15 pm - 3:00 pm
:  ‘Train the trainer’ workshop for managers of volunteers only


Level 4 Function Room, St Vincent’s Clinic. 438 Victoria St, Darlinghurst (next door to St Vincent’s private hospital – corner Oxford St and Victoria Ave)

This venue is near the Sydney CBD and is easily accessible by public transport. There is paid onsite parking and limited street parking in the area. Mobility access is available at the entrance to the clinic in Victoria Street and at the entrance to St Vincent’s Private Hospital. There are also mobility parking spaces in St Vincent’s Clinic Car Park.

About the presenter

Hilton Koppe is a writer, educator, podcaster and doctor living on Bundjalung Land on the east coast of Australia. He is a long-standing member of Dementia Training Australia’s GP education team.

Hilton facilitates reflective writing workshops for doctors and other health professionals with the goal of deepening their compassion, overcoming professional isolation and reducing risk of burnout. His workshops have been adapted for people living with chronic and mental illnesses, as well as enthusiastic amateur writers. Hilton has been invited to present his workshops all the way from Byron Writers Festival to Harvard Medical School.

Hilton’s book, One Curious Doctor: A Memoir of Medicine, Migration and Mortality, explores the personal impact of working as a country doctor. His play, Enduring Witness, is used to facilitate conversations about end-of-life care. Hilton is co-host of Dementia In Practice, a top 100 Great Australian Pod.

Dr hilton Koppe

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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event