Who We Are

Spiritual Care Australia has branches around the country, and members in every State and Territory. The branches provide ongoing support and professional development to spiritual care practitioners, and advocacy for the local spiritual care industry.

The SCA National Board provides governance and financial responsibility, setting direction for the future of the organisation and ensuring compliance to all legislation in the present moment.

Collectively, SCA works towards the professionalism of Spiritual Care Practitioners and the recognition of Spiritual Care as an industry in its own right.


Our History

Spiritual Care Australia (SCA) recognises that all people, regardless of religious, faith or cultural background, have spiritual needs that require a sensitive, respectful response from skilled practitioners. SCA is concerned with ensuring excellence in the practice of spiritual care in all industries and sectors around our country.

The roots of SCA lie in several older organisations, generally having sprung from the Christian tradition. In May 2008, more than 50 representatives from all Australian state and territory peak bodies for chaplaincy, pastoral and spiritual care in health, welfare and prison settings, as well as senior church leaders, gathered in Adelaide to discuss the provision of spiritual care in Australia. Following an intensive process there was extraordinary consensus that a new national association was required for all practitioners in chaplaincy, pastoral and spiritual care across all faiths and sectors.

At the Annual General Meeting of the former Australian Health and Welfare Chaplains Association (AHWCA) in Tasmania 2009, a new national association was voted into existence. The final AHWCA Conference, which was also the inaugural SCA Conference, was held in Melbourne in February 2010.


Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care encompasses all the ways in which attention is paid to the spiritual dimensions of life. It is most commonly offered in a one-to-one relationship, is person centered and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation.

It offers a way for people to experience and make meaning of their hopes and fears.

Spiritual Care is provided by practitioners to appropriately meet the individual’s spiritual and emotional needs. It may include presence, conversations, ritual, ceremonies, and the sharing of sacred texts and resources.

Spiritual care is not about proselytising and does not impose the practitioner’s beliefs or values.


Our Members

Members of Spiritual Care Australia come from a wide variety of faith traditions and cultural backgrounds. They work in hospitals, aged care, the emergency services, the defence forces, prisons, schools, universities, workplaces and in the community.

Our membership is made up of full time and part time spiritual carers, some in paid positions and some in voluntary capacities.

The three levels of membership for spiritual care practitioners (Member, Certified, Advanced Certified) recognise the many years of training and reflective practice required to become a proficient  spiritual carer. The higher levels also recognise years of experience.

Associate members are those that have an interest in spiritual care but are not practitioners.

To read about the benefits of becoming a member of SCA, and to join, please visit the Membership page.