Pictured: Ms Lu Butler, Ms Leeona Van Duynhoven, Ms Emmalee Bell and Mr Fred Chatfield


The new year brings new faces to Warrnambool & District Community Hospice

We have recently welcomed two new members to the Hospice team, Manager, Emmalee Bell, and Volunteer Coordinator, Leeona Van Duynhoven who are receiving the baton from former Manager, Lu Butler and Assistant Manager, Fred Chatfield.

The retirement of both Lu and Fred has created an opportunity to form two new roles, one focussed on growing the service and the other on supporting our extremely valuable volunteers. Together with our Fundraising and Community Engagement Coordinator, Catherine Bailey, Emmalee and Leeona look forward to building on past achievements and creating more opportunities for terminally ill people to be cared for at home.

While Lu and Fred were formally farewelled at our Volunteer Meeting in January, we have not seen the last of their smiling faces just yet. Fred continues to volunteer with us, while Lu will help train the next batch of volunteers. We wish to take this opportunity to thank Lu and Fred for their contributions and their dedication to Warrnambool & District Community Hospice.

Pictured: (From left) Ian McDonald, Megan Walsh, Gwenda Wilson, Mimie Cook, Ros Hayman, Lu Butler.


For much of 2020, our 5th year of operation, COVID restrictions prevented volunteers from providing in-home support to people with a life limiting illness and their families. It was a difficult and frustrating experience for everyone involved, but one that highlighted the incredible value of our service. As they say “you don’t know what you’ve got, til it’s gone”.

Late last year the easing of restrictions saw a small number of volunteers return to work, providing support for people and their carers who we had previously been assisting. In February we were able to start accepting new referrals and welcome more volunteers back to work. We also welcomed six new volunteers who recently completed their training via Zoom and are very keen to get offline and out in the community.

Given the vulnerability of the people who use our service, and the vulnerability of some volunteers, we have carefully considered how to resume Hospice in the Home safely. We have a COVID-safe Plan in place and new processes that will continue to evolve with changes to COVID restrictions and risk level which we are very closely monitoring.

"Being a trained volunteer for the Warrnambool and District Community Hospice has been a true privilege. To not only provide support for both the dying and their families, but also a personal journey of empathetic growth and gratitude to be able to give a little back to our community" Lesley Sheen, Hospice in the Home Volunteer.

Pictured: Maureen Klintberg and Sandi Elliot from Mt Gambier In Home Hospice Care with Dr Eric Fairbank, Lu Butler, Merran Koren and Brian Dillon from WDCH


This week representatives from Warrnambool & District Community Hospice travelled to Mount Gambier to help progress plans for a service modelled on our Hospice in the Home program.

Our Patron Dr Eric Fairbank, President Brian Dillon, former Manager Lu Butler and Volunteer Merran Koren, spent two days with the Mount Gambier In Home Hospice Care Steering Committee and their key stakeholders, sharing knowledge and helping drum up local support.

Over 50 members of the community attended a public forum to find more about the In Home Hospice Care project which has received funding through the South Australian Government Palliative Care Grants Program. They were also treated to an inspiring presentation from Dr Fairbank who spoke about the journey of Warrnambool & District Community Hospice and what we have achieved for the community over the last five years.

Our team also participated in an information session for people interested in becoming volunteers. By all accounts prospective participants were grateful to hear the first-hand experiences of Eric, Brian and Merran who have been volunteering with our program.


Death Cafes

The Warrnambool and District Community Hospice invites you to attend one of our series of wonderful, free, Death Cafe events, hosted by the amazing, end of life doula and Hospice in the Home volunteer Karen Scull.

Learn More

End of Life Preparation Workshops

These workshops are designed to give you and your family understanding and ease with the daunting task of end-of-life preparations. Each workshop will cover advance care planning, power of attorney, wills and other helpful end of life tips and resources.

Learn More

Coming Up

The Warrnambool and District Community Hospice’s Online Grief & Loss Forum is coming to your digital airways on the 5th & 6th of June 2021. Supported by grants from Wannon Water and the Warrnambool City Council. Stay tuned.


Warrnambool & District Community Hospice was established to give South West Victorians the opportunity to die at home, cared for by the people they love. We are breaking new ground with a free service, provided by a dedicated team of volunteers; whilst also working to help the wider community better prepare for the end of life.

We would like to thank the community members, organisations, businesses, Trusts and philanthropic organisations who have generously supported our work, particularly during the challenging year of 2020.

We welcome your online donation, via our GiveNow donation webpage, to continue to meet the ever increasing community need for free, end of life care, compassionately delivered by our volunteers in the 'Hospice in the Home' program