The Australian Doula College: Honouring Life’s Transitions

Australia’s pre-eminent education, support and membership organisation for Doulas.

The Australian Doula College: Honouring Life’s Transitions

By Evaheld

As Australia’s premier Doula training and membership organisation, the Australian Doula College proudly offers education, training, mentoring and ongoing support for all Doulas. Their unwavering stewardship and professional excellence underpins the support and continuity of care that their Doulas are able to offer those that they care for, and their families, through any one of life’s many transitions.

Purpose and Vision

“At the ADC we believe that the first and last breath are the biggest life transitions you make and that you and those around you deserve to understand your choices and feel supported, ensuring you and your family has the best experience possible.”

-Renee Adair, Australian Doula College

Australian Doula College Interview

They are recognised as support to women during and after the birth of their children. They work alongside the medical professionals and acknowledge life’s transitions working towards the individual’s goals and wishes offering continual support during birth period and at the end of life.

Birth and Death Doulas

We work in both the birth and death spaces, because there is not one without the other.

There are so many transitions that we go through in life, after all we are always transitioning from one moment to the next. However at the Australian Doula College we believe that at birth and at death are the most significant transitions that humans experience in their lives. By working and understanding in the full spectrum of these transitory times we have a unique perspective that honours the human experience in a deeply profound way.

The only Accredited Doula Training provider in Australia

The Australian Doula College offers courses for those wanting to train as a Birth Doula or as a Death Doula, and the Australian Doula College is the only accredited Doula education provider in Australia, delivering accredited doula training courses in Australia and worldwide.

This is significant because the Australian Doula College’ training has been independently assessed by a regulatory body and meets national quality assurance requirements, In this case that’s ASQA – The Australian Skills Quality Authority.

The Australian Doula College believes that Doulas should be receiving the highest level of accredited training available to them, delivered by trainers and assessors who are also required to undergo accredited training to remain compliant. We also believe that anyone engaging the services of a doula deserves to know their doula has been trained to the highest standards on offer and that their doula works under a code of conduct.

The work of End of Life Doulas

An End of Life Doula is a non-medical role in providing support, options and education assisting the dying with the goal to preserve the quality of life, provide comfort and take care of their well being. The Australian Doula College expresses how End of Life Doulas can offer an empathetic ear allowing them to assist those in need with emotional support with companionship and having a compassionate presence. They also assist in practical assistance and spiritual guidance and can advocate for the personal visions and wishes of the individual.

Their work is also, along the road to the End of Life, to make it a smooth, intimate and sacred experience for not just the individual, but those around them as well. Assisting with End of Life, ADC also can assist with care planning as being an advocate of the individual’s vision, this can include nursing staff, hospital or other care providers, funerals, self–preservation or any other personnel/wishes.

Overall, the work of End of Life Doulas is deeply rooted in compassion, empathy, and a commitment to honoring the dignity and autonomy of each individual as they reach the end of life.

Importance of allowing people to have a say in their end-of-life plans

One of the key aspects of doula support during the end-of-life journey is empowering individuals to have a say in their own end-of-life plans. Often, medical decisions and interventions can overshadow personal preferences and wishes. Death doulas advocate for the rights of individuals to make informed choices and have their voices heard.

By working alongside individuals and their families, doulas help facilitate discussions surrounding end-of-life planning. This may involve exploring options for palliative or hospice care, discussing the benefits and limitations of different treatment options, and facilitating conversations about funeral arrangements and legacy planning.

Through these conversations, individuals can express their desires and values, ensuring that their end-of-life journey aligns with their personal beliefs and wishes. Doulas offer guidance and support throughout the decision-making process, ensuring that individuals are empowered, educated, and informed about their choices.

Allowing people to have a say in their end-of-life plans not only grants individuals autonomy and control, but it also brings comfort and peace to their loved ones. By understanding and respecting a person's wishes, doulas help create a sense of closure and fulfillment, both for the individual and their family members.

By addressing the taboo of death and providing compassionate care, doulas allow individuals to confront their fears and anxieties surrounding death. Through open conversations and informed decision-making, doulas help empower individuals to have a say in their own end-of-life plans, promoting autonomy, dignity, and peace.

Advocating for End-of-Life Doulas

End-of-life doulas play a vital role in providing compassionate care and support to individuals who are approaching the end of their lives. These trained professionals offer emotional, spiritual, and practical guidance to both the terminally ill individuals and their families. The importance of end-of-life doulas cannot be overstated, and that is why we have been advocating for their recognition and training for the past four years.

Collaboration For A Greater Impact

We firmly believe that collaboration is key to creating sustainable change in any field. That is why we have partnered with Family and Community Services to create a program specifically designed for at-risk women. Through this partnership, we aim to provide doula support to women who are facing a range of challenges, including homelessness, domestic abuse, and substance abuse.

Advocating for end-of-life doulas has been a journey filled with passion, dedication, and a deep belief in the importance of compassionate care. We are proud of the progress we have made over the past four years and the impact we have had on the end-of-life care landscape.

Through the college's memberships, mentorship programs, courses, and free services, they are shaping the next generation of end-of-life doulas who will bring comfort, support, and guidance to individuals and their families during this crucial time. Their partnerships with Family and Community Services further strengthens our mission by reaching out to at-risk women and providing them with the specialized care they deserve.

Social and Community Projects:

Alongside the advocacy and education of Doulas, ADC promotes social and community projects such as the Doula Heart Network (DHN).

Doula Heart Network

With a belief that “No-one should every birth or die alone, and no–one should ever be judged or receive any less care because of their race, colour, religion, age or personal situation” the DHN provides support, information and education but also provides a range of services to assist these communities with:

  • Transport
  • Attending appointments
  • Supplying needs (baby clothing, furniture, bedding etc.)
  • Family support
  • Food parcels
  • Community referrals
  • Brokerage for items like birth certification issuance and needed medications

Other projects that you can find that the Australian Doula College advocates for:

The Australian Doula College stands as a beacon of excellence in the field of doula training and education. Through their comprehensive programs, they equip individuals with the skills, knowledge, and compassion necessary to support women and families through the transformative journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. The College's commitment to promoting respectful, evidence-based care ensures that their graduates are not only skilled practitioners but also advocates for positive change in maternity care. As the demand for doula support continues to grow, The Australian Doula College's dedication to empowering doulas to make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and families is more important than ever.

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