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Del McAlister was an invited guest speaker at our Catholic Healthcare lifestyle Forum in Sydney. She presented an engaging and energising presentation on applying the new Accreditation Standards to leisure and lifestyle within a residential aged care setting. Del's knowledge in this area was evident as she provided practical solutions to challenges identified by attendees and unpacked each of the relevant standards in a way that was easy to understand and to apply to common situations that lifestyle coordinators face in their daily roles.


I would highly recommend Del as a speaker and presenter and look forward to working with her again in the future.


Wendy Lawrence

Lifestyle Manager

Catholic Healthcare RAC


Del - this book is an absolute sanity saver!!! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and expertise and at such an affordable price. Residents across Australia will benefit as well as the mental health of Leisure and Lifestyle staff.


What fantastic resources these books are. Identified a dozen improvements on my first read. Thank you so much for helping me out Del.


I have got every single book of yours Del and we love them at work. They are so well written and in a way we can understand. It certainly makes life easier, so thank you

Accreditation Ready workshops:

"Great afternoon Del thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and preparing us for some interesting times ahead with the new standards. So nice to meet the other ladies and to share ideas and information.  I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who is struggling knowing where to start with the expectation of lifestyle staff after July 1."

"A HUGE THANK YOU to Del Marie McAlister for providing this opportunity for us to network, share ideas and get our head around the new standards.  I would totally recommend attending one of her workshops as Del Marie has done all the hard work and captured all the outcomes relating to Leisure & Lifestyle. It was Lovely meeting fellow dedicated and passionate lifestyle workers who love their job in making a difference in the lives of the people we care for."

“I’ve been to several other training sessions on the new standards but yours was by far the best. So practical.”

"Thank you Del Marie McAlister today was fantastic and learned so much. I enjoyed meeting everyone and the resources and ideas that were shared were great. I would highly recommend this to all lifestyle staff."

“I want to thank you for the informative and essential workshop that you presented yesterday. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am so pleased with the outcomes.”

“Again, thank you for a wonderful work shop this week on the new accreditation standards. I found it very informative and helpful and did not want it to end! Your knowledge and expertise in the field really shows.”

“Thank you for the course Del. I gained a deeper understanding of the new standards and how interconnected they are.”


“I enjoyed the workshop. I have gained more knowledge. Well done.”


“Learnt so much. Very helpful, friendly and interactive workshop.”

Leisure & Lifestyle / Chaplaincy reference:

I have known Del McAlister for 12 months whilst she worked as Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator for Catholic Health Care at Coolamon Villa.  During that time, I found Del to be an outstanding employee – she encouraged and lead the team to achieve best practice.  As well as working in the Pastoral Care Role, she took on the role of RAO Co-Ordinator.  The RAO team were young, and inexperienced, and Del supported them through their learning.  She was responsible for writing the Recreation Activities Program for Coolamon Villa.  This included risk assessments for bus outings, policies and procedures for conducting activities, the Intergenerational Program.  Del was thoughtful and attentive when looking at each individual resident, and recognizing their individual differences.  She also fostered this philosophy within her team


She educated her team in developing individual care plans for residents, incorporating the spiritual, social, emotional, and physical needs of the residents.  Del was also responsible for organizing family conferences to maintain connections and appropriate family relationships.  Del educated her team to carry out the Leisure and Lifestyle assessment on all residents 2 weeks after admission. Del played an integral role at Coolamon Villa, not only did she take on the role of RAO Co-Ordinator with a young team, she worked as the Pastoral Care Co-Ordinator which involved overseeing church and spiritual services. She also managed the volunteer program at Coolamon, and acknowledged their important contribution with regular celebratory morning teas.  Del embraced the holistic model of care, and developed some innovative activities such as:


  • Concert groups

  • Memorial services

  • Companioning

  • Villa Café

  • Pampering and high tea

  • Cooking classes

  • Pet therapy


Del’s specialises in Chaplaincy – providing pastoral care services

Companioning – offering support and friendship for people who are lonely

Counselling – Providing counselling services for seniors

Consultancy – Pastoral care,  grief, and Lifestyle & Leisure

Training – workshops for employees on a range of aged care related topics

Author – Grief and Loss


As well as all the other responsibilities listed above.  It was an honor to work with Del, and she is sadly missed by staff, residents and families at Coolamon Villa

Leonie Sutcliffe l Residential Manager l Coolamon Villa
T. (02)56297300 l M. 0498000104 l

Grief support:


I was privileged to observe Ms. Mc Alister conduct a monthly session for a dozen or so bereaved men and women called AfterLoss. My observations continue to be that these people received a lot of benefit from the capable, compassionate and skilled care provided by Ms. McAlister in these sessions. Dr. John R Phillips

Healing for the grieving heart (book):

“I have had great feedback from your book which I think is really wonderful. The two people that I sent it to have benefited from it and said that it was one of the best books on grief and loss, that they had read. I will continue to recommend your book to people.”


“LOVE the book!!!  I heard your voice throughout and it was such a comfort.  Love the format of a day a page for reflection and journaling. Very heart warming and affirming.”

“I can thoroughly recommend this book. It would have to be the most practical book I have read on dealing with the loss of someone you love.”

Grief & Loss seminars:

"The seminar was well prepared and presented with sensitivity, grace and care. Thank you Del for your insight and courage to produce this seminar, highly recommended for all people."

“It was a great course, heaps of information and reinforcement of things I knew. I have a greater understanding of helping someone who is grieving.”


“It was a great seminar. Learned some new things and refresher was good. You are a good presenter and made the presentation personal as well as general. Very encouraging and inspiring. You have a wonderful loving heart.”


“Very informative. You have a lot of knowledge on the topic which is well shared. Lovely compassionate style of presenting. Nice mix of activity, slides, and presenting (talking).”

"Thank you for the presentation on grief and bereavement. I am confident that learners and their potential clients will benefit from the information you provided, and be more confident in dealing with the strong emotions associated with loss. The sensitivity you demonstrate serves as a model for learners to emulate when faced with these difficult conversations. The passion and empathy you bring to this area was inspiring, and demystified the area of grief associated with death and dying."

"Excellent, real, meaningful, and compassionate, are a few words to describe the workshop on bereavement, grief and loss. Great tools to equip leaders to handle this potentially fragile time in a persons’ life journey. Well prepared and presented by the writer Del, with sensitivity, grace and care.  Thank you Del for your insight and courage to produce this seminar, highly recommended for all people."

“A lovely heart-felt sharing on a very difficult topic. Your warmth and empathy were significant and reassuring.”

" I am writing to thank you for the presentation on grief and bereavement you did in class last week. We appreciated your generosity in the time you gave, and the wealth of experience you shared with us.


Class feedback has included that they found the session informative and helpful, with resources simple and clear.

Students found the strategies for communicating with people who are suffering grief associated with loss to be of particular benefit, and all left the session with a well established understanding that grief is a complex process, which is experienced and dealt with differently by each person. Your manner was sensitive and respectful, generous and warm, and your attitude was non judgemental and accepting of human individuality in expressions of their grief, allowing for participants to feel comfortable in asking for information and advice around a topic that most find confronting and difficult. I am confident that learners and their potential clients will benefit from the information you provided, and be more confident in dealing with the strong emotions associated with loss. The sensitivity you demonstrate serves as a model for learners to emulate when faced with these difficult conversations. The range of resources and variety of support facilities you provided will be helpful once students enter the world of aged care. The passion and empathy you bring to this area was inspiring, and demystified the area of grief associated with death and dying. We acknowledge your vast experience and knowledge in this area, and the need for all students of aged care to be informed and advised of helpful strategies, to allow for them to be better able to meet the needs of grieving residents and families, as well as colleagues. So I thank you, Del, for your generosity in offering us the benefit of your experience and knowledge."

Amanda, Nurse Educator


Other seminars:

 “Del is a skilled communicator who specializes in taking  difficult and complex  concepts and  presenting them clearly and  simply. She writes and presents her material in an easily understood and well  structured style.”


“Del Marie displayed a tenderness and compassion at such a painful time. She exhibited competency throughout the service, and engaged family members in a positive and sensitive way.” 

"Thank you for doing my mother's funeral. I am so happy you did it for us.  It was a wonderful service."

"It was a pleasure for our family that you did our mother's farewell service. Everyone said it was so nice. Thanks."


“Del Marie McAlister possesses a unique ability to quickly and accurately assess the heart of the problem, the most pressing issue."

"Del gives focused attention. I always come away from time with Del feeling more empowered to make decisions which will most  benefit me."

“I have found Mrs McAlister to be approachable, compassionate and gentle in her manner. Qualities that I personally believe are necessary in her role.”    

Stress management seminar:

"It was obvious Del’s educational qualifications and life experience had shaped an informative, practical and entertaining insight into the topic she shared. Del provided guided handouts at the seminar that were written in an easy-to-follow manner and encouraged audience participation and reflective thought. As a health practitioner and seminar presenter, I would be more than happy to recommend Del Marie McAlister for future events."  

Work ethic: 

"Del Marie excelled as a person of character, in all her areas of responsibility. Del has a great disposition and wonderful  interpersonal skills. She has proved herself extremely capable and confident to deal with many issues. She was highly esteemed by those she worked with and managed and I would not hesitate in recommending her to you.”

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