Pastoral care

Pastoral care at Peter Mac is a way for patients, families, friends and staff to reflect on and explore life issues which are affected by cancer.

Pastoral Care draws on respect, trust and understanding in order to provide a supportive presence which can add to spiritual and emotional health and well-being.

Pastoral Care offers a compassionate, listening presence which honours the dignity and value of each person., Pastoral conversation enables a person to explore their inner resources and outer supports which can sustain them through difficult times.

Pastoral Care is a part of the multidisciplinary team who provide support for patients, families and friends. There is a Pastoral Carer allocated to each ward of the hospital and pastoral care is also available throughout the ambulatory areas.

Pastoral care can be of benefit at any stage of the cancer experience.

Pastoral care can be particularly beneficial when:

  • a person is newly diagnosed with cancer
  • a disease status changes
  • a patient receives news that highlights the uncertainty of their future
  • a person has questions of life, meaning and purpose
  • a person is feeling sad
  • a person is feeling lonely or isolated
  • family members need support
  • a person moving towards the end of life
  • there are specific religious or spiritual needs.

Place of Peace

The Place of Peace is open 24 hours a day and provides a quiet space for reflection, personal prayer, meditation and sanctuary for people of all faiths and those with no religious affiliation.

Within the Place of Peace there is an organ and a piano which patients, visitors and staff are welcome to use.

A Bookshelf containing sacred texts and icons for Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths, is located immediately on the right before entering the Place of Peace, on the ground floor at Melbourne

There is also a book for people to write their prayers of thanksgiving, hope, despair and request in the corridor leading to the Place of Peace.

Spiritual services

A time for reflection is held in the Place of Peace every weekday morning from 9–9:15 am.

Meditation sessions are held in the Place of Peace on Mondays and Thursdays 11 am to 12 pm.

An annual memorial service is held early in November to reflect on and remember the lives of Peter Mac patients who have died throughout the year.

Visiting chaplains

The pastoral care department have contact details for various accredited religious, tradition or faith visitors who are available to visit with you. They can come for a general visit or perform any rites or rituals you need. Contact pastoral care for more information about organising a visiting chaplain. 


Group meditation classes run each Monday and Thursday from 11 am to 12 pm in the Place of Peace, ground floor at Peter Mac’s Parkville site. Inpatients, outpatients, relatives, friends and staff are all welcome to participate, regardless of level of experience. Meditating in a group deepens the practice of quiet mind skills and relaxation. This can help create inner stillness and peace and allow your wisdom, courage and insight to be present.

Bookings for classes are not required.

Service times

Pastoral care offers an on-call service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Referral information

If you wish to see a pastoral carer please speak to your treating team or ward staff, or contact us directly. 

You do not need to contact the service or make any bookings to visit the Place of Peace, or to attend a spiritual service or a meditation session.


Place of Peace

Ground floor (behind the research lifts)

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

305 Grattan St

Melbourne, 3000

Contact us

Pastoral Care

Phone: 03 8559 5231

If there is no answer, please leave a message on the answering machine and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Alternatively, if the matter is urgent please call the switchboard on 03 8559 5000 and ask the operator to page the pastoral carer on duty.

Related Experts

Rev. David Dawes - Head of Pastoral Care and CPE Centre Director

Heather Somerville - Clinical Pastoral Supervisor

For more information about our pastoral care team, please visit our experts page.