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Rosemary Kudnarto Wanganeen is a proud Aboriginal South Australian of Kaurna, Wirrangu, Koogatha and English heritage. She is a well-known and respected educator and counsellor and the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute for Loss and Grief, based in Adelaide, South Australia.
Rosemary, herself very much impacted by difficult experiences in her life, has accumulated a body of work personally and professionally that relates to major social, emotional and health challenges throughout the Aboriginal community. Rosemary studied loss and grief with Bereavement Educational Services in 1994, with its teaching from a western framework. Her work ultimately led to her using loss and grief as a new framework which she translated into a language understood from an Aboriginal perspective. Her passion contributed to her developing a unique and innovative ‘next generation' loss and grief model to explain why many Aboriginal people can't, don't or won't access local mainstream services. Her published model has transpired into what she finally calls today the Seven phases to integrating loss and grief©. The model has been successfully used by her as a counseller in her practice specialising in loss and grief, and at more than 30 bi-cultural awareness programs and 40 seminars and presentations in South Australia, nationally and internationally.
Rosemary served on the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) at Premier and Cabinet South Australia for two and a half years as a research officer in the Aboriginal Issues Unit.
In 2009 while a University of South Australia Adjunct Research Fellow in Psychology, she was named winner of the South Australian of the Year Community Award category for her outstanding work in the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. She is currently a board member of the Palliative Care Council South Australia.