PHNA Geelong, Leonie

“Suffering is a normal part of life and we aim to ease that suffering. We don’t have a lot of money but we have a lot of passionate volunteers who like to lend a hand.” Pastoral Healthcare Network Australia, PHNA, was founded in Geelong in 2005, by Nurse and Midwife, Leonie Rastas. It is a nondenominational Health Promotion Charity whose core business is health promotion and illness prevention and addresses all three human dimensions: Mind, Body and Spirit.

PHNA Leonie

Carmel O’Dwyer who is retired principal from Sacred Heart became the patron and the group is currently operating with a team of 20 Professional and non-professional volunteers, providing low cost services engaging with the elderly, marginalised, lonely, bereaved, disadvantaged and socially isolated members of the Geelong community.

Services focus on the Mind, Body and Spirit and include: Digital literacy for seniors, Listening, Blood Pressure testing, Prayer Shawls, Social inclusion, Referral, Healing Hearts, Education, Online prayer Chapels, Grief & Loss Care Resources, (Post op Gift Packs), Meditation, Massage, Five Wishes (Advanced Care Planning), a Pamper Day and Advocacy. For more information visit their website:


The current governing body members are Rod Bush, Gabrielle Millar, Leonie Rastas, Marg Armitage, Michael Nolan, Nora Fox, Rose Hoey and Christine Crowder.

PHNA thank their following partnership groups: Wesley Uniting Church Geelong, for Office Space, St Bernards Church – Pamper Day Venue, Geelong Natural Therapies – Masseurs, Colbrow Healthcare – Five Wishes Printing & Promotion, Caesar Care Pty Ltd- Post op Surgery Gift packs, Mercy Health – Grant money, Sacred Heart College- Printing, Volunteering Geelong, Christine Crowder Accounting – Pro Bono Treasurer, Lifeline Geelong Barwon Region, Individual Knitters and Sewers, Hope Bereavement – Stillbirth support, St John of God Pastoral Care – Hearts & Shawls, Red Nose – Treasured Babies Hearts & Shawls for bereaved parents.

Story: Jacqui Bennett Photos: supplied