Dr Eleanor Flynn joined Yarra Theological Union (YTU) as a lecturer in 2019, co-teaching a course on Art and Spirituality in death and bereavement with Dr Claire Renkin.
From 1999 to 2018 she was a senior lecturer in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Melbourne Medical School where she was the lead in student selection, as well as being involved in curriculum design and teaching in the areas of aged care, clinical communications skills, professional behaviour and ethics. From 1999 until 2017 she also worked as a Palliative Care specialist in both hospital and community settings. Eleanor’s B Theol was done part time at the United Faculty of Theology of the Melbourne (College of Divinity) while working in hospital management, medical education and clinical palliative care.
Her Master of Theology at YTU looked at the differences in the beliefs about, and performance of, death rituals between medieval Christianity and 21st C Australia.
She is a board member of the Spiritual Health Association, and an associate editor of Global Bioethics.
She has published papers and book chapters and presented at conferences on the following topics: diagnosis of and services for people with dementia, clinical and philosophical aspects of care of the dying, theoretical and practical aspects of selection of medical students, developing codes of professional behaviour in medical schools, clinical communications skills for doctors in emergency settings and those trained overseas, supporting the staff who support students, working with Indigenous actors to teach medical students, the use of art to teach about death and dying, learning to listen to sounds in medicine, induction of new graduates into hospital practice, the roles of women in medieval death rituals, the need for change in the Catholic church, and the place of spiritual care in COVID-19.
Her current research interests include the educative role of images for women in mediaeval death rituals and the reflections of faith based funeral celebrants in COVID-19.