Waikato Hospital’s newest hospital chaplain Daniel Sitaram has taken an interesting journey to end up here in the Waikato.
Daniel, who has now been working with the hospital chaplains for about one month, is of Fijian Indian heritage and w…as ordained as an Anglican priest in Fiji, working in many parishes there before becoming a high school teacher.
He worked in secondary schools in Fiji for eight years before moving to Christchurch with his wife. There, the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch awarded Daniel a scholarship to undertake a Bachelor of Theology at the University of Auckland.
“I think I bring a cultural mix to the Waikato Hospital chaplaincy team and may be able to help with patients and visitors who speak other languages because as well as English, I speak Fijian Indian, most of the Indian dialects, and can also communicate in Tongan and Samoan as well,” he said.
Auckland remained Daniel’s home for many years, and after he finished his degree in Theology, he completed one year of his Bachelor of Nursing at Manukau Institute of Technology, but then ended up joining the Pathology team and worked for five years as a lab technician with the Labtests.
It was his most recent job that brought him back to pastoral care however, when he began work as a chaplain at the Mission to Seafarers in Auckland.
Here he provided pastoral care to the crews of cruise ships and container ships etc. when they would return to the centre in Auckland between voyages.
“It was like a home to them when they came back to land,” says Daniel.
“The centre had a chapel, and we would provide counselling and general pastoral care for these staff.”
But, it was a slower pace of life that attracted Daniel, his wife, seven-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son to the Waikato and he says he has been given a warm welcome to Waikato Hospital.
“I look forward to working with these lovely people.”
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