Aged Care Workforce Industry Council kicks off with a sense of purpose and urgency

on the Friday, August 9, 2019

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council is now a legally constituted entity and has commenced work to prioritise and progress the 14 Strategic Actions of Australia’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy – A Matter of Care, developed by the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce in 2018 and led by Professor John Pollaers. 

Established on 17 May 2019, the Council comprises a group of significant industry leaders with broad geographic, for profit and not-for-profit, union, peak body and consumer representation.

The Council is set to provide the leadership required to accelerate the implementation of the Strategic Actions in A Matter of Care and in itself represents delivery on Strategic Action 14, to lead the industry and the workforce to transition to new standards.

Mr Ian Hardy AM, former CEO of South Australian aged care provider Helping Hand, has been appointed Interim Chair and confirmed a number of important foundational steps have already been made, clearly cementing the intent of the Council to drive structural change across the industry.

“We have already commenced work on Reframing of the qualifications and skills framework (Strategic Action 3), and Defining new pathways, including how the workforce is accredited (Strategic Action 4),” he said.

“This has been overseen by the Aged Services Industry Reference Committee.

“In addition, the Remote Accord Leadership Group (Strategic Action 11) was established to find ways to sustain, support and expand the aged care workforce in remote and very remote communities in order to improve outcomes for people living in those communities.

“Furthermore, the Council will collaborate with the Department of Health on establishing an Aged Care Centre for Growth Translation and Research (Strategic Action 12).”

Mr Hardy reinforced that the mix of exceptional people on the Council will be looking to disrupt the status quo and drive industry wide transformational change.

“The unique mix of people around the table have a sense of purpose and urgency to follow through on the Workforce Strategy,” he said.

“We will work from the insightful and innovative analysis provided by the Taskforce Report and build a platform to develop a renewed workforce capable of meeting new aged care horizons.”

Mr Hardy believes the new Aged Care Quality Standards for example, provides the perfect vehicle for change.

“The Workforce Strategy deals with issues highly material to achieving the performance expected of aged care organisations under the new Standards,” he said.

“This first root and branch change to the Standards in over 20 years, enables a shift in best practice and the opportunity of meeting community expectations well beyond just a compliance mentality.”

The Council consists of 12 members from the aged care sector:

  • Ian Hardy AM, Independent (Interim) Chair
  • Kevin McCoy, Australian Unity (Deputy Chair)
  • Melissa Coad, United Voice
  • Graham Dangerfield, Baptcare
  • Sandra Hills OAM, Benetas
  • Ross Johnston, Regis (Guild Chair)
  • David Maher, Catholic Healthcare
  • John McCallum, National Seniors Australia
  • Lucy O’Flaherty, Glenview
  • Graeme Prior, Hall and Prior
  • Cathy Thomas, BlueCare (Part of Uniting Care Australia)
  • Ian Thorley, Estia Health
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