Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2011 Contents Visit us at: www.australianageingagenda.com.au
Left: YASMIN NOONE, Deputy Editor
Middle: STEPHEN EASTON, Journalist
Right: CARMELLA ROWSTHORNE, National Advertising Manager
Find us on
Australian Ageing Agenda
Follow us on Twitter
BLUE CARE is an icon in Queensland and the
subject of this issue's cover story. As Brisbane-
based journalist JO COOPER discovers, this
is another organisation that has been severely
tested during the tragic natural disasters this
year. "It's clear that Blue Care staff go way more
than the extra mile," she says. "Blue Care may
have a very long history, yet the caring traditions
seem rock solid."
IN THE LIGHT of some recent and alarming
statistics, Perth-based journalist, DALE FISHER
looks at dementia services for Indigenous
Australians in rural and remote, and urban settings.
"Recent research has uncovered that the rate of
dementia in Indigenous communities is among the
highest in the world and this will bring enormous
challenges to not only the health and aged care
sector, but will have wide-ranging implications for
all areas of social policy," she says.
I AM FEELING mildly
smug about having an
embargoed copy of
soon to be released report
entitled: Is the sum greater than
the parts? The value of a single
industry aged care association.
But there's no thrill in any bean-
spilling here. By the time this is
published, the report will be well and truly on the public record.
So I'm not thinking about breaking the news; only about
reflecting on what it means and enjoying the temporary frisson
that comes with keeping a secret.
The year started in top gear with the launch of the Productivity
Commission's 507 page draft report and has shown no signs of
shifting down yet. So in a way it feels as though this latest report
-- a modest 58 pager -- has just turned up to join the party. Which,
in a sense, it has.
In it's opening paragraphs, the report sets the context for
its existence and the urgency for action: "..now is the time
for the industry to be most impactful at the national level. It is
important that providers of accommodation and services to older
Australians are proactive and lead the development of the future
landscape for aged care, rather than respond to what may be new
developments in the way that aged care is provided and funded."
It's hard to argue with that. And therein lies the key virtue of
this work. It looks at the history and the issues and the context
with a disinterested view. It shifts the parameters of the long-
suffering debate from the factional and the ideological and
introspective to the impartial, practical and measurable and
importantly, to achieving outcomes in what is guaranteed to be a
dynamic and challenging future.
As Aged and Community Care Victoria's CEO, Gerard
Mansour (who first commissioned the report) says, it's not just a
discussion about different structures and governance models, it's
about the purpose of industry associations in the first place -- of
our associations - and what we want them to achieve.
"Form follows purpose. Once you have the raison d'etre,
you can modify the structure to suit your needs. The key issue
is that, on all the key performance indicators, the current model
isn't servicing us well -- so let's pick one and modify it to suit our
needs," he says.
The Productivity Commission draft report shifted the framework
of the policy discussion -- from funding models for care providers
to one about choice and sustainability for consumers. This PWC
report achieves a similar thing for the associations.
The authors of this report aren't weighed down by any baggage
so they can -- and do -- call it as it is. ACSA members are about
to meet their new CEO, Patrick McClure (an accomplished leader
with a major change management string to his bow) and we're all
talking about there being a 'mood for change'.
I wouldn't suggest that this will be easy but it does seem to
me the best chance yet to have a considered public conversation
on an issue that refuses to go away.
Very best wishes,
Tel: 02 8586 6183
Game on for
Links Archive AAA Jul-Aug 2011 AAA Mar-Apl 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page