Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2011 Contents knowledge of the issues facing the whole of
the aged care industry.
"He impressed both the interview panel
and the entire board," Mr Zimmerman said.
"He has 'gravitas'. He has a strong
mission background but has also worked at
a senior level in the commercial sector and
he understands the issues and his role."
"We clearly operate in a national sphere
now and the ACSA board is on a journey,
moving away from being a federation, toward
becoming a national body. We've been on that
journey for some 15 or 16 months now. Our
membership survey is going out very soon and
the response to that will really determine the
direction for the future."
"This process will take as long as it takes."
"The ACSA Board is delighted Mr McClure
has accepted the position and the challenge
to steer the aged care sector through the
reform process," Mr Zimmermann said.
A SINGLE PEAK BODY?
Mr McClure says he is conscious of the
debate around the issue of a single peak
body representing all aged care providers
and says there are arguments on both sides.
"One of the first things I want to do is to
get out and speak to the state managers and
members of the boards but also to meet as
many providers as possible and get their views.
I want to visit providers and hear their concerns
and see what our members think."
"When I was at Mission Australia we straddled
both the private and non-profit sector through
the national employment services. I'm also
very conscious that the non-profit sector has a
distinct base and a special role they play in the
community and things they want to protect.
"So there will be discussion and
consultation with Aged Care Association
Australia and other organisations such
as COTA and the Retirement Villages
Association," Mr McClure said.
Mr McClure said he was very committed
to the whole aged services area and the
"Having worked in welfare reform, our
industry model isn't sustainable. We need to
have in place the right policies and practices
and it will be a mix of private and public.
"The first challenge -- what the membership
really wants right now - is a strong advocacy
role, an effective voice, and so we will need
to define that. There'll be national lobbying
and talking to Minister Butler and key public
servants etc. They want a strong media
presence too, so we need to explore how that
will take place."
McClure will take up the position in ACSA's new
national headquarters in Canberra from 1 June. His
current contract with ACSA is for three years. n
NATIONAL SENIORS AUSTRALIA chief
executive Michael O'Neil addressed
the Productivity Commission's public hearing
at Parliament House in Canberra on 5 April,
calling for the establishment of an aged care
National Seniors wants the ombudsman
to oversee the aged care system, report
recommendations to parliament and deploy
'visitors' to inspect facilities, functions
already performed by the existing Aged
Care Standards and Accreditation Agency
(ACSAA) and Aged Care Complaints
Investigation Scheme (CIS).
Mr O'Neill said the current system does not
inspire faith among older Australians.
"If it's good enough for worrying about your
telephone, and to worry about cheques and
banking arrangements, then we would argue
that for aged care...it's entirely appropriate to
have an aged care ombudsman," he said.
The ACSAA already conducts at least one
unannounced visit per year of every accredited
facility, sometimes more, but does not act on
complaints, which go to the CIS.
But according to Mr O'Neill, many facilities
were often warned before accreditation visits.
"That's certainly come loud and clear from
our members, including folk who have worked
in the industry, who are able to say first-hand
the alerts are there in advance.
We don't trust you
"Then there's a major cleanup the day
before the visit occurs, and things go back to
the way they were subsequently."
A AAA freelance journalist heard the same
allegation earlier this year, made by former aged
care caterer, Caroline Sevcikova, at a forum in
Melbourne hosted by National Seniors. n
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