Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2014 Contents FOR FLEUR HANNEN, managing director
of Critical Success Solutions, the ancient
proverb 'the fish rots from the head'
is a guiding truth and one aged care
organisations should heed.
Speaking at the ACS State Conference
in mid-May, Ms Hannen said organisational
success or failure started with the
performance of the board, but despite this
truism, many organisations did not follow
appropriate board selection, training and
Ms Hannen said proper induction and
training of new board members was critical
for the board to understand and take their
responsibilities and accountabilities seriously.
Board diversity -- across gender, age and
skill mix -- was also a key driver for robust
discussion and strategic analysis, and to
avoid the perils of group think around the
She said isolated boards, in particular,
that did not maintain a connection with the
industry, ran the risk of running into significant
governance or compliance issues.
"It is the responsibility of the board to
ask the hard questions, to keep abreast of
the changing environment such as through
connections through associations or
conferences," she told the Sydney audience.
"It is the board's responsibility to action and
explore best practice in terms of governance,
but unfortunately many do not have the skills
to do this."
She said beyond their obligations under
the Aged Care Act, aged care board members
must also have a good understanding of their
responsibilities and accountabilities under
relevant legislation such as workplace health
and safety and privacy law.
She said it was worrying that some boards
she had spoken to were not fully across the
implications of the Living Longer, Living Better
reforms coming into effect from 1 July.
Ms Hannen said it was crucial that the
board and the executive worked transparently
and in unison. However, the board must not
THE AUSTRALIAN Government announced a
$1.5 million project to help CALD organisations
compete in the annual Aged Care Approval
Round at the Centre for Cultural Diversity in
Ageing's biennial national conference in June.
Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch
Fifield said the funding would go towards
developing resources to support the CALD
ageing sector in the applications process.
He said it was important the aged care
sector supported consumer choice and the way
to do that was to strengthen the capacity of both
generalist and CALD-specific organisations. "We
will be allocating $1.5 million to help develop
tools and resources that will help organisations
be competitive in the applications for community
and residential aged care processes," he said.
Senator Fifield, who attended the
conference with parliamentary secretary for
social services Concetta Fierravanti-Wells,
also confirmed the government's support
for the National Ageing and Aged Care
Strategy for people from CALD backgrounds,
introduced by the former government in 2012
something that will be in our focus."
The conference also saw the presentation
of the inaugural Centre for Cultural Diversity
in Ageing Excellence Awards, which awarded
gongs to service providers, Multicultural Aged
Care Geelong and Villa Maria Society. The Dr
Olga Kanitsaki Individual Excellence award
went to Urfi Mirza, community services care
manager with Southern Cross Care (Vic).
Mr Mirza, who has worked with
international organisations such as the YMCA
and the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees, is a strong advocate for
culturally inclusive initiatives and is also a
mentor to new staff, many of whom are from
Villa Maria's White Road Activity and
Respite Centre in Wantirna centre took out
the Excellence in the Not-for-Profit-Sector
award for its Out & About group. White Road
introduced the group in March last year to help
facilitate the social inclusion and community
participation of Chinese-speaking older people
living in the eastern region of Melbourne.
Some 30 Chinese-speaking people are
registered for the group and it has an average
weekly attendance of 15 people.
The group is supported by staff who speak
Mandarin, Cantonese and regional dialects such
as Shanghainese and also makes use of ethnic
media including talkback sessions on SBS.
Multicultural Aged Care Geelong was
recognised for its work developing close
connections to the local community. It has
a community-based multicultural board,
stable multicultural and multilingual workforce
and numerous volunteers from CALD
Providers given checklist
for high performing boards
Comprehensive selection, induction and evaluation of board
members is necessary to ensure boardroom success, the recent
ACS State Conference was told, writes Linda Belardi.
ACAR support for CALD services
Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield and
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells were among the
speakers to address the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing's
biennial national conference in Melbourne.
Senator Mitch Fifield, Ljubica Petrov, manager,
Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing, and
Senator Fierravanti-Wells on 12 June.
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