Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Nov-Dec 2017 Contents Can you briefly tell us about your
experience in the sector?
I commenced with Resthaven in 1986
as an assistant administrator, and was
appointed CEO in 1994. Prior to
joining the aged care industry, I worked
in the education sector. Since 1996, I
have been actively involved in Aged and
Community Ser vices SA & NT, and with
the boards of RDNS, Frontier Ser vices
Transition, and Advance Community
Care Association. I am currently chair of
the SA Innovation Hub and the national
UnitingCare Aged Care Network.
What would you most like to
achieve as CEO this year?
I aim to continue to balance provision of
quality services that meet the expectations
of our current consumers, whilst
responding well to increasing demand due
to an ageing population, the changing
aged care system and community.
As a life-long learner, I hope to
continue to benefit from engaging with
our consumers, networking with other
stakeholders and providers regarding
quality and innovation.
What are the big opportunities
and how are you positioning to
capitalise on them?
Ongoing responses to transform business
systems and culture and adapting to the
changing aged care ser vice environment,
whilst gearing for increasing demand for
ser vices that meet expectations.
With continued collaboration and
networking, part of the opportunity
before the sector is the potential for
changing models of ser vice deliver y in
Whilst being pleased with a recent
announcement of an additional 6,000
higher level home care packages, the
bigger opportunity is providing support
for the 90,000 individuals assessed for
home care packages who are yet to receive
their assessed package.
Conversely, what are the top
challenges and how will
The Federal Government continues to
implement reforms to offer consumers
Facing change head on
Resthaven CEO RICHARD HEARN shares his views on the challenges
and opportunities facing his organisation and leadership in the sector.
LEADERSHIP TALK n BUILDING & DESIGN
more choice and control. We see great
importance in revisiting how well
we engage with our consumers, and
understanding what their experiences
are so that we can meet their
We share the importance of continuing
the government reform directions. Ser vice
providers need to ensure that they adjust
their systems to consumer expectations
whilst remaining sustainable.
A sustainable ser vice system is key
to improving outcomes for consumers,
ensuring that they have choice.
A challenge for Resthaven and the
sector is to adapt to the deregulated
market environment and government
restrictions on supply in home care
ser vices. Such elements in residential
aged care homes have unique aspects
to be considered with respect to
sustainability and impact on consumers.
I am ver y cautious about this proposed
further step in deregulation.
Whilst supporting the move to means
testing so that individuals with capacity
make contributions to their service
costs, the challenge will be having
government infrastructure in place to
achieve the intent of the reforms.
How do you deal with stress, a
heavy workload and supporting
your key people?
Overall, I keep in mind the importance
of the purposeful work in aged care and
the contributions of so many individuals.
That helps me keep things in balance.
I think relationships are important
and maintaining the sense of team
towards a common purpose. Working
towards ensuring that we are doing what
we say we do is in itself ver y affirming.
Outside of work, I spend time with my
family, friends and seek to keep my up
exercise routine (which is more modest
than it could be).
The team here is extremely capable
and we support each other to work
through the dynamics of the reforms
and the day to day challenges. You can’t
deny or be afraid of change, just face it
head on and do what needs to be done –
learning as you go.
What’s the best advice you’ve
received that has helped you in
your role as an aged care CEO?
We are fortunate that Resthaven has
attracted good people with similar
purpose. That is ver y important. I
have often reflected on the advice
that indicates it’s the people aspects
that in the end require the greatest
consideration, both formal and
informal, acknowledging individuals
and balancing interactions.
Another sharing was to understand
that a position is not just about the
individual and a personal view, but what
is required of the position.
What qualities make a standout
aged care leader?
Standout leaders reflect a strong
commitment to their role in the sector,
use their leadership capabilities to
have impact, are generous with their
time externally and have or support a
workable vision for the future.
I have met many individuals in
various roles in aged care with such
qualities. Advocacy is also an important
leadership quality, which at times means
doing things that are uncomfortable,
but are right to do. n
26 | NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2017
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