Next phase of Aged Care Reform Now action

Hi {name},


Keeping calm and carrying on with Aged Care Reform Now


Lockdowns, vaccination debates, and cities opening up again have not detracted the Aged Care Reform Now Organising Committee from the task at hand - advocating for real aged care reform on your behalf as well as that of our families, friends and ourselves.


One of our aims is to make sure that no politician can have the excuse that they don’t know the issues around aged care - so you’ll see our actions have been trying to make that happen.


Since our last update, we’ve been

  • Meeting with politicians either face to face or over Zoom;

  • Collaborating with more like-minded organisations; 

  • Participating in Department of Health consultations and importantly;

  • Working on our big campaign to coincide with the upcoming election


But we don’t and can’t do all of this alone. We really value all the input we receive from our members either in the Facebook group or over email. So thank you.


Our big campaign - 13 questions - where do you stand on aged care?

We’re working on a campaign where we will be asking you, your family and friends, to ask politicians where they stand on various matters with aged care.

We want to make this as easy as possible, so we have drafted 13 questions that cover the key areas of quality care, workforce, and transparency & accountability. These have been drafted in consultation with our members on our Facebook group but we would like your input as well.

The campaign will be executed via an IT platform (so you don’t have to get out pen and paper unless you want to). We will then publish their responses on our website so the electorate knows about their local member or candidates' views on reform. 

How can you help? 

You can help in two ways.

  1. Review the questions below and give us feedback by 13 December. Is there anything you’d like to change? Is there anything we’re missing? Email your feedback to 

  2. When we launch the 13 questions - where do you stand on aged care campaign, please join in, share it with your networks and help us hold politicians to account. 

13 questions - where do you stand on aged care? Questions for your review

Quality care

Do you support?

  1. Home care that prioritises each individual’s need for support?

  1. A minimum amount of care per day to be provided in residential care, based on individual care needs?

  2. Sufficiently funded and accessible allied health services for older people who receive aged care services both in the home and in residential care?

  3. Capping of administration fees for home care providers to allow for more funds to be directed to services?

  1. The provision of a variety of fresh, nutritious, appetising and appropriate meals in line with the choices of aged care residents?

  2. Keeping the existing Aged Care Assessment Process in public hands? The existing Regional Assessment Service (RAS) and Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT).


Do you support?

  1. Registration of all aged care workers in both residential and in-home care settings? 

  1. A national minimum standard of training for all care staff in both residential and home care. This would specify training modules in personal care, dementia, palliative care, wound care, cultural and diversity, infection control, communication, and ongoing refresher training.

  1. At least one Registered Nurse (RN) on duty at all times in an aged care home?

Transparency & accountability

Do you support?

  1.  Financial transparency of how taxpayer funds are being used in both residential and home care? 

  1. Public reporting of complaints including how they are managed and resolved, and public disclosure of how a provider is meeting or failing quality standards?

  2. New aged care legislation that prioritises the human rights of older people and mandates quality care?  

  3. The mandatory reporting of serious incidents within a timely manner in both residential and home care?

Department of Health update

Following on from the Aged Care Royal Commission, there's a lot of work going on to improve the aged care system. If you're interested in getting involved, the Department of Health has a website where you can register your interest to participate in various consultations. To register or view the upcoming calendar - visit the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement hub here. 

There are a number of consultations that Aged Care Reform Now members are currently participating in, that you are welcome to contribute to:

We hosted a Zoom call on Friday 3rd December for those who wanted to contribute to an Aged Care Reform Now submission on the Quality Indicators that will be measured as part of the Star Rating System. If you would like to add your point of view, please email by 9 December. 

Council of Elders

The Council of Elders was one of the Aged Care Royal Commission findings to help ensure the needs and rights of older people are directly addressed by the aged care reforms. Nominations have closed and some of our members have applied. Results will be out by the end of the year. In the meantime Ian Yates, the Chief Executive of COTA has been appointed as the Chair.  

National Advisory Council 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Advisory Council has been established with little consumer representation and even less participation from those currently working in clinical care. While we welcome the inclusion of Maree McCabe from Dementia Australia, we question the number of providers and politicians on the Council. We hope they do a better job with the Council of Elders. The Government announcement on the Council are available here. Unfortunately, it only provides a list of names and not a biography of the members. 

Political action update

With the favourable COVID situation in WA, our team members have been actively pursuing face-to-face meetings with our politicians and advisors or Zoom meetings when face to face hasn't been possible.


Two of the key meetings held since our last update have been with Christian Porter and a subsequent meeting with Senator Richard Colbeck. 


The meeting with Senator Colbeck was organised by Christian Porter's office, with whom we had met previously. Six of our members attended as it was held over Zoom. Senator Colbeck, Christian Porter, and their executive officers also attended. This meeting has been some time in the making and a previously scheduled face-to-face meeting in Perth had been cancelled due to Covid restrictions. We had prepared and given notice of four questions for our 30-minute meeting and were able to ask three of these along with other questions related to the Minister's responses.


Minister Colbeck was approachable and we were all respectful yet firm in our resolve for our issues of reform, transparency, and accountability. He acknowledged he was aware of our group and we felt the meeting established our reputation as a serious advocacy group.


We also used the opportunity to inform the Minister that some of our members have nominated for positions on the Council of Elders and that we would be following this with interest.

Since the last newsletter as well as a meeting with Richard Colbeck and Christian Porter we have had further meetings with

  • Senator Ben Small

  • Senator Reynolds advisor who has offered to put us in touch with the new CEO of Advocacy WA.

  • Senator Louise Pratt. Senator Pratt has offered to make a speech in parliament on the progress of the reform and what is still required. She will be using our advocacy group and other local recent issues as examples.

  • Senator Matt O'Sullivan who was interested in the workforce and training issues raised by the team. 

In Victoria, our team has been meeting with various State Government representatives as well as Anthony Byrne's team. There are lots of conversations happening at both a political and advisor level in the hope we can help influence policy.

After watching the ABC series The Big Deal (recommended viewing) our belief that this direct contact with politicians through letters and individual contact is vitally important has been strengthened. We urge you all to not only participate in writing to your local member but also in asking for meetings with them and your state senators. Our upcoming 13 questions campaign is a great place to start!

Collaborators update


Wonderful news that one of our collaborating organisations ALARM has snared former Royal Commissioner Tony Pagone as its patron 

As part of our collaboration with ALARM, we wrote letters to the Senate Committee on Community Affairs re the Aged Care and other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No 2) Bill 2021: 9th Schedule. This schedule would remove the human rights of older people by allowing aged care providers and their staff to escape prosecution with regards to the application of restraint to a specified group of residents. This is in direct contravention to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and our key values of human rights and accountability. This was a schedule that the Government tried to sneak in, however, we were on to it and we made an application to remove Schedule 9. It is before the Senate.

Our letters are available on the public record as part of the Rodney Lewis submission here -

WA Seniors Alliance

Our hardworking WA members Yvonne Buters and Amina Schipp were invited by WA Seniors Alliance President Mr. Ron de Gruchy to attend their last meeting for 2021. They had the opportunity to introduce ‘Aged Care Reform Now’ and explain what we do. There were several aged care related questions that came from the group who seemed to be very engaged in the topic and keen to learn more. A big thanks to Margaret Walsh who has been instrumental in supporting our team in making connections and spreading the advocacy word around.

Please note that in our last newsletter, we incorrectly called the group the Independent Retirees Association. While the Association of Independent Retirees is a member of the Group, the Group we have been working with is the WA Seniors Alliance which is a combination of: 

  • Association of Independent Retirees (A.I.R) Ltd.  (A.I.R. WA)

  • Australian Pensioners & Superannuants League WA Inc. (APSL)

  • Naval Association (WA Branch) (Navy)

  • Returned  &  Services  League  of  Australia  WA  Branch  Incorporated (RSL)

  • Superannuated  Commonwealth  Officers  Association  WA  Inc. (SCOAWA)

  • Western Australia Self-Funded Retirees Inc. (WASFR)

We apologise for the error and again thank WASA for its openness in working together. 

Aged Care Watch

Aged Care Watch is a website where you can report understaffing in an aged care facility. The information is then made public in order for people to see how understaffed specific facilities are. 

We hope you will join us in supporting our collaborators and the work we all do in helping improve aged care services for older Australians. 

Death of Allied Health

Did you know that under the proposed changes to Aged Care funding, physiotherapy and other allied health services will not be funded within aged care facilities after October 2022? If residents need access to allied health, they will generally have to pay for them out of their pocket. 

Death of Aged Care Physio and Allied Health is a campaign to lobby the government to reconsider the funding changes and provide better allied health funding so older Australians can get the allied health services they need.

Currently, they are running a campaign to petition the Australian senate. You can sign the petition here - 

You can read more about the wider campaign here - 

In the interests of transparency, the campaign is organised by the CEO of Allied Aged Care - a physiotherapy group in Queensland. While we recognise there is a level of self-interest, we believe the issue of access to allied health is important to the ongoing health and wellbeing of older Australians. 

We hope you can support the campaign and all our collaborators. The more we can work together with other people and organisations, the louder our collective voices can become. 


Yours in action, 


The Aged Care Reform Now team

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