Several of our submissions to the federal government have been accepted as part of various consultation processes, and we continue to meet with state and federal politicians and collaborate with our partners to keep up the pressure on aged care reform.

Taking action in consultation, collaboration, and the political process

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Several of our submissions to the federal government have been accepted as part of various consultation processes, and we continue to meet with state and federal politicians and collaborate with our partners to keep up the pressure on aged care reform.

This newsletter updates you on this activity and how you can get involved.

ACRN in the news

13 Questions survey findings offer valuable insight, keep aged care crisis front-of-mind Aged Care News covered the findings of our 13 questions survey. The article includes comments from ACRN Committee members Yvonne Buters and Amina Schipp.

Community advocacy body calls for Govt clarity on ACQSC reform aimsAnna Willis, ACRN Committee Member and Aged Care Justice Interim CEO is interviewed by Bianca Roberts from Aged Care News discussing the role of the regulator. The article also profiles ACRN’s submission calling for more clarity on how the Government aims to reform the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.


13 questions report – where do you stand on aged care?

The results of the “13 questions – where do you stand on aged care” survey (13 questions) were finalised in July and show that there is significant support for aged care reform in the key areas of quality care, workforce, transparency and accountability. 

The survey was launched by ACRN to raise awareness of the issues in aged care with both politicians and everyday Australians on the one-year anniversary of the Royal Commission’s final report into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The survey found that many people were not across the key issues older Australians and their support network face. To help people better understand the issues and possible solutions the report concludes with the major points ACRN is advocating for in its "A way forward" section. 

You can read more about it and access the full report here - 13 Questions on aged care reform.

A big thank you to everyone on the ACRN Committee who worked so hard on pulling the survey together as well as the results. Special thanks go to Yvonne Buters for the original idea as well as Michelle Chaperon and Erietta Sapounakis for bringing it to life. ACRN members Melissa Egan helped draft the press release, while Lynn Wakfield and Vanessa Eagle-Scott helped compile the final report - thank you! The United Workers Union supported the survey by sharing some of their digital infrastructure with us for the email campaign. The Committee would also like to thank you – all our members who contributed ideas for questions, filled out the survey, and sent it out to politicians.

What’s next?

The report has been shared with politicians and is being used in various advocacy meetings. Please share it with anyone who wants to understand more about the issues in aged care.

Taking action in the political process

Many hours of work went into writing the October 2022 Pre-Budget submission which was a “brains trust” effort by Cecilia Webster and Liz Barton with helpful reviews and additions by other members of the organising committee. The submission was accepted by the Treasury Budget Office planning team for consideration in the Budget that was handed down on 25th October.

We received a last-minute request from WA Labour Senator Louise Pratt’s office to contribute to the Senate Community Affairs Aged Care Legislation Hearings. Our submission was accepted as a last-minute entry for the next day sitting! It was also great to see Alwyn Blayse from Allied Aged Care present so well at the Senate Hearing.

The team also worked on a submission to the Productivity Commission on its Carer leave issues paper. This was a joint submission made with the Quality Aged Care Action Group and Carers’ Circle discussing the provision of carer leave and importantly the other support services that impact the need for carer leave provisions and entitlements.

Most recently, we completed a submission responding to the Health Department’s consultation process on designing a new regulatory framework. ACRN does not believe the framework proposed in “A new model for regulation Aged Care Consultation Paper No.1”, will ‘shift the dial’ and result in the significant improvements needed for the aged care sector to keep older Australians safe. Our submission provided eight requirements for a new aged care regulatory framework.

You can read all our submissions on our website:

Collaborators update

Aged Care Justice

During July and August we met with Aged Care Justice to petition the Government to amend Section 54-11/Schedule 9 of the Aged Care Reform Bill 2022 (Provisions) which deals with restrictive practices and defines the chemical restraint decision maker provisions.

We also held a Zoom meeting with Senator Janet Rice (Greens Aged Care Spokesperson) with regard to Schedule 9 which is an ongoing issue.

Quality Aged Care Action Group Incorporated (QACAG)

QACAG aims to improve the quality of life for people in residential and community aged care settings. 

It is a NSW-based community action group affiliated with the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association and made up of people from many interests and backgrounds brought together by common concerns about the quality of care for people receiving aged care servicesQACAG is very much aligned with what ACRN is advocating for and we are a “corporate member”.

A number of ACRN members have been attending its meetings including the AGM, while ACRN Committee Member Anna Willis contributed to a video created by QACAG.

Wounds Australia

Aged Care Reform Now collaborated again with Wounds Australia for Wound Care Awareness Week with members sharing their stories of wound management in Aged Care. Read Bianca Roberts’ coverage in Aged Care News.

Meeting round-up

Senator Dean Smith with ACRN's Amina Schipp and WASFR members

ACRN committee and group members have attended Health Department Engagements following the recommencement of the reform process by the new Government. ACRN committee members also join the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission consumer panel.

Victorian ACRN activity since May 2022 federal elections

Victorian members have engaged continuously with Peta Murphy, Member for Dunkley, on aged care issues online and as reform bills were brought before Parliament.

Liz Barton and Cecilia Webster had a face-to-face meeting with Cassandra Fernando, newly elected House of Representatives member for Holt, spoke with her advisors, and presented them with a draft of the October 2022 Pre-Budget Submission which they promised to discuss with Aged Care Minister Annika Wells.

Currently, we are investigating two matters: the mass withdrawal of municipal councils in Victoria from Home Care Services and the failures to service agreed numbers of clients; and the alarming news that Meals on Wheels services are changing from providing freshly cooked meals to frozen pre-packed meals.

September and October were also busy with meetings with both federal and state politicians in the lead-up to the Victorian state elections.

Western Australia ACRN activity since May 2022 federal elections

The WA team has been busy meeting new and existing parliamentarians from all persuasions to help inform them of the issues in Aged Care and how consumers and advocates can impact positive change.

We have met with state member Sabine Winton, Federal Senators Linda Reynolds, Louise Pratt, Dean Smith, Matt O’Sullivan, Fatima Payman as well as MPs Tracey Roberts and Kate Chaney.

We have continued to build on collaborative relationships with other groups attending Health Consumer Council events and webinars, meeting with committee members of WASFR, and participating in COTA’s research projects on retirement living and dementia redress.

Get involved!

As you can see there’s an enormous amount of work taking place to reform the aged care sector. The best place to be kept up to date with the changes and have an opportunity to have your say is via the Department of Health’s Aged Care Engagement Hub. You can sign up to be part of the consultation process or simply sign up to the newsletter. We’ll also keep you up to date with opportunities on our Facebook page.

And, if you’d like to join in on our advocacy efforts, share your ideas, or show your support you can head over to our Private Facebook groupfollow our public Facebook page, email us or visit our website.

Until next time, yours in action, 
The Aged Care Reform Now team

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