A productive meeting of aged care advocates in Parliament House have formed a new coalition

Outcomes of Aged Care Roundtable with Senator Janet Rice

Hi {name},


We’ve hit some key milestones in our ongoing advocacy for aged care reform. This includes three new submissions to Department of Health consultations and participation in an aged care round table at Parliament House.

Aged Care Reform Now hits Parliament House

In October 2022, Aged Care Reform Now was approached by Senator Janet Rice's Office (Vic, Greens) with the idea of a Roundtable conference on aged care reform for individual advocates and smaller advocacy groups that don’t have regular access to Government. Senator Janet Rice holds the Aged Care portfolio for the Greens.


The roundtable took place at Parliament House, Canberra on 10th March. 28 people participated in total, in person and online, as individuals and advocacy group representatives. Alongside Aged Care Reform Now were:

The focus of discussion was what an Aged Care Act based on human rights should include and the changes advocates believe are needed to enshrine a high standard of care into the Aged Care Act. These included

  • Adequate rights protections
  • Enforceable standards of care including accountability for breaches of provider responsibilities
  • Implementing Royal Commission recommendations in regards to governance, reporting, and duty of care.

Outcomes of the round table

  • Senator Janet Rice wrote a statement and letter on behalf of all the advocates which was sent to Minister Anika Wells.
  • The advocates present agreed to form a loose coalition to join our voices together – Community of Aged Rights Advocates (CARA). So far we have had two meetings and are working on our readiness to reply to the Government’s upcoming consultation period on the new Aged Care Act. Watch this space!

We would like to thank Senator Janet Rice, Victoria and Tarek from her office, and the fellow participants of the roundtable. It was heartening to hear everybody expressing shared concerns and passion for reforming aged care. 


If you would like to read more about this event, this article on our website reports on the roundtable in more detail.

Contributing to the reform process - our submissions

One way we continue to participate in the reform process is by providing submissions into various consultations. These submissions give us an opportunity to respond to the questions asked by the Department of Health. We also use them to:

  • Raise other related aged care issues
  • Provide responses to draft legislation that have not been promoted on the Department of Health’s official consultation calendar – the Aged Care Engagement Hub.
  • Highlight where draft proposals from the Department of health fall short of the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission into Quality and Safety.

Over the last few months we have provided responses to:

  • National Dementia Action Plan
  • Draft Inspector-General of Aged Care Bill  (joint submission with our allies Aged Care Justice, Carers’ Circle and QACAG)
  • Exposure Draft of the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Registered Nurses) Principles 2023 (joint submission with our allies QACAG, Older Women’s Network and Carers’ Circle).  

You can read all of our submissions on our website.

Political pow wows

Over the last few months we have been in contact with several politicians to keep aged care top of mind. Sometimes it’s just been email correspondence and other times we’ve been able to meet with advisors, or better yet, Senators or MPs themselves. The politicians that have been generous with their time and granted us meetings include:

  • Senator Dean Smith
  • Tracey Roberts MP
  • Dr Brad Pettitt
  • Senator Louise Pratt
  • Senator Janet Rice
  • Senator Lynda Reynolds
  • Senator Marielle Smith
  • Senator Anne Ruston
  • Cassandra Fernando MP

While Senator David Pocock was unable to meet with us in Canberra, he later approached us for opinions and information on the Inspector General Bill, and was impressed with our submission.


Committee members Amina Schipp and Yvonne Buters also hand delivered a letter to Senator Jordon Steele-John from a Queensland Member at a function in Perth in regards to an Oral Health initiative she is working on.


While aged care is a federal government responsibility, other levels of government are impacted too. That’s why we’re also talking to local councils (City of Wanneroo Mayor Linda Aitken and Council Administrative staff) and will be moving to contact State politicians as well.


Changes to the ACRN organising committee


You might not always see all our faces, but there’s a group of hardworking people working behind the scenes at Aged Care Reform Now. You can learn more about them on the website here – https://agedcarereformnow.com.au/about/the-team/.


This year one of our committee members stepped down and we wanted to thank her and acknowledge her contribution.  


Barbara Smith

Barbara was one of the first members of the ACRN committee joining soon after we officially launched in March 2021. In her mid-90s, Barbara is determined to voice the frustrations the older generation has with the system today – particularly the reliance on technology, the ageist structures that exist, and above all, the way that care has moved away from the individual’s wants and needs. She has been a wonderful committee member, providing the voice of her generation. Her contribution has been invaluable, particularly to our 13 questions campaign. It wouldn’t have been as effective without her input. We thank her for her service and look forward to staying in touch.

Working together

Aged Care Reform Now is a small grassroots organisation so its key we’re able to collaborate with other organisations in this space. That’s why this year we’ve established a working relationship with the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and met with its CEO Craig Gear. We have also met with the relatively new CEO of COTA Australia Pat Sparrow.

Aged Care Masterclasses

We all know that navigating the home care system can be tricky. That’s why we’re supporting one of our members Coral Wilkinson and the presentation of her free online Aged Care Masterclass Series.


Held every first Wednesday of the month, Coral has organised for some of the brightest purpose driven people who like us want to make a difference to your experience within the aged care sector to present and answer your questions.


You can read more about Coral’s Masterclass series here - https://www.seemeacn.com.au/aged-care-masterclass.


Aged Care Specialist Officers at Services Australia outlets


There are also government funded officers that are employed to help you with your aged care matters. Aged Care Specialist Officers work in Services Australia Services Centres around Australia.


You can book face-to-face appointments or speak with them over the phone. More information can be found here -https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/aged-care-specialist-officer-my-aged-care-face-to-face-services?context=55715


Get involved!

If you’d like to join in on our advocacy efforts, share your ideas, or show your support ...

We need more people talking to their local members and other politicians.

If you’re interested in this, let us know via info@agedcarereformnow.com.au. We can share our talking points with you and provide advice on how to engage your representatives directly.

If you are talking to or writing to your elected representatives already feel free to share our submissions in response to Department of Health consultations.

To stay up to date with government changes and have your direct say check out 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.


Yours in action
Aged Care Reform Now

facebook  twitter  linkedin 
Modify your subscription   |   View online
Aged Care Reform Now

Copyright Aged Care Reform Now CC BY-SA 4.0