We are a growing grassroots community of older people, families and friends, current and retired aged-care workers, and others who are passionate about social justice.
We have come together to lobby government for meaningful reform. Our membership primarily comes together in our Facebook group. You can join us too.
What we do
- Engage in the reform process with politicians and government departments
- Media and advocacy to highlight issues and potential solutions
- Collaborate with like-minded stakeholders to influence change
- Consult with and mobilise our membership, giving voice to the real needs of people interacting with the aged care system
Who we are
Sarah Holland-Batt is an award-winning poet, editor, and critic, and a Professor of Creative Writing at QUT. The author of three books of poems and a book of essays on contemporary poetry, she has received fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell, the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, an Asialink Literature Residency, a Chateau de Lavigny Fellowship, a Hawthornden Fellowship, a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, and the Australia Council Literature Residency at the B.R. Whiting Studio in Rome, among other honours.
In 2021, Holland-Batt was the first poet to be appointed as the Judy Harris Writer in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, an honour offered annually to a distinguished Australian writer whose work offers a literary perspective on health and chronic disease
In addition to her career as a writer, Sarah has also made leading contributions to the public discourse about aged care reform as an independent advocate after her father’s adverse experiences in residential aged care, which prompted her testimony to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. She regularly contributes commentary, reportage and analysis on aged care issues for media outlets including ABC News, Q&A, 7:30, The Project, The Guardian, The Australian, Inside Story, Radio National and other forums; engages with policymakers; and addresses medical and legal bodies.
The following members are all key contributors who help organise our activity, engage in reform events, contribute to parliamentary submissions, and more.
Anastasia (Anna) Willis
Anna Willis is a passionate advocate for consumer rights and improving aged care services. Her interest in aged care stems from personal experiences with her late parents, who attended aged care facilities. Anna believes that residents and their families should have more input in improving aged care and access to information on their rights. She has worked in various fields, including accounting, superannuation, investment, and law, and has been volunteering as an aged care advocate for several years. Anna is a founding organizer of Aged Care Reform Now and is currently the CEO of Aged Care Justice Inc.
Amina Schipp is a retired Commonwealth Bank of Australia employee who became an advocate for aged care reform after the preventable death of her mother in 2019 due to neglect and abuse in a private aged care facility. She made a submission to the Royal Commission and found the formal complaints bodies, such as the ACQSC and APHRA, to be ineffective. Amina has channeled her energy, pain, and grief into advocating for aged care reform full-time through Aged Care Reform Now. She aims to bring changes to the failed aged care system to prevent others from experiencing the same trauma.
Liz Barton is a retired registered nurse. She has been advocating for senior welfare and aged care reform for many years, having experienced the shortcomings of the aged care system with her elderly mother and mother-in-law. As a member of the ANMF Victorian Branch Liz was a vocal supporter of safe nurse-patient ratios and universal access to palliative care. Her personal experience with poor care in a for-profit aged care facility motivated her to dedicate her post-retirement life to achieving real change in aged care. In recognition of her advocacy work with Aged Care Reform Now, Liz was honored with a 2021 Holt Australia Day Award.
Cecilia Webster is a retired RN who has participated in various aged care inquiries, commissions, and research projects over nearly 30 years since the 1997 Aged Care Act was introduced. She has personal experiences with different family members and friends whose experiences ranged from great to total negligence in aged care. Her 43 years of nursing experience in different states have given her a wide appreciation of issues within the health and ageing systems. As an advocate, she continues to inform, educate, and assist governments and advocacy groups like ACRN to make real changes and take aged care in a new direction.
Yvonne is a retired Occupational Therapist who became involved in Aged Care reform after her personal experience caring for both her parents with dementia. She has a broad range of knowledge on what works well and what doesn’t in aged care, and is an active representative of ACRN in Western Australia, advocating for necessary reforms. With experience in pediatrics, rehabilitation, home visiting, prescription of aids and equipment, and neurology, Yvonne has a diverse background that informs her perspective on aged care.
Margaret Walsh is an experienced nurse and manager with a passion for advocating for people with disabilities. She has experience in policy development and delivery of services according to service agreements. Margaret has a background in managing an Alternatives to Employment organisation and working in Home and Community Services. She has served on various committees and boards and was awarded a Medal in the Order of Australia for her services to people with disabilities. Margaret is now retired and has two children and four grandchildren.
Gwenda Darling is an active advocate and volunteer in rural communities, providing advice and assistance in navigating aged care services. She has lived with younger onset Fronto temporal dementia, Temporal Lobe epilepsy, and other comorbidities and manages her own home care package. Gwenda is a proud Aboriginal woman, appointed to the council of Elders and joined the National Older Persons Reference Group(OPAN) this year. She is an ADNet steering committee consumer member and is involved in many committees and research projects. Additionally, she is a matriarch in her own family, providing support and advocacy within the aged care system.
Michelle cared for her father until he passed away in 2020, and she now supports her ageing mother along with her two sisters. Her personal experience inspired her to create Carer’s Circle, a website that assists children of ageing parents in navigating the complexities of ageing and promoting positive ageing. Michelle is also a founding member of the Aged Care Reform Now Committee, aiming to bring about systemic change and improve aged care for the elderly.
Erietta’s interest in aged care follows her father’s illness and her family’s disjointed experience with health and aged care providers. She went on to work for one of these providers for two years meeting many dedicated and inspiring workers. Erietta is one of the founding organisers of Aged Care Reform Now, facilitates the annual strategic planning, and is responsible for our branding, website, and digital channels.
Special thanks to the following community members who continue to make invaluable contributions to submissions, administrative and IT support, their participation in meetings, and who help in so many other ways.
- Angie Stanojevic
- Alwyn Blayse
- Lynn Wakefield
- Lynda Henderson
- Ron Carroll
- Vicki Barry
- Val Fell
- Leonie Short
- Coral Wilkinson
- Jay Richters
We’re proud to work with like-minded organisations which share our vision for reform.