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  • Policy response needed now, forum hears
  • Workplace gender award for Benetas
  • CEO award for TLC head
Policy response needed now, forum hears

Australia’s governments must act now to reap long-term rewards from the opportunities an ageing Australia presents, a policy forum on ageing was told yesterday.

The Academy of Social Sciences Australia (ASSA) 2014 symposium, themed ‘Population Ageing and Australia’s Future’, heard it was now critical to adjust policy settings so that the “hundreds of thousands of people approaching retirement age could do so with confidence for the future.”

Peter Spearitt, chair of public forums, ASSA, said that a multidisciplinary approach was needed to enable Australia to benefit from the potential of large numbers of healthy and active individuals who could “continue to contribute beyond outdated parameters.”

Hal Kendig, chief investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), said that Australia needed to be proactively and constructively addressing the issues now. “We are building the critical thinking and knowledge base to inform ways of ageing well and improve an ageing Australia,” he told the forum.

Professor John Piggott, CEPAR director, said that “increased superannuation contribution rates and extended workforce participation have been high on the public agenda this year, and we need further action on retirement funding options, and the extent of the government’s role.”

Workplace gender award for Benetas
Sandra Hills

Sandra Hills

Victorian not-for-profit aged care provider Benetas has been recognised with the inaugural Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation.

The new citation raises the expected level of performance by organisations from the previous Employer of Choice for Women award, which Benetas has received for the last eight years.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the citation was a welcome recognition of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to achieving gender equality in the workplace. “Benetas is proud to receive the citation, which is reflective of the work we are doing to ensure we provide the most equitable, supportive and dynamic workplace for both genders,” she said.

“We want to support all of our staff to thrive in their careers, and to do this we are committed to investing in gender equity, and our broader gender diversity strategy. For us, best practice in this area means ensuring the sustainability of both our organisation and our workforce, to ensure we maximise the full potential of each and every Benetas staff member. We are very mindful of the increasing demand on the aged care workforce, and believe it is our responsibility to invest in this area.”

Benetas said its 1,400 staff members are offered access to a range of initiatives which promote gender equality, including paid parental leave, job sharing, leadership development and mentoring programs, flexible work hours and aged care nursing scholarships.

The organisation also invests in related research and advocacy activities. Last year it commissioned the Women at Work – Voices of Older Women study which explored the employment experiences of older women, compared to younger generations.

CEO award for TLC head
Lou Pascuzzi

Lou Pascuzzi

TLC Aged Care chief executive officer Lou Pascuzzi has been awarded the Most Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the 2014 Australian Over 50s Housing Awards.

The awards, which celebrate and reward excellence in the Australasian over 50s housing sector, were created by the Aged Care Housing Weekly News.

As Australian Ageing Agenda has reported, Mr Pascuzzi took the top job at TLC late last year, and since then the organisation has undertaken an expansion strategy, through which the provider will build ‘community healthcare hubs’ at its 10 residential facilities

“Our homes set the standard for aged care in Australia by offering luxury accommodation, a range of leisure activities and the highest levels of clinical care. At TLC we are very proud of the services that we offer to the over 50s community and appreciate their support,” he said.

“TLC is continuing to develop our range services with the introduction of on-site medical centres in our aged care homes. These full-service medical centres will not only benefit the residents of our homes but also their families and the broader community. The incorporation of full-service medical centres into residential aged care homes is a first in Australia.”

Mr Pascuzzi was the founder of Peak Health Management, which was acquired by Bupa in 2010. He later headed up the Medical Centres Division at Healthscope.

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