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Aged care leaders, volunteers recognised in awards

Sandra Hills

Aged care CEO Sandra Hills says she hopes to use her Queen’s Birthday Honour as a platform to further drive change in the sector.

In recognition of her service to aged care in Victoria Ms Hills on Monday received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division.

Ms Hills has been with Benetas since 2009, and has been advocating with and on behalf of order people since 1996.

She was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the peak body Leading Aged Care Services (LASA) Australia.

Ms Hills said she was “absolutely honoured” to receive the OAM.

“I am so grateful. I have been lucky enough to work in the community sector for a number of years, supporting disadvantaged people of all ages, and particularly older people, allowing me to work alongside some wonderful people,” Ms Hills said.

Benetas chairman John McKenzie said that for more than three decades Ms Hills had dedicated her paid and unpaid working life to supporting older people and people with disabilities, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Her passion to truly advocate on behalf of older people and to make this advocacy a part of Benetas’ makeup and everyday decision making has changed the way the business runs,” Mr McKenzie said.

Ms Hills is also a coach and mentor outside of Benetas and has particularly sought to support the development of women leaders.

Elsewhere, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic volunteer Ray Morgan was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List.

Mr Morgan, a former Victoria Police Superintendent, was diagnosed with younger onset dementia four years ago. He lives at Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula.

Since his diagnosis, he has shared his experience of living with dementia in the hope that he can help others and increase community awareness about the condition more generally.

As a volunteer consumer advocate with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Mr Morgan has spoken about his disease in a variety of forums, assisted with making documentaries and makes a regular contribution to Victoria Police’s Community Encounters Program for new recruits.

Claire Donovan

Also recognised on Monday was Glengowrie Retirement Village resident Claire Donovan, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

The 84 year-old earned the accolade for service to people who are vision-impaired, after 16 years working with Guide Dogs SA/NT in which she has raised or trained 78 guide dogs.

Other individuals recognised include:

  • Professor Ian Anderson – for service to the Indigenous community, particularly in health equality, aged care and education
  • Elizabeth Carr – for service to the community through voluntary contributions to the health, aged care, education and social services sectors.
  • Graham Slade – for service to the community as a supporter of aged care, medical and multicultural associations, and to the pharmacy profession
  • Patricia Cain – for service to aged care and the community
  • Susan Ivany – for service to women and to aged care in Victoria.

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