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New professor is a “terrific step forward”



A major Victorian aged care provider has described a deal to establish a joint academic position in aged care research and policy development as a “terrific step forward” for the industry.

Uniting Aged Care Victoria and Tasmania has entered into a partnership with La Trobe University to develop the Professor, Aged Care Research and Policy Development position.

The organisation’s Executive Director said the new role will look at a broad scope of issues affecting ageing services.

“The new appointee will focus specifically on aged care with a cross disciplinary approach from areas such as nursing, social work, dietetics, podiatry and other allied health streams,” she said.

The inaugural Professor of Aged Care will have a particular focus on developing new models of care, boosting the aged care workforce, understanding consumer preferences and contributing to discussions about the future of aged care in Australia.

“It is envisaged that the Professor, Aged Care Research and Policy Development, will build international links with other aged care researchers and will maintain connections with consumers, industry organisations and governments,” said Ms Batten.

On the research front, the new role will be used to attract competitive grants and promote postgraduate research in aged care.

“Part of the professorial role is to publish and present conference presentations and we would expect that any improved understandings around models of care would be propagated throughout the industry by the usual sources, particularly publications,” said Ms Batten.

It is expected that the new appointee will begin work midway through the year, following an international recruitment process.

The Professor of Aged Care will divide their time between La Trobe University’s Bundoora Campus and Uniting Aged Care’s central offices in Little Collins Street, which are both in Melbourne. 

Ms Batten said she hoped there would be more aged care-related professorial appointments in future.

“They are certainly very common in the acute health sector, particularly within the public sector,” she said.

“It seems to be extremely important to have a partnership with universities to advance research and quality of care and there’s no reason why aged care shouldn’t be doing that too.”

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