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Noticeboard: Latest acquisitions and sector appointments


In this story:

  • Just Better Care appoints successor, as founder steps down
  • Australian Unity continues home care buy-up
  • PresCare adds to growing mobility aids business

Just Better Care appoints successor, as founder steps down

Just Better Care Australia’s general manager Alison Chandler has been appointed to the role of director of operations, taking over from outgoing COO and founder Trish Noakes.

Alison Chandler

Alison Chandler

Ms Chandler, who has commenced in the new role, has over 20 years’ experience working in the community care sector in both not-for-profit and privately-operated organisations.

The large franchisor of in-home support services said Ms Chandler’s leadership, expertise and passion for community care positioned her as the natural successor to Ms Noakes, who founded the business in 2005.

“I have enormous confidence in Alison to lead Just Better Care into this new chapter. Just Better Care was founded on the principle of caring for people and enabling them to live the life they choose. Throughout her life and work, Alison has been a fantastic ambassador for this ideal,” Ms Noakes said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ms Noakes will continue as a consultant to the business.

Over the past decade, Just Better Care has grown a network of 33 independently-owned and operated franchise offices across Australia, currently employing over 1,200 people.

Just Better Care Australia was acquired by global group Caring Brands International in 2014.

Australian Unity continues home care buy-up

Large mutual provider Australian Unity Retirement Living has announced it is in the process of buying Victorian-based home care organisation Homecare Plus.

Based in Ballarat, Homecare Plus provides home care and personal care services to clients throughout the Ballarat and Grampians region and currently employs 40 staff. It delivers services for the Department of Human Services, Ballan District Health, Hepburn Health Service, and Ballarat Health Service.

Derek McMillan, CEO, Australian Unity Retirement Living.

Derek McMillan

Australian Unity Retirement Living chief executive officer Derek McMillan said the purchase, which is due to be finalised this month, affirms the organisation’s ongoing strategy to strengthen its home care operation, especially in regional and country areas.

“The acquisition will create for Australian Unity a stronger presence in the Ballarat and Grampians region while continuing to deliver the same high level of care to clients, and without the need to change existing staff and their employment arrangements,” he said.

Homecare Plus director Clare Irving, who will remain with the business, said she was excited about the opportunity to further grow the organisation through the sale to a large provider.

“We will be working closely with Australian Unity to ensure the transition is managed as smoothly as possible and clients continue to enjoy the same high level of care during this period,” she said.

The acquisition follows Australian Unity’s successful bid in August to operate the Home Care Service of NSW, formerly run by the NSW Government. The Home Care Service of NSW is Australia’s largest home care provider.

In 2015 the mutual provider also finalised its acquisitions of INS Health Care and KNS Essential Care.

PresCare adds to growing mobility aids business

Queensland aged care provider PresCare Group has announced the acquisition of NSW mobility supplies retailer Awsum Assistive Technology Group.

Greg Skelton

Greg Skelton

The purchase includes two stores in Warners Bay and Orange, both currently operating under the name Comfort and Mobility.

Awsum Assistive Technology Group also imports and wholesales products under the brand Rehab & Mobility and provides workshop services and repairs in Warners Bay.

The purchase will expand PresCare’s existing mobility business, which has thirteen Walk on Wheels branded stores owned or licensed by PresCare throughout Queensland.

PresCare Group CEO Greg Skelton said the mobility industry in Australia is growing and currently generates $507 million a year, with Queensland and NSW accounting for 44 per cent of sales.

“With the number of Australians over 70 increasing at double the rate of the general population, growing our mobility business makes commercial sense for the PresCare Group,” he said.

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