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Awards recognise dedication to aged care


(From left): HESTA award winners Samantha Manoel, Tut Khoryom Nyuon and Oliver Cvekus

A passionate personal care assistant, a team promoting aged care work to students and a dental service delivering tailored care to residents have each been recognised for their achievements.

The 2019 HESTA Aged Care Awards honoured individuals and organisations working in the aged care sector for their compassion and commitment at an event in Adelaide this month.

Personal care assistant Tut Khoryom Nyuon from Victorian aged care provider Fronditha Care won the Individual Distinction Award for his passion and commitment to his work.

When he first came to Australia, he learnt conversational Greek so he could communicate with the Greek aged care residents.

“After I got my Certificate III in aged care, I did my placement at Fronditha Care and loved the people and they loved me. It didn’t matter that they spoke Greek because I have learnt to speak it a little bit,” said Mr Nyuon.

Mr Nyuon, who is highly regarded by residents and their families, has been acknowledged for his empathetic approach, which helps residents feel secure and cared for. Fronthida Care is developing teaching guidelines for other personal care assistants based on his approach.

ACH Group’s Student Placement Team picked up the Team Innovation award for its work attracting more nurses into the sector.

ACH Group student placement manager Samantha Manoel said the award recognised their strategy to improve the experience students have during their university placements at ACH.

“We identified that negative stereotypes were a significant factor in the shortage of nurses working in the sector,” Ms Manoel said. “We set out to develop a strategy to demonstrate first-hand to students that working in aged care can be a rewarding job and career.”

The team developed initiatives to change perceptions including a pre-placement education day, an informative online orientation, an induction booklet and student evaluations.

“We want people to understand that the aged care workplace is a place that’s dynamic, and that it’s about supporting people to live a good life,” she said.

The Outstanding Organisation Award went to the Village Dentist in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill for providing preventative dental care and a range of comprehensive services tailored to the needs of individual aged care residents.

The Village Dentist’s state-of-the art facility allows aged care residents to come alone or with a support person to access treatment and education five days a week.

Village Dentist director Oliver Cvekus said the service aimed to offer clients a holistic apporach to their dental care, health and wellbeing.

“It isn’t just about relieving dental pain, it’s also about making changes to improve quality of life and to preserve their ability to smile with their loves ones and eat glorious food,” Mr Cvekus said.

The Village Dentist said it will the prize money towards purchasing a new lifter to assist residents with limited mobility.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the winners demonstrated the important role aged care professionals and organisations played in creating positive experiences for residents and in supporting growth and recruitment in the sector.

“This year’s winners have shown outstanding leadership in tailoring their services and programs to improve the wellbeing of their clients while also delivering the highest standards of care,” Ms Blakey said.

“Through their work, they’re addressing industry-wide challenges and supporting innovation in the sector,” she said.

Winners shared a $30,000 prize pool courtesy of the awards sponsor ME Bank.

The awards were held at the Adelaide Convention and Exhibition Centre on 14 November.

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