Merlin Kong departs innovAGEING

After five years heading innovAGEING, Merlin Kong has moved on to take up a new role.

After five years heading innovAGEING – the national innovation network for the aged care services industry – Merlin Kong has moved on to take up a new role.

An initiative of former sector peak Leading Age Services Australia – which merged into the Aged & Community Care Providers Association – innovAGEING was launched in 2017 to facilitate a connected community of practice for the industry’s progressive thinkers and practitioners.

The government-funded network was also designed to create and share examples of Australian aged care service innovation within the industry and across the wider community as well as to celebrate, highlight and elevate innovation through a national awards program.

Posting on LinkedIn, Mr Kong said: “It’s a sublime bittersweet moment, but I’m leaving innovAGEING and ACCPA. My time here and working with many of you across the sector has been incredible… it’s been a dream job.”

Source: LinkedIn

Starting with just two people, innovAGEING was “built from scratch”, Mr Kong wrote in another LinkedIn post, “with a CEO’s mandate, a mobile phone and a laptop … Together, we set up an informal network that functioned as a public good and democratised our sector’s innovation ecosystem by giving anyone with a valid and credible perspective a platform to share their work and insights.”

Today, the innovAGEING network comprises of around 4,000 people.

Listing some of the achievements over the past five years, Mr Kong mentioned:

  • the innovAGEING National Awards program
  • the implementation of Australia’s first aged services innovation manager’s program.
  • the innovAGEING Insights webinar series

“What a privilege it’s been to be able to tell your innovation stories, work alongside you to change the logic of business-as-usual and celebrate your wins (or commiserate your losses),” wrote Mr Kong.

Sean Rooney

Also posting on LinkedIn, former LASA CEO Sean Rooney paid tribute to Mr Kong: “The driving force through all the ups and downs has been you. Your vision, passion, intelligence, humour and humility has left a positive and enduring mark on the people and organisations in our sector. And, ultimately, contributed to positive outcomes for older Australians … I am very much looking forward to the ’where to next’ for Merlin Kong.”

Source: LinkedIn

On Tuesday, Mr Kong took to LinkedIn to announce he was joining Kiah – an Australian consultancy firm servicing government and industry. “It’s a great opportunity to continue my work supporting the aged care sector,” wrote Mr Kong.

Mr Kong commenced his new role on Monday.

Meanwhile, ACCPA is in the process of recruiting a new head of innovAGEING, a spokesperson told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Have we missed an appointment or resignation? Send us the details and an image to

Tags: ACCPA, innovageing, lasa, merlin kong,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *