Movers and shakers of 2022

As ever, there was a lot of movement in 2022 at the executive level of Australia’s aged care sector. Here are many of the movers and shakers of the year.

As ever, there was a lot of movement in 2022 at the executive level of Australia’s aged care sector. Here are many of the movers and shakers of the year.

January

Sharon Callister

It was a new year and a new CEO for Mission AustraliaSharon Callister. Ms Callister arrived at the Christian charity – which provides residential care to vulnerable older people in New South Wales among its services – with extensive experience managing large faith-based service delivery organisations, especially with a focus on aged care.

While CEO of The Salvation Army, Ms Callister oversaw the development of residential services and retirement villages. Similarly, while CEO at Anglican Health Care Group, Ms Callister managed the delivery of residential care and community care packages.

“I am humbled, delighted and thrilled to be joining Mission Australia,” said Ms Callister after landing the role. “Throughout my career, I have been committed to serving those who are most vulnerable in our community to make real impactful changes to their lives, so that they can thrive.”

Lucy O’Flaherty joined long-standing NSW residential aged care provider Columbia Aged Care Services in January. Ms O’Flaherty left Glenview Community Services in Tasmania the previous May after a decdae in the role. At Columbia, she replaced Tiffany Boys who held the role for 11 years.

February

Not-for-profit advocacy group for older people National Seniors Australia appointed Ross Glossop as chair and Marcia Griffin as deputy chairearly February. Mr Glossop joined the organisation with extensive experience in corporate governance, superannuation, mergers and acquisitions.

Ms Griffin took on the role of deputy chair of National Seniors Australia having been on the board of a number of organisations including National Pharmacies, Tourism Victoria, the World Master Games, and the Australian Direct Selling Association.

Janet Anderson

Janet Anderson was reappointed as Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner for three more years. She began as the regulatory body’s inaugural Safety and Quality Commissioner in 2019.

During the year, Ms Anderson would play a critical role in the government’s sweeping overhaul of the aged care system, with a strengthened role in enhancing the safety and quality of aged care.

Aged care industry consultant Rebecca Hogan joined the newly formed advisory board of The SeniorsChannel – an on-demand interactive entertainment platform for the aged care sector.

The SeniorsChannel is an Australian-designed platform that streamlines social intervention strategies for the aged care workforce with programs that encourage meaningful activity and purposeful connection among aged care residents.

Australia’s largest independent not-for-profit aged care provider Bolton Clarke appointed two additional directorsAssociate Professor Beverley Rowbotham and Annabelle Chaplain –to bring deep clinical and financial expertise to the board.

Associate Professor Rowbotham is a medical specialist and company director with a career-long focus on client safety and wellbeing in the health care, disability and aged care sectors.

Ms Chaplain is a non-executive director with extensive experience across ASX-listed, public, private and international sectors including in financial services, property and industrial services and infrastructure.

Ara Cressell

Older Persons Advocacy Network appointed former Carers Australia CEO Ara Cresswell as the Commonwealth-funded organisation’s first independent non-executive chair.

Ms Cresswell’s appointment followed a review of the network’s constitution by the board to reflect a more contemporary structure. “The review also highlighted the need for an independent, non-executive chair, and [this month’s] announcement responds to that need,” OPAN said in a statement. 

March

Aged care, disability and community service provider Jewish Care Victoria appointed Dr Simon Grof as its inaugural chief medical officer.

Having joined the executive leadership team on 1 March, Dr Grof brought extensive medical experience to the role. He has been a consultant geriatrician at Melbourne’s Eastern Health since 2014. Dr Grof is also a clinical lecturer at Deakin University.

Catherine Stoddart

West Australian aged care, disability and retirement services provider Brightwater Care Group appointed Catherine Stoddart as its new CEO.

Ms Stoddart joined the not-for-profit provider with extensive leadership experience in complex health and care organisations, including Oxford Hospital’s National Health Service Foundation Trust where she worked as deputy chief nurse and deputy chief executive.

Upon accepting the role, Ms Stoddart said:“I look forward to working with the Brightwater team to meet the challenges ahead and believe that my experience in leading complex health and human services, as well a deep empathy for people, will be well placed here.”

TLC Healthcare – which operates residential care homes in Melbourne and Geelong – appointed Sabine Phillips as its new chief legal counsel.

Ms Phillips has more than 25 years’ experience as an aged care and legal professional. She has been a registered nurse, an approved aged care provider and a partner-level legal advisor.

“Alongside my existing executive team, Sabine will be tasked with ensuring TLC meets all of its regulatory requirements as well as providing the organisation with specialised aged care legal advice,” said TLC Healthcare CEO Lou Pascuzzi.

Lee Carissa

New South Wales aged care provider Cranbrook Care promoted operations manager Lee Carissa to chief executive officer.

Ms Carissa came to the role with more than three decades of experience in the aged care sector, including four with Cranbrook.

A registered nurse, Ms Carissa’s career in aged care almost ended as soon as it started after she inadvertently helped a resident escape a facility by offering her a lift into town.

“It was an interesting way to start my career in aged care, but the fact that the director of nursing on the Central Coast was understanding enough to give me a chance is something for which I am forever grateful. I had found my calling,” she said.

Victorian aged care provider Benetas appointed John Staines to the newly created position of chief information officer.

A seasoned CIO who has worked in the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors, Mr Staines joined Benetas from his role as chief technology officer for The Evolved Group – a human insights organisation combining human research and data science.

April

Aged care, disability and retirement services provider Brightwater Care Group appointed Joanne Farrell deputy chair of its board.

Bringing strong skills and experience in risk, governance and advocacy to the WA-based provider, Ms Farrell had previously held leadership roles in health, safety and environment, communications, government and community relations, and human resources in a long and successful career in the mining industry.

Ingrid Harvey

Victorian aged care provider BlueCross confirmed Ingrid Harvey as its new chief executive officer. Ms Harvey had been the chief operating officer at BlueCross since 2019 and acting in the role of CEO since Rob Putamorsi departed in February this year.

Prior to joining BlueCross, Ms Harvey held various senior management positions, including in the health, retail and customer service sectors. “We expect this varied experience and her thoughtful approach will be valuable assets to lead the next chapter in the BlueCross story,” said BlueCross founding board member David Eccles.

Not-for-profit organisation Meaningful Ageing Australia – which promote evidence-based spiritual care for the ageing population – appointed Rachel Wass as its new CEO.

Dedicated to making a difference to the quality of life of older Australians, Ms Wass believes there is a different future for the country’s ageing population – one that puts humanity before profit and allows people to be seen, heard and supported with empathy, openness and compassion.  

May

Julie Dundon

Accredited practising dietician Julie Dundon was appointed to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Advisory Council.

Ms Dundon – a member of peak body Dietitians Australia and its aged care subject matter lead – is a long-time advocate of improved nutrition in aged care.

A director of aged care nutrition and dietetic service Nutrition Professionals, Ms Dundon has called for mandatory malnutrition screening and annual food audits.

The advisory council provides advice to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner and may also advise the aged care minister. Members have knowledge and experience in aged care and diverse backgrounds in areas such as clinical care, service delivery and consumer representation.

Long-serving Council on the Ageing Australia chief executive Ian Yates announced he would step aside from the role by the end of the year after a suitable replacement had been found and a “significant” transition period.

Mr Yates will continue in other sector-related roles including chair of the Council of Elders and member of the National Aged Care Advisory Council.

“It is my decision.” Mr Yates told Australian Ageing Agenda. “It is something that the board and I have been discussing for some time, and in the context of the fact that no one goes on forever. I have been there for a long time.”

Dr Graeme Blackman

The newly formed Aged & Community Care Providers Association announced its board structure.

In all, 15 board members were appointed including Dr Graeme Blackman as chair and Cherylee Treloar as deputy chair. Both positions were determined at the board’s inaugural meeting.

The ACCPA board will play “a pivotal role in ensuring the new organisation provides the governance and leadership that the community clearly expects, and our industry needs, for a sustainable aged care future,” said Dr Blackman.

With board appointments ranging from one to three years, the ACCPA board comprises of 10 elected directors, three independent directors and two multistate directors.

McKenzie Aged Care Group appointed Adjunct Associate Professor Simon Keating as its new chief executive officer. A highly experienced leader with 25 years’ healthcare experience in the public and private sectors, Mr Keating succeeded Andrew Newton who retired.

Beginning his professional career as a nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Mr Keating has worked his way into senior executive roles in the healthcare industry. 

“I am delighted to be joining McKenzie as they have a long and proud history of delivering outstanding care and going above and beyond in caring for both residents and staff,” said Mr Keating.

Paul Sadler

The new Aged & Community Care Providers Association board appointed Aged & Community Services Australia chief executive officer Paul Sadler as its interim CEO to manage operations in the lead-up to its 1 July start date.

An interim executive team comprising five general managers was also appointed, reporting directly to Mr Sadler who takes up his ACCPA role from 1 June.

Meanwhile, after six years heading Leading Age Services Australia, Sean Rooney announced his decision not to vie for the CEO role of the new peak, ending his tenure at LASA on 1 July. However, he would remain on board temporariliy to lead a newly established project management office to implement the transitioning of ACSA and LASA into a single entity.

Chris Hall resigned as chief executive officer of Juniper after leading the Western Australian aged care provider since 2018. “It has been an honour and privilege to have led Juniper during a time of unprecedented challenges and demands on the aged care sector,” Mr Hall said in a statement.

John Fogarty

Victorian-based not-for-profit aged care provider Royal Freemasons appointed John Fogarty as its new chief executive officer.

Mr Fogarty arrived at Royal Freemasons with more than 30 years’ experience working within the health, aged care and community care sectors.

“Royal Freemasons is delighted to have attracted such a high-calibre leader as John to continue our strong tradition of community service and build upon the outstanding work that is delivered every day by our vibrant and dedicated staff,” said board chair Craig Head in a statement.

Former Australian Association of Gerontology president Laurie Buys was appointed as Professor of Healthy Ageing at the Australian Catholic University. Based at the Brisbane campus, Professor Buys leads the university’s commitment to healthy ageing through industry engagement, research, national and international collaborations and service innovation.

Residential and home care provider Anglicare Southern Queensland welcomed Chloe Henry as its new director of client experience. Ms Henry arrived at Anglicare SQ with 14 years’ experience as a senior leader developing customer strategies across a broad range of industries – including banking.

Ms Henry’s passion for helping others developed while volunteering in Peru. “It was then that I really knew that I wanted to make a difference in the health sector and how I could help really bring those corporate skills through not-for-profit clinical care,” she said.  

June

Claire Scapinello

South Australian home care provider ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home) welcomed Claire Scapinello as its new chief executive following the departure of David Panter earlier in the year.

Ms Scapinello – who was chief digital officer at RSL LifeCare NSW – has more than 20 years’ experience in executive roles across aged care, retirement, retail and residential property with a focus on customer experience and engagement.

Previous roles include head of brand and customer strategy at property group TOGA and national brand, customer and marketing manager at ASX-listed diversified property group GPT Group.

Australian Unity CEO Kevin McCoy resigned amid an organisational shakeup at the aged care provider. The company announced it was splitting its Independent and Assisted Living platform in two to respond to growth opportunties across the health and care sectors.

It was announced that group executive people & culture Prue Bowden will lead the Home Health platform while a new Specialist Care platform will be led by group executive customer, digital & technology David Lum.

Catherine Hughes

South Australian aged care provider Life Care appointed Catherine Hughes as its new chief operating officer. A senior healthcare executive, Ms Hughes had worked for SA Health as director of statewide demand management for the Department for Health and Wellbeing.

While there she had been leading the delivery of key departmental reforms to increase hospital capacity and patient flow and supported system readiness of the community and hospital response to Covid-19.

Commencing her role as COO on 21 July 2022, it was announced Ms Hughes would work with Life Care chief executive officer Allen Candy to drive innovation across the not-for-profit provider’s aged care and in-home support services.

The peak body for multicultural Australia, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia announced a new chair among five new elected officers:

  • chairperson Carlo Carli
  • senior deputy chairperson Peter Doukas
  • senior deputy chairperson Jill Morgan
  • honorary treasurer Emanuel Valageorgiou
  • honorary secretary Edwin Joseph.

The new elected officers joined the chairs of each state and territory representatives to form the new FECCA board. “Australia is moving toward an era of complexity and intersectionality it has never seen before, where multiculturalism and diversity are mainstreaming,” said Mr Carli. “I am fortunate to be in a leadership position to help affect positive social change.”

July

Rob Dalton

Victorian aged care provider BlueCross appointed Rob Dalton as its new chair. Mr Dalton joined the BlueCross board with more than 35 years’ experience in commercial and transactional roles, as well as 25  years as an advisory and assurance partner in accounting and consulting firms.

Mr Dalton also brought with him valuable experience from the sports industry where he was chief executive officer of the Australian Sports Commission, Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.

“After years of service to sport I am keen to lend my hand to the health sector, specifically aged care,” said Mr Dalton in a statement.

The Aged Care Workforce Remote Accord announced that Chris Hall stepped down from the role of chair on 30 June 2022. The resignation followed Mr Hall’s announcement in May to retire from West Australia provider Juniper.

Deputy chair Praveen Gopal stepped into the role of interim chair from 1 July 2022 while the interim deputy chair role went to leadership group member Ken Markwell – who is executive general manager of Indigenous services at Australian Unity.

Tom Symondson

The head of Victoria’s public health, aged care and community services peak body Tom Symondson was appointed the inaugural chief executive officer of Aged & Community Care Providers Association.

ACCPA chairman Dr Graeme Blackman announced that Mr Symondson would take the helm of the aged care’s single and unified peak body from September. Mr Symondson had been the CEO of the Victorian Healthcare Association since 2015 and served as the organisation’s director of policy and strategy for several years before that.

“The sector is facing many challenges, not least the incredible strain on our workforce after more than two years of a global pandemic and the huge financial strain on providers,” said Mr Symondson. “But there are also so many opportunities to work together with our members and governments across the country to build a sustainable future for aged care and, most importantly, to improve the lives of older Australians, wherever they live.”

Victorian aged care provider Benetas appointed Campbell Richards as its new chief financial officer and company secretary. Mr Richards joined Benetas after a career spanning 17 years in public health, government, and not-for-profit and professional services – including six years at KPMG. Over that time, Mr Richards managed a broad range of portfolios such as investment, financial control, commercial and government funding as well as corporate governance.

“His extensive experience will hold us in good stead as we navigate a rapidly changing sector,” said Benetas CEO Sandra Hills. “I’m looking forward to working with Cam, envisaging the valuable contribution he’ll make to the next stage of Benetas’ journey.” 

Jody Currie

Mununjahli Yugambeh woman Jody Currie was appointed to the National Aged Care Advisory Council. The advisory council provides expert advice to government on the aged care sector and implementation of ongoing reforms. It reports directly to the Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler and the Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells.

“Jody Currie’s appointment to my advisory council on aged care restores the representation of First Nations people,” said Ms Wells in a statement. It also “aligns with the Closing the Gap agreement to enable a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and achieve better outcomes,” she added.

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council’s executive policy director – Sarah McLelland was appointed to lead the organisation in the interim after Louise O’Neill tendered her resignation. Ms O’Neill, who was appointed the ACWIC’s inaugural chief executive officer two years ago, has resigned her position due to personal reasons, the ACWIC announced.

Ms McLelland is a public servant with more than 15 years’ experience across aged-care, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. She acted as interim ACWIC CEO earlier in the year.

After 50 years since starting work in the sector, Jacinta Geraghty retired from her role as executive manager of Queensland provider Carinity Aged Care. Ms Geraghty started her aged care career at the age of 17 as a nurse. Later, she transitioned to residential aged care management and joined Carinity Aged Care in 2009.

Having spent half a century in the industry, Ms Geraghty had some wise words for anyone thinking of a career in aged care. “Understand it’s a challenging job which is not highly paid, but your rewards come in other ways,” she said. “The elderly are very appreciative of all that you do for them, and you become a very important part of their life. They show you a lot of love, and that in itself is a great reward. Money can’t buy that.”

August

Mark Sewell

After 20 years leading New South Wales regional aged care and retirement living provider Warrigal, chief executive officer Mark Sewell announced he would leave in October. Mr Sewell joined Warrigal in 2001 after working for the state government in the youth, disability and child protection sectors.

Under Mr Sewell’s leadership, Warrigal won best Australian aged care provider in 2018 and 2021 at Aged & Community Services Australia’s annual industry awards. Mr Sewell has been regional chair of ACSA, and then the new peak body Aged & Community Care Providers Association, since 2004. He will also retire from that role.

Speaking of his decision to step down, Mr Sewell told Australian Ageing Agenda: “People often think a CEO delivers corporate controls and decisions, which they do, but I have had the pleasure at Warrigal of being the chief encouragement officer for inspiring people at all levels of this community enterprise.

“This has enabled this great place to grow and be delighted by their own success. The culture of teamwork and innovation at Warrigal takes your breath away. It’s been a privilege to be part of it for so long and I leave it and the industry in good hands with so many great reforms now being rolled out across the sector by so many great people at the service delivery level.”

Spiro Stavis

Spiro Stavis’ appointment of interim chief executive officer of St Basil’s NSW/ACT was made permanent, the aged care provider announced. Mr Stavis had worked at St Basil’s NSW/ACT – which provides culturally specific care for thousands of seniors across NSW and the ACT – for six years.

South West Healthcare executive director of service development Jamie Brennan stepped in to lead Victorian regional provider Lyndoch Living following a month of negative commentary related to workplace and compliance issues and community concerns.

Mr Brennan joined the organisation as acting chief executive officer on secondment from South West Healthcare, and with a wealth of experience in delivering health and aged care services in Warrnambool, Lyndoch Living’s board announced. 

Renu Borst

The Australian Association of Gerontolgy appointed Renu Borst as its new chief executive officer. Ms Borst’s experience includes nine years as CEO of professional body New Zealand Society of Anaesthetists and interim general manager at charitable advocacy organisation LiverWELL  incorporating Hepatitis Victoria.

She replaced James Beckford Saunders, who took on the role just over seven years earlier. He told the board in February he would not be seeking to renew his contract from early 2023.

September

Western Australian aged care and retirement living provider Juniper announced it was appointing Baptistcare WA CEO Russell Bricknell as its new chief executive officer from December. The next business day Baptistcare WA, where Mr Bricknell became CEO in 2017, announced the appointment of joint acting CEOs, effective immediately. 

Prior to Baptsticare WA, Mr Bricknell was global chief executive of the Aged Care Channel Australia for five and a half years, overseeing operations in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK.

Stephen Holmes

Canberra-based not-for-profit aged care provider Goodwin Aged Care Services appointed existing executive Stephen Holmes as chief executive officer. Mr Holmes, who joined the organisation as chief operating officer in 2014, comes to the CEO role with more than 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector in areas such as housing, education, health, animal welfare and community care.

“Goodwin is a caring organisation which places residents, clients and employees at the heart of everything they do,” said Mr Holmes in a statement. “I feel privileged to be given the responsibility to lead an organisation that holds an outstanding reputation for care service delivery and accommodation for seniors.”

Victorian aged care provider Lyndoch Living appointed another new acting chief executive officer and a new chief financial officer. Acting CEO Ted Rayment took over from Jamie Brennan who joined Lyndoch Living on secondment from South West Healthcare four weeks prior.

Mr Rayment was joined by a new chief financial officer Andrew Long, who also arrived at Lyndoch Living with decades of expertise.

The Aged Care Workforce Remote Accord announced the appointment of a new chair and vice chair – Tamara Bridges and Mark Diamond – both of whom had been existing members of the remote accord leadership group for a number of years. 

Ms Bridges arrived with extensive experience working with remote service providers in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Mr Diamond also joined the remote accord with considerable experience working with remote service providers and currently works as an aged care consultant in South Australia. 

Janet Muir

Aged care provider and veteran services organisation RSL LifeCare appointed Janet Muir as chief executive officer. Ms Muir joined the New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory service provider having spent her career in senior roles in human services and healthcare sectors with responsibilities across finance, strategy, operations and management.

Ms Muir said she was honoured to be appointed CEO of RSL LifeCare, particularly during a period of major reform for Australia’s aged care sector. “I am thrilled to be joining RSL LifeCare at this time of transformation and growth. My intention is to continue to deliver the positive and proactive support and services that RSL LifeCare has developed over decades.”

October

The Benevolent Society appointed Kelly Bruce to the new role of executive director – impact and engagement, alongside Michael Woodhouse as executive director – disability, ageing and carers. Ms Bruce arrived at one of Australia’s oldest charities with extensive experience as a consultant, executive manager, researcher and project manager for not-for-profit organisations, government, academic and research institutions.

Prior to joining The Benevolent Society, Mr Woodhouse was an executive at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. Mr Woodhouse has also held operational and policy positions in the Northern Territory and commonwealth governments.

Patricia Sparrow

Peak body for older Australians COTA Australia announced former aged care peak head Patricia Sparrow as its incoming chief executive, replacing Ian Yates. Ms Sparrow spent two-and-a-half years at COTA as director of aged care reform and engagement from 2011-2014 in between stints at provider peak body Aged and Community Services Australia.

Ms Sparrow worked at ACSA for over 10 years before her first spell at COTA and as an aged care advisor to federal government ministers after it. Her extensive experience in human services also includes roles in local and state governments and the non-government sector. 

“If you look at all my experience, and the things that I’m passionate about, it was just a great opportunity,” Ms Sparrow told AAA.  “I’m looking forward to contributing to COTA’s advocacy for older Australians – and there’s so much to do.” 

Retired public servant David Tune was appointed the independent reviewer to lead the capability review of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. A former secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Mr Tune has undertaken several reviews in the past, including the Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017, which investigated the effectiveness of the Living Longer Better reforms that began in 2012.

A recommendation of the aged care royal commission, the capability review of the sector’s regulator was announced by the new Labor Government in July after the former Coalition Government failed to act on the commission’s advice.

Debra Nicholl

Victorian non-profit organisation Elder Rights Advocacy appointed Debra Nicholl as its interim chief executive officer. Formerly deputy CEO, Ms Nicholl was appointed to lead the aged care advocacy organisation for six months as ERA embarked on a recruitment drive for a full-time  chief executive.

The appointment followed a decision by Philippa Campbell to step down as CEO due to health reasons.

The property Council of Australia appointed Daniel Gannon as retirement living executive director leading its Retirement Living Council. Mr Gannon served as the Property Council’s South Australia executive director for the past eight years where he led major public campaigns and influenced significant policy decisions affecting the property industry.  

“I’m honoured to be taking up this role and continuing my commitment to the property sector through the Retirement Living Council,” said Mr Gannon. “The senior living industry has a crucial role in delivering house choice for Australia’s ageing population and I look forward to driving our advocacy agenda in the interests of our valued members and the Australian community.”

Mr Gannon took on the role of retirement living executive director following the resignation of former RLC ED Ben Myers.

Electronic medication management providerBESTMed appointed Phil Offer as its new chief executive officer. Mr Offer took up the position as former CEO Nass Hijazi – who has guided the company since 2015 – became the tech company’s board director.

“I would like to thank Nass for all the work he has put into BESTMED – his dedication and passion for our customers can be directly evidenced,” said Mr Offer. As for occupying the CEO role, Mr Offer said: “I’m excited by the opportunities to help our customers navigate the unprecedented changes occurring in the sector.”

November

Ewen Couch

Less than two months after welcoming Janet Muir as CEO, aged care provider and veteran services organisation RSL LifeCare continued its leadership renewal with the appointment of corporate lawyer and experienced governance officer Ewen Crouch as chairman.

Mr Crouch’s previous positions include non-executive director of Westpac Banking Corporation from 2013 to 2019, director of Mission Australia from 1995 to 2016, including seven years as chairman, and director of Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2009 to 2020. He is also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Victorian aged care provider Benetas announced Nikolaus Rittinghausen as the new manager of the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing. The centre is funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care under the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care program and supported by Benetas.

Mr Rittinghausen arrived at the centre with wide experience in multicultural affairs across a variety of sectors, particularly advocating on behalf of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Before being appointed manager, Mr Rittinghausen was senior advisor and project officer at the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing. He replaced Lisa Tribuzio who remained at the centre as a diversity and inclusion consultant.

Dr Claudia Meyer

Dr Claudia Meyer was announced as the new president of the Australian Association of Gerontology following the completion of Professor Marguerite Bramble’s three-year term. Dr Meyer came to the role of AAG president after six years on its board and with a background in physiotherapy. 

She is a senior research fellow at the Bolton Clarke Research Institute in Melbourne, where she combines her research skills with clinical physiotherapy experience for the benefit of older people and their carers. 

Dr Meyer told AAA the AAG and its members have an important role to play in the ongoing aged care reforms. “We are a peak body that represents many different disciplines. That is our strength, that we have people from many sectors within our membership. We’re a strong collective voice – that’s probably where we can have our best impact.” 

Victorian aged care provider Lyndoch Living announced it was appointing Jill Davidson as its new acting chief executive officer from 5 December – the third such appointment since August. Ms Davidson is a healthcare professional with more than 20 years of experience in executive roles within the health and aged care sectors – both in Australia and overseas.

Previous to joining Lyndoch Living, Ms Davidson worked in aged care services across New South Wales and Victoria with significant experience leading healthcare services through outbreaks of Covid-19. She replaced Ted Rayment who was on a three-month contract as acting CEO. 

Maria Dimitriadis

Not-for-profit organisation Meaningful Ageing Australia voted in a new board director, Maria Dimitriadis. Ms Dimitriadis is an experienced senior executive with more than 25 years in aged care, medical, government, community, disability, and natural health.

Nick Ryan – who was also re-elected Meaningful Ageing Australia chair – welcomed Ms Dimitriadis to the board and thanked her for her willingness to serve.

“There is much to look forward to in our future as we position the organisation to be even greater value to a troubled sector,” said Mr Ryan. “I am also grateful for our members’ confidence in re-electing me to the board.”

In another executive appointment for the year, Victorian aged care provider Benetas announced customer experience expert Elyssia Clark as its new general manager of customer, insights and marketing.

Ms Clark spent the past five years leading the customer insights and strategy team at SEEK, where she introduced a real-time voice of the customer capability to streamline feedback and focus resources on areas with the greatest customer impact. She has a strong background in data, customer experience and marketing, with expertise in using insights and analytics to design and deliver better customer experiences.

Ian Yates

After 33 years with consumer peak body Council on the Ageing – including 20 years as chief executive of national body COTA Australia – Ian Yates came to the end of his time with the organisation.

Mr Yates joined COTA South Australia as chief executive in June 1989 – a position he held for 24 years. Since 2002 he took on concurrent leadership roles with COTA Australia including CE of both the state and national peak for some of those years before spending the last decade as just CE of COTA Australia. 

Overall, Mr Yates said he was leaving COTA Australia feeling both positive about the past and present and optimistic about the future. 

“I’m pleased with many things that have been achieved – some of which are those higher profile things that people are aware of and lots of other things that just get achieved quietly,” he told AAA.

Patricia Sparrow replaced him as chief executive on Friday 16 December.

However, Mr Yates retains his aged care related roles on the elders and advisory councils and adds another in the new year. In his final week at COTA Australia, it was announced that Mr Yates had been appointed the Interim Inspector-General of Aged Care from January 2023.

“I am honoured to take on this interim role and will work with older Australians and the sector to understand the issues affecting their experiences of aged care, highlighting problems and recommending solutions to drive positive change across the system,” said Mr Yates in a statement.

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Tags: aag, ACCPA, Aged and Quality Care Advisory Council, aged care quality and safety commission, aged care workforce industry council, Aged Care Workforce Remote Accord, andrew long, Anglicare Southern Queensland, Annabelle Chaplain, ara cresswell, australian catholic university, australian unity, Baptistcare WA, benetas, BESTMED, bluecross, bolton clarke, Brightwater Care Group, Campbell Richards, Carlo Carli, catherine Hughes, Cherylee Treloar, Chole Henry, Chris Hall, claire scapinello, Columbia Aged Care Services, cota, Cranbrook Care, Cultural Diversity in Ageing, daniel gannon, david tune, Debra Nicholl, Dr Graeme Blackman, ech, Edwin Joseph, Elder Rights Advocacy, elyssia clark, Emanuel Valageorgiou, featured, fecca, goodwin-aged-care-services, ian yates, ingrid harvey, Interim Inspector-General of Aged Care, jamie brennan, Janet Anderson, Janet Muir, jill davidson, joanne farrell, Jody Currie, john fogarty, john staines, julie dundon, juniper, kelly bruce, ken markwell, kevin mccoy, Laurie Buys, lee carissa, Life Care, louise-o'neill, Lucy-OFlaherty, Lyndoch Living, marcia griffin, Maria Dimitriadis, Mark Diamond, mckenzie aged care, meaningful-ageing-australia, michael woodhouse, Mission Australia, national aged care advisory council, national-seniors, nick ryan, Nikolaus Rittinghausen, opan, patricia sparrow, paul sadler, Peter Doukas, phil offer, praveen gopal, Professor Catherine Stoddart, rachel wass, rebecca hogan, Renu Borst, Rob Dalton, ross glossop, royal freemasons, rsl lifecare, russell bricknell, Sabine Phillips, sarah mclelland, Sharon Callister, simon grof, simon keating, Spiro Stavis, stephen holmes, Tamra Bridges, ted rayment, the benevolent society, tlc healthcare, Tom Symondson,

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