The name of the new unified peak body representing Australia’s aged care providers has been unveiled at the 2022 ACSA National Summit: Aged & Community Care Providers Association.
Revealing the name and logo at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, chair of the steering committee overseeing the transition to the new organisation Claerwen Little said ACCPA’s purpose “is to lead, advocate and provide support, advice and guidance to aged care providers so that older Australians can lead their best lives.”
The new association will continue to be members-based and outcomes focused, Ms Little told delegates. “We have a stated vision and a stated purpose,” she said. “The vision is to enhance the wellbeing of older Australians through a high performing, trusted and sustainable aged care sector.”
ACCPA will build on the successful leadership of Aged & Community Services Australia, Leading Age Services Australia and others by complementing and enhancing each organisations’ strengths, said Ms Little.
With the aged care sector embarking on widespread reforms, the new peak body would be “informing and influencing the direction and detail of change,” she said. “We are absolutely a sector that is needing to change and a sector that is on the cusp of something pretty exciting if we can just pull together.”
The association will continue its policy of one member one vote, said Ms Little. A policy “designed to amplify each members’ input and influence.” Members of ACSA and LASA will not need to join the new organisation, membership will automatically shift over to ACCPA on the 1 July.
Key milestones for the next stage of the transition include:
- 9 May inaugural board meeting
- May-June CEO recruitment
- 1 July ACCPA commences operations
- July-September executive team recruitment
- 1 October ACSA/LASA staff and assets transition formally to ACCPA.
“It has actually become very obvious to all of us that we really need to move to this next phase and older Australians need us to do that more than ever before,” said Ms Little.
Some of the core focus areas for ACCPA have been identified as:
- leading proactive and positive change by providing leadership that ensures authoritative guidance, communication and advocacy
- acting as one voice by uniting the diverse range of aged care providers under one single advocacy agenda
- valuing and representing individual member voices
- delivering valued member services by offering an enhanced suite of services at scale
- providing value for money by applying flexible and appropriate membership fees.
Ms Little told delegates that the Australian Aged Care Collaboration had also deliberated on its future and “will slowly fade into the sunset.” She said: “We want to make sure we get out of the way and give this new organisation every opportunity to do its thing.”
Speaking as one voice
Also speaking before delegates on day one of the ACSA Summit, ACSA CEO Paul Sadler said: “I can see that it’s time for change.”
One of the key drivers of the transition to a new unified body was “a necessity to speak as one to the government, to the public, to the media,” said Mr Sadler.
Mr Sadler revealed that LASA and ACSA members displayed “overwhelming support that this is the time now to create something new.” Indeed, 95 per cent of ACSA members voted for change while 99 per cent of LASA members also voted for a new consolidated body.
Noting that the aged care royal commission had identified splits and differences within the sector, Mr Sadler said: “We need to do it better than we did before.”
He told delegates that ACCPA would act as a choirmaster, “which will bring together the different voices of its members and create an absolutely symphonic piece of work that actually draws together from one single song the various positions and interests of our members.”
It was time to do things differently, said Mr Sadler. “To come at the issues that face the sector in a new and different way. I believe firmly that now is the time for what you the members have endorsed.”