News in brief

A round up of industry news including an environmentally friendly retirement village, food alert, research, and educational events.

  • Record $1.6 million awarded for dementia research
  • Applications for Palliative Care Foundation Scholarships open now
  • Fire sprinkler laws governing residential aged care, now in effect in NSW
  • Community care provider wins NSW government contract to provide transitional care to hospital patients in a bid to free up NSW public hospital beds.
  • A residential aged care facility redevelopment, worth $2.3 million, has been officially unveiled by the Minister for Ageing, David Davis, in Victoria.

Young, emerging researchers interested in unlocking the dementia puzzle are now able to access a series of new grants worth up to $1.6 million, through the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation.

The 2013 Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Grants will open in early February.

The research arm of the advocacy body, which recently announced the grants, stated that the funding was only made possible because of the philanthropic efforts of companies and individual donors.

However, added Alzheimer’s Australia’s national president, Ita Buttrose, a lack of government dollars devoted to dementia-research still persists. The organisation therefore called on the government to match community support for the cause by upping its investment in dementia research.

“With dementia already the third leading cause of death in Australia, it is imperative that the government increases its investment in research to $200 million over the next five years,” said Ms Buttrose.

“This will allow us to successfully build the capacity of Australian researchers and help them find ways of delaying the onset of dementia, to treat symptoms and even better, to stop dementia altogether.”

To view the full range of grants visit

Medical, nursing and allied health professionals either currently, or with an intention of, working in the palliative care system are invited to apply for a Palliative Care Foundation Scholarship on offer from Palliative Care Australia (PCA).

Scholarships will be made available for up to $3,000 as a contribution towards course fees (not inclusive of amenities fees).

Scholarship funding will be granted for a 12 month period only. Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding in each year of their course.

Applications close on 21 January.

For details, visit the PCA website.

New NSW-based laws requiring automatic fire sprinklers to be installed in residential aged care facilities have officially come into effect.

As of 1 January 2013, all existing NSW facilities will need to install sprinklers within 18 months or three years (see the legislation by clicking on the links below).
The Department will be writing to all Commonwealth accredited aged care providers to inform them of the new laws.
The Fire Sprinkler Standard is available on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s website (go to ‘fire safety in aged care facilities’ page at ).

The new laws – Environmental Planning and Assessment (Fire Sprinkler Systems) Regulation 2012 and State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Amendment (Fire Sprinkler Systems) 2012 are now available online at:

For information about the new laws, visit

East-coast based community care provider, Care Connect, has won a NSW government contract to provide transition care for hospital patients at home, in a bid to help free up public hospital beds.

The ComPacks contract, which commenced in December 2012 and is shared by other health providers, will see hospital patients supported for up to six weeks in an early transition home, minimising the risk of hospital readmission.

Care Connect will provide the ‘ComPacks program’ to six Local Health Districts in NSW, giving much needed non-clinical community care and support to people after they leave hospital.

Previously Care Connect serviced four Local Health Districts and supported approximately 1,500 people per year. Now it will be supporting more than 5,000 people a year in the ComPacks program alone.

The organisation will be the sole provider in Northern NSW, Northern Sydney, St Vincent’s and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health Districts, and will South East Sydney and South West Sydney.

“The ComPacks program will go a long way in easing the burden on NSW public hospitals,” CEO of Care Connect, Paul Ostrowski, said.

“…We are thrilled to have been re-engaged by NSW Ministry of Health to extend our provision across NSW.”

For further information about the ComPacks program, contact Marisa Galiazzo, Transition Project Manager on 0402 097 866 or via email at


The Minister for Ageing, David Davis, has opened the $2.3 million redevelopment of the Sheridan Wing at Kyabram and District Health Service (Victoria).

The new, modern aged care facility was developed to meet the needs of an ageing population in the local area.

According to the minister, the facility is a testament to strong community spirit, for it was the work of businesses, clubs and volunteers who raised over $1 million for the project.

The Victorian government contributed $370,000 to the project which will offer residential aged care, day respite, and home-based services for many years.

Upcoming events

Community Care Forum
20 February
Australian Technology Park, Sydney

Enabling Conference
21 February
Australian Technology Park, Sydney

Nursing People 85+
25-26 February
The Pavilion, Breakfast Creek, Brisbane

Tri-State Conference
24-26 February
Albury Entertainment Centre, NSW
T: 03 9805 9400

Aged Care Summit
Co-located with 7th annual Retirement Communities World
18-19 March
Luna Park, Sydney
T: 02 8908 8555

Health-e-Nation 2013 Leadership Summit
19-21 March
RACV Club, Melbourne

Queensland Age Services Conference
20-23 March
Jupiters Hotel, Gold Coast
T: 07 3725 5555

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