State awards for excellence – Vic, SA, NT

Aged and community services excellence awards have been presented to outstanding aged care providers, employees and volunteers from Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Above: Staff members from Bupa Bellarine, the aged care facility that won the Aged and Community Care Victoria state award for excellence, in the organisation category.

Outstanding aged care providers, employees and volunteers from Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory have been recognised for excellence in aged and community care provision by their respective peak bodies.

Aged and Community Services SA & NT (ACS SA & NT) presented its third annual state awards for excellence last week in Adelaide, while Aged and Community Care Victoria (ACCV) presented their own excellence awards in Melbourne over the weekend.

The winners of the volunteer, trainee, organisation and employee award categories will all contend for the national awards at the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) National Conference in September. 


The Victorian award winners included Patrick Comarmond from Mercy Health, a pastoral assistant, whose “unique ability to be there for everyone he interacts with, always putting the needs of others before his own” impressed the judges, including the deputy editor of Australian Ageing Agenda, Yasmin Noone.

Ms Noone said Patrick was “a rare find and extremely suited to his position”, adding that “the success of his role highlights the importance of pastoral care in aged care and acts as a fine example of how the palliative approach should work”. 

The winners of each category in the ACCV state awards for excellence are listed below, including statements supplied to AA on what clinched it for the judges:

Organisation Award: Bupa Bellarine
Bupa Bellarine was rewarded for their innovations in resident lifestyle and excellent clinical care and as a leader in person-centred care. The organisation has achieved this through the development of a number of excellent programs including ‘Walk around Australia’ and the ‘Liverpool Care Pathway Program’, to support dying residents and their families. 

Volunteer Award: Laura Agius, St Bernadette’s Aged Care Facility
Volunteer of 16 years, Ms Agius donates 10 to 20 hours a week to the St Bernadette’s Aged Care Facility, assisting in a huge range of tasks from helping residents eat their meals and do their shopping to calling bingo three times a week. Awards judge and former ACCV President, Nancy Hogan, said: “we can sometimes forget about all the simple and straightforward things volunteers do which improve the quality of residents’ lives; Laura is a real model of a volunteer”. 

Trainee Award: Linda Shillong, Southern Cross Care
Ms Shillong was described by judges as “remarkable, clearly outstanding and dedicated” for making a career change at age 48 from aged care nurse to Community Support Worker – all because she missed daily contact with residents. She is undertaking training, applying it to her working life and also provides leadership and mentoring to fellow employees. 

Employee Award: Patrick Cormorand, Mercy Health
Mr Cormorand offers emotional and spiritual support to residents, including those with dementia, and their families. He was specifically recognised for his excellence in providing pastoral care to residents of Mercy Place East Melbourne, and other Mercy Health residential aged care facilities.  

South Australia and the Northern Territory

One of the winners in the ACS SA & NT awards, ECH Parkside, was applauded for their involvement with the play, Also a Mirror, which is based on interviews with people who have dementia and their carers. AAA reported on the play, which is performed by the Urban Theatre of Youth, in February 2011.

The winners in each category are listed below along with statements from the judges, supplied by the organisers:

Employee Award: Kimberly Harris, a cook at Resthaven in Mount Gambier
Ms Harris, a former restaurant chef, has transformed the dining experience for aged care residents with her flair for presentation and innate understanding of the role food plays in our lives. Crafting pureed food to resemble its original form is just one example of her care and attention to detail.

Volunteer Award: Brenton Griffiths, a volunteer at Alwyndor Aged Care in Hove
Five years ago Mr Griffiths learned the 30 male residents were outnumbered by 100 women and resolved to change the odds with a Men’s Shed. Mr Griffiths organised a troop of other volunteers to set up a shed as part of the program now supported by Men’s Shed patron – the First Bloke Tim Mathieson.

Media Award: ECH, Parkside
ECH collaborated with the Urban the Theatre for Youth to produce a play, Also a Mirror, based on the lives of residents. The play, which was included in the Adelaide Fringe Festival, generated extensive media coverage of the whole project, which served to portray older people in a positive light.

Design Award: James Brown Memorial Trust, Belair
The Trust, a community and residential aged care services and housing provider, commissioned an affordable housing project which has set a high benchmark for innovation in the sector. The 24 units, with landscaping, generate a sense of community in a desirable setting.

Trainee Award: Abby Dunnicliff, Guide Dogs SA.NT, Adelaide
Abby began working as a cadet orientation and mobility instructor in 2011 and has since gone on to complete a Masters of Human Services. A passionate, proactive worker, Abby embraces her role with unbound enthusiasm. 

Organisation Award: Guide Dogs SA.NT, Adelaide
The organisation demonstrated its leadership strengths in areas including training, technology, customer service and stakeholder communications.

Industry Supporter: Provider Assist, South Yarra
Through its expertise in maximizing aged care funding, Provider Assist has worked locally and nationally to support aged care organisations to meet the needs of clients and residents. All winners receive a plaque and $300 prize money. 

Tags: accv, acs-sa-nt, awards-for-excellence, victoria,

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