West Australian aged care champions

The winners of the 2012 ACSWA Excellence in Care Awards were celebrated at an Olympic-themed awards night last week, in which the Governor of WA played more than a ceremonial role.

Above: Silver Chain staff members accept the organisation award. L-R: Carole Bain (General Manager), Sheilah Cummins, Chris McGowan (CEO), Carol Draper, Gertie Murphy, Heather MacNaughton-Cox and Dan Minchin.

The winners of the 2012 Aged and Community Services WA (ACSWA) Excellence in Care Awards were revealed last week at an Olympics-themed event at the Burswood Entertainment Complex.

The awards night was attended by His Excellency Malcolm McCusker, the Governor of Western Australia and a noted philanthropist, whose family were thanked for the important role they played in getting one award-winning service off the ground.

A special guest slot was filled by Janine Murray, Australia’s only rhythmic gymnast to qualify for the London Olympic Games.

ACSWA chief executive, Stephen Kobelke, said the annual awards were an important opportunity to celebrate excellence across the non-profit aged and community care industry. 

“The theme was ‘Go For Gold’, in recognition of the upcoming London Olympics, and the efforts of our finalists were indeed medal-worthy,” Mr Kobelke said.

“They included an exceptional volunteer who’s transformed a small not-for-profit into a major provider of home care services in the south west in just six years, a Kimberley worker who’s learnt Aboriginal dialects and incorporated bush tucker to enrich elders’ lives, and a leading aged care organisation expanding its services into India and the Asia Pacific.

“On behalf of the ACSWA Board, I would like to heartily congratulate the winners of the Excellence in Care Awards for their outstanding contributions to our industry and the community.”

Above, L-R: Mrs Tonya McCusker; His Excellency the Governor of WA, Malcolm McCusker; and Rhonda Sawtell, winner of the Employee Award.

The winners of the Employee, Volunteer, Trainee and Organisation categories will be in the running for the national titles at the Aged and Community Services Australia National Conference in September.

Amana Living did particularly well at the ACSWA awards night, with the McCusker Nurse Service taking out the category for New Products or Programs, Terri Roberts going home with the Trainee Award and one of Amana’s volunteers, Julie Neville, runner-up in the Volunteers category.

The New Products or Programs Award was accepted by the first ever McCusker Nurse, Karen Malone, who also used the opportunity to thank the WA Governor and his family for supporting the program through the McCusker Charitable Trust.

The free service offers the carers of people with dementia a single point of contact with a dementia expert – their McCusker Nurse – who they can call at any time for help in understanding the condition and navigating the support options available to them. Amana Living now hopes to attract funding to establish a network of McCusker Nurses.

In a statement from Amana Living, chief executive officer Ray Glickman said the “vital” new service was “filling a gap within an area of growing need”.

“All our staff are winners at Amana Living; however, we are particularly proud of those who have had their hard work and dedication recognised by these awards,” Mr Glickman said.

The full list of winners, with captions supplied by ACSWA:

New Programs / Projects Award sponsored by Verso and The Carers’ Phone:

Amana Living, McCusker Nurse Service
Believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, the McCusker Nurse Service is a one-stop-shop supporting families of Western Australians living with dementia.

Aged Care Excellence Award sponsored by Uniting Church Homes:

Lynne Evans, CEO of St Bartholomew’s House
Lynne’s long and distinguished career has covered nursing; child, maternity and school health, as well as strategic development.

Volunteer Award sponsored by Braemar Presbyterian Care:

Fred Drake-Brockman, Community Home Care
Fred has steered Community Home Care from small not-for-profit into a vital regional care provider, supporting 1,500 people in the Bunbury/Donnybrook/Balingup region.

Industry Supporter Award sponsored by Silver Chain:

Verso Consulting
Verso’s consultants and social researchers analyse community need and help develop solutions, with a special interest in rural and regional care.

Communications and Marketing Award sponsored by Aged and Community Services WA:

People Who Care
People Who Care’s ‘Power a Pensioner’ program highlights the extreme poverty some pensioners are facing and has harnessed social and traditional media to raise significant funds.

Trainee Award sponsored by the Australian Medical Association (WA):

Terri Roberts, Amana Living
Dedicated, multi-skilled trainee Terri is a mother of four, works four days a week and studies nursing and physiotherapy. She is held in high esteem by her employer and clients.

Organisation Award sponsored by Australian Reliance:

Silver Chain
Silver Chain is the largest supplier of aged and community care in WA, a vital community care provider for regional WA, a leader in TeleHealth and specialists in wound care.

Employee Award sponsored by Health Super:  

Rhonda Sawtell, Frontier Services, Derby
Rhonda is a dedicated support worker in a hostel catering to indigenous people of the Kimberley. She has special skills in cultural awareness, dementia, dietary and renal therapies.

Tags: acsa, acswa, award,

2 thoughts on “West Australian aged care champions

  1. Congratulations to all who won awards. Supporting older people is incredibly important work and great services need to be recognised.

  2. Fantastic to read about such great work, especially the individuals who have made such a difference to many.

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