A new CEO for Alzheimer’s Australia WA

Alzheimer’s Australia WA’s new CEO is a familiar face in the aged care world.

Above: Rhonda Parker, newly appointed CEO, Alzheimer’s Australia WA

Alzheimer’s Australia WA (AAWA) has appointed former WA State Minister for Seniors, Rhonda Parker, as its new chief executive officer. Ms Parker will take over the reins on 1 October from Frank Schaper, who is retiring on 28 September after 15 years in the CEO role.

Ms Parker said she was thrilled to be appointed as the incoming CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia WA, and felt privileged and challenged to take over the role from Mr Schaper. 

“Frank has made a tremendous contribution in his time as CEO,” she said. “And with the federal government announcing recently that dementia will become a National Health Priority Area, I look forward to working with AAWA’s team and partners to ensure that we can provide the services, professionalism, respect and empathy that our elders deserve.

Ms Parker said she has long had an interest and passion for providing opportunity, quality care and respect to Western Australian seniors.  

“Older West Australians have built our nation and our families, they deserve the very best as they age.

“With 25,000 Western Australians and their families already living with dementia, AAWA’s mandate to improve the lives of those living with dementia has never been more relevant or important. This disease will touch the lives of almost every Western Australian.”

Ms Parker has a strong pedigree in the ageing arena.  She led the establishment of Australia’s first Healthy Ageing Strategy, served on Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency board and was appointed the nation’s first Aged Care Commissioner

For the past two years Rhonda has also served as CEO of The Australian Employment Covenant, an Indigenous employment initiative sponsored by Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Australian Children’s Trust.

Chair of the AAWA board Craig Masarei says the appointment was made after an extensive national recruitment process.

“We are excited to have someone of Rhonda’s experience and talent to take the leadership of the Alzheimer’s cause in Western Australia,” he said. “Rhonda has been at the leading edge as a contributor to policy, program and community development in Western Australia and nationally for almost twenty years.”  

Frank Schaper acknowledged in WA Parliament

Above: Retiring Alzheimer’s Australia WA CEO, Mr Frank Schaper with President of Alzheimer’s Australia, Ita Buttrose.

WA Shadow Minister for Seniors, Margaret Quirk acknowledged the work of retiring Alzheimer’s Australia WA Chief Executive Officer, Frank Schaper, in Parliament today.

“Frank Schaper was a community-minded individual and came from a diverse background, with years of experience in education, local government and the private sector,” Ms Quirk said.

“Under Mr Schaper’s guidance and leadership, Alzheimer’s Australia WA has become the peak body for dementia care in WA, transforming it from a service provider to a service model developer and capacity builder in the aged care industry.

“Mr Schaper has been an influential figure in the world of dementia and aged care, sitting on the boards of the Council of the Aging and Aged and Community Services WA and is a member of the WA Aged Care Advisory Council

“He also facilitated the development of collaborative partnerships across Asia, forming close alliances with Alzheimer’s disease support organisations in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

“Mr Schaper, together with Alzheimer’s Australia WA chairman Craig Masarei, was instrumental in forging an unprecedented partnership with Curtin University which will result in a Centre of Excellence in dementia care to be built on campus.

“Its completion will allow for world-class collaboration and research opportunities, enabling the organisation to respond more effectively to the dementia epidemic.

“Mr Schaper has been a remarkable ambassador for dementia, raising the profile of the disease in the community and helping to combat the stigma associated with it.”

Read a news article from 19 July about Frank Schaper’s announcement to retire here.

Tags: alzheimer-australia, alzheimers-australia-wa, frank-schaper, margaret-quirk, rhonda-parker,

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