A new role for ACSA Deputy

ACSA’s current deputy CEO, Pat Sparrow, has been appointed to a new position leading consumer and community involvement in aged care reform.

By Keryn Curtis

Above: Deputy CEO of ACSA, Pat Sparrow

Aged and Community Services Australia’s (ACSA) Deputy CEO, Pat Sparrow will take up a newly created role within COTA to oversee community and consumer engagement with the aged care reform process over the next 12 months.

The new, dedicated position, funded through COTA’s contract with the Department of Health and Ageing, will ensure that current and potential consumers and families, and the broader community, will have a wide range of opportunities to be informed about, discuss and provide input into the aged care reform proposals following the release of the Productivity Commission (PC) final report. 

The role will also ensure that consumer and community views are considered by provider, union and professional organisations engaged in the reform process, principally through the policy development processes and membership of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA).

COTA Chief Executive, Ian Yates, said the consumer and community engagement process will involve and reach out to organisations representing older people at both the national and state and territory levels. 

“The role will work closely with the consumer organisation members of NACA including the RSL, Alzheimer’s Australia, Carers Australia, Legacy and Independent Retirees; and beyond NACA with bodies such as National Seniors, the Federation of Ethic Communities Councils, and Aboriginal Elders Councils and other ATSI organisations.”

He said the contract agreed with the Department of Health and Ageing indicates that the government will be very actively and seriously considering the PC report after the Minister releases it on Monday 8 August.  

“While the government recognises that the PC has undertaken major consultation during its processes, it will be wanting to test the reform recommendations across the sector.   And the creation of this position particularly acknowledges the importance to the government of ensuring that consumers and carers and the broader community are properly informed and on board.” 

“Between now and the middle of 2012 there will be a lot of analysis and discussion and consideration of any variances in the reform proposals.  We will be ensuring that consumer and community views are very active in that process,” Mr Yates said.  

Mr Yates said there was strong support for the appointment of Ms Sparrow to the new role as Director, Aged Care Reform Engagement.

“Pat Sparrow is one of the most qualified people you could have in this role. In her current role as Deputy CEO of ACSA, she has been the executive officer of the Campaign for the Care of Older Australians (CCOA) which developed ‘The Grand Plan’. She has also had considerable experience of NACA and has been a strong advocate of both community based and consumer directed aged care.” 

Mr Yates said Ms Sparrow brings to the role strong relationship building and negotiation skills, intensive knowledge of the aged care system and its players, excellent organising skills and experience, and high level policy development skills, plus a capacity to work very hard. 

“We are very fortunate to have obtained Pat’s services to lead this vitally important work in the reform process.

Ms Sparrow said she was looking forward to the new role and the challenges of the next 12 to 18 months.

“There’s a really valuable contribution that can be made in ensuring the reforms deliver sustainable services that meet real peoples’ needs.  I’m also looking forward to remaining involved with aged care providers and other stakeholders through a continuing role with NACA,” Ms Sparrow said.

Ms Sparrow will work closely with COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates AM and National Policy Manager Jo Root, and with State and Territory COTAs over the coming year. She commences full time on 15 August 2011.

Tags: aboriginal-elders-councils, acsa, aged-care, alzheimers-australia, campaign-for-the-care-of-older-australians, carers-australia, cota, federation-of-ethnic-communities-councils, independent-retirees, legacy, national-seniors, pat-sparrow, rsl,

3 thoughts on “A new role for ACSA Deputy

  1. What a wonderful appointment . Pat is a brillant person to take on this important role . Congrats to COTA and DH@A on the initiative and well done to Pat.

  2. It is great to see Pat will play such an important role in the ongoing discussions about the P.C. Report. Warm congratulations to Pat and COTA. UnitingCare has always greatly valued working with Pat during her years at ACSA. Thank you Pat for such a significant contribution to the future of aged care.

  3. A timely and appropriate appointment for Pat, National COTA, DoHA. A pivotal point in history with regard to sector reform and promoting the voice of senior Australians.

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