Above: Life members Jude Heinrich (left) and John Ireland, with ACS NSW & ACT CEO Jill Pretty (image: Alex Donnini Photography).
By Stephen Easton
The Aged and Community Services Association of NSW and the ACT hosted staff from their charitable member organisations, along with other supporters of the not-for-profit side of aged and community care, at the Sydney Masonic Centre last night for a formal dinner and awards night.
ACS NSW/ACT honoured outstanding volunteers, trainees, organisations, supporters and employees for their contributions over the past year and inducted two new life members, Jude Heinrich from Baptist Community Services and John Ireland from Southern Cross Care, at the 2011 State Awards for Excellence Presentation Dinner, part of the organisation’s annual Residential Aged Care Forum.
“Older people are the most valued and valuable members of our community, and part of our job is to never let society forget that,” Mr Ireland said in his acceptance speech, which he used to urge others in the room to continue their careers and their involvement with ACS. “Because otherwise they are discounted, marginalised and treated differently.”
“We represent the church, the community, the charitable sector. We represent those who are marginalised, vulnerable and disadvantaged. The role of the for-profit sector is really important; they do a great job. But their motivation is, always has been, and always will be different.
“And so I say to you, as you go about your work, keep in there, be involved, keep making a difference. With ACS you are able to do that at government level, within the community and within the bureaucracy.
“Remember, you are chartered to look after those who are valued and valuable – particularly those who cannot look after themselves.”
Ms Heinrich was praised by Mr Rigby as “one of the great leaders of aged care services”, who was known for her research and innovation in the field over a long career that
“I take great pride that the name EACH was actually concocted in the boardroom of Baptist Community Services,” she said. “Because we didn’t want to call them ‘nursing home care packages’, which was the title they had been given in the very small pilot conducted in South Australia.”
“We didn’t want them to be the province of nurses. We wanted a broader employment, so we adopted the name Extended Aged Care in the Home packages in the BCS boardroom, and I take great pride in that.”
Although EACH pilot programs lost money at first, Ms Heinrich and BCS persevered, and now they, “like many organisations, do not lose money on EACH packages”.
“They provide a real and viable option for many older Australians, who want to live in their own homes and have care delivered to them when they need it, so I take great pride in being part of that initiative.”
Ms Heinrich said she was also particularly proud of the decision to develop an ‘integrated care model’, which is currently coming to fruition in the form of the yet to be completed BCS Kellyville complex.
The environmentally-friendly complex is targeted at people aged 80 and over rather than younger people, who Ms Heinrich said want to live in the community, and incorporates adaptable retirement villas, the provision of Community Aged Care Packages and a residential aged care facility.
“People who will be living in our retirement complex there, will be able to purchase a meals package, purchase a cleaning package, purchase a laundry package and have care delivered to them when they need it, and I really think that’s what most people will want.
“I’m excited that BCS is able to do that and I’m looking forward to when the buildings come out on the ground and I can actually see the dream that we had.”
Full list of award recipients:
Industry Supporter – Acknowledges a corporate sector organisation who demonstrates excellence in the development of products, services or other support to the aged care industry.
Winner: Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation
Runner-up: Haweksbury Living
Runner-up: Provider Assist
Employee Award – Recognises the dedication and contribution of an individual employee in the delivery of services to older people and people with a disability.
Winner: Margaret Williams, Haweksbury Living
Runner-up: Lorraine Melling, United Protestant Association of NSW
Runner-up: Mary Morris, Anglican Retirement Villages
Volunteer Award – Recognizes an individual who exemplifies the tireless generosity of volunteers in caring for and supporting older people, people with disabilities and their carers.
Winner: Des Nicholson
Runner-up: Jenny Bradford
Runner-up: Liz Fergusson
Media Award – Recognises an individual or organisation whose efforts result in the positive portrayal of older people, and/or aged and community care services to the broader community. This could be via any form of media eg; print, radio, television, web.
Winner: Anglican Care
Runner-up: Dungog and District Neighbour Care inc.
Trainee Award – Celebrates the outstanding achievements of an employee who is studying and working towards a qualification in the aged care sector.
Winner: Peter Buttrey
Runner-up: Lauren Stanley
Organisation Award – Recognises a provider organisation who demonstrates leadership, innovation and excellence.
Winner: Charles Chambers Court, Mission Australia
Runner-up: Port Stephens Veterans Citizens Aged Care Ltd.
Runner-up: Hawkesbury Living