Ageing Minister Justine Elliot talks to a resident at the newly opened Doutta Galla Footscray facility.

Ageing Minister Justine Elliot has officially opened a new facility in Melbourne’s west that is aiming to set a new standard in culturally diverse aged care.

Doutta Galla Footscray is home to residents from 19 different countries of origin and its 78 staff members speak 27 different languages.

The homes’ residents eat from an international menu – ranging from moussaka to stir fry – and have access to foreign-language books and DVDs.

The Chairman of Doutta Galla, Bruce Mildenhall says the facility is representative of the broader Footscray community.

“As a major provider in the inner west, we have a corporate goal of trying to have the diversity of the surrounding community reflected in our facilities,” he said.

“We believe that with its mix of cultures, this area is a model of multiculturalism.

“There are many cultural groups that exist quite happily with one another in the community and there is no reason why that shouldn’t be the case in aged care.”

Mrs Elliot congratulated Doutta Galla’s staff and management for their hard work in developing the facility.

“This is an exciting new facility for Footscray,” she Elliot said.

“In addition to the jobs provided in the construction of the facility this service will also provide valuable local jobs in the aged care sector.”

Mr Mildenhall said Doutta Galla would draw on its experiences of managing a multicultural facility in the ethnically diverse community of Shepparton.

“We have operated that facility now for at least six years and that has given our management group a confidence in how to go about operationally working with a diversity of cultures,” he said.

The home’s management is also partnering with local universities and community groups, such as the Spanish and Latin American Welfare Centre.

Built at a cost of $15 million, the 88-bed facility contains the only extra service places in the municipality of Marybirnong.

“We are in a context now where there is some level of competition between facilities for residents,” said Mr Mildenall.

“The success of the CACPs (community aged care packages) and other programs has meant that high occupancy rates have not been as easy to achieve.

“We like to be in the market with a couple of distinct and attractive advantages and we are doing that here with our multicultural approach and the extra service places.”

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