Awarding innovation in SA

ACH Group has taken out the only two awards made to a South Australian aged services provider for this year’s Better Practice Awards made by the Aged care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

Above: Gloria Daly, from the Milpara Tree Committee, and Joyleen Rowe who works at ACH Group Milpara, received the Better Practice Award from Mark Brandon CEO, Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency

South Australian aged services provider, ACH Group, is the only South Australian organisation recognised in this year’s Better Practice Awards, taking out the only two awards made to a provider in that state.

A school-based traineeship program with a ‘living classroom’ approach, designed to attract school students to a career in aged care was one of the two innovative programs recognised in the annual awards program for the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency.

ACH Group’s Highercombe residential care facility partnered with 19 schools in the Hope Valley region and a registered training organisation, to deliver the program.

According to Highercombe site Manager, Jo Boylan, participating in the school-based traineeship program has benefited Highercombe, as well as the students involved. 

“The program helped us meet the needs of the students who are actively seeking traineeship opportunities. 

“Students in the middle years of high school are considering their futures and careers and initiatives that expose these young people to the opportunities at Highercombe can have positive outcomes for recruitment of younger people to aged care,” Ms Boylan said.

The second award was made to ACH’s Milpara site for its community communication platform called the Milpara Tree. 

Jo Boylan, also site manager for Milpara, said the concept for the Milpara Tree project was a desire to strengthen resident voices and their ability to express their needs. 

She said an important part of the project was speaking with residents and conducting surveys with residents, staff and families about what ‘home’ means to them.

“It is a beautiful tree painting located in one of the cafes and everyone is encouraged to contribute to the painting by adding a ‘leaf’ of thanks, or a ‘petal’ for a wish,” Ms Boylan explained. 

“The Milpara Tree Council, consisting of residents and one staff member, monitor and record all of the thanks and wishes. They also take steps to act on the thanks expressed and make the wishes a reality.”

The awards were presented by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Chief Executive Officer Mark Brandon on Thursday, August 15. 

“It is a pleasure to be at a beautiful art exhibition and be able to give credit to two of ACH Group’s outstanding programs,” Mr Brandon said. 

“This year, the Better Practice Awards received 153 applications and is presenting 38 awards, two for South Australia and the two being for ACH Group. I believe this puts ACH Group among the best of the best in this country when it comes to aged care.” 

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