Celebrating diversity in aged care

This Monday 21 March sees the launch of an online campaign to celebrate Australia’s aged care workforce.

This Monday 21 March sees the launch of a new online campaign to celebrate Australia’s aged care workforce.

Called #CelebrateAgedCare, the campaign aims to provide a positive platform for staff and put the spotlight on the diversity of the workforce. Since the release of the aged care royal commission findings, the sector has received a lot of negative exposure. The campaign hopes to put more of an upbeat focus on the industry and the 300,000-or so people who keep the sector running.

Samantha Bowen

#CelebrateAgedCare is a reimagining of a 2019 campaign #CelebrateWomeninAgedCare. The new campaign has been created by Dr Tanvi Dalal, general manager of funding at Signature Care, and Samantha Bowen, founding director of the Acorn Network. Their shared passion for improving aged care in Australia and promoting diversity led them to create the #CelebrateAgedCare campaign.

“We wanted to highlight the massive diversity we have in the aged care space,” Ms Bowen told Australian Ageing Agenda. “It’s promoting not just women, but other people from different cultural backgrounds,” added Dr Dalal.

Central to the campaign are three key messages:

  • In Australia, the pay of the aged care workforce is 25 per cent less than other healthcare workers in similar roles
  • While more than 80 per cent of the workforce in aged care are women, they are under-represented in executive roles compared to other industries
  • A large proportion of frontline workers are from diverse cultural backgrounds but under-represented across aged care leadership roles.
Dr Tanvi Dalal

In 2020, culturally diverse staff represented 35 per cent of the direct care workforce. The majority of these – 72 per cent – are personal care workers. “We want these frontline workers to progress into leadership roles. We need to give them role models, we need to give them people that they can look up to so that they feel encouraged that they can step into that role,” said Dr Dalal – who is a migrant from India in an aged care executive role.

Both Dr Dalal and Ms Bowen are hoping the #CelebrateAgedCare campaign will attract strong engagement “across all leadership levels”. They want workers to share their passion for the sector and their professions. They’re also keen for the campaign to generate a conversation about what needs to be improved in the sector.

“There is a federal election coming up and [the campaign] is an additional platform for people to advocate for the changes that we need to see across the entire aged care space,” said Ms Bowen.

Workers are encouraged to submit profiles here and share with their colleagues to #CelebrateAgedCare.

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Tags: celebrate aged care, featured, Samantha Bowen, tanvi dalal,

1 thought on “Celebrating diversity in aged care

  1. For many years I worked, and now I volunteer, as a Bi-cultural Social support worker and Diversional therapist, working with people in aged care, disability and dementia field. I can converse with them in Croatian, Italian, French, Slovenian, English, broken Spanish, I have lived in their countries and respect their culture. I know how to access ethnic specific tools and apps, and use them efficiently, to bring some sunshine and hope into their lives. Not enough attention is being paid to the enablement and care needs of our seniors and elders from diverse backgrounds, who often remain voiceless. Aged care reforms need to empower us to have a well respected, correctly rewarded workforce, with many more workers and management trained in ethnic specific care, cultural diversity, trauma. I applaud the women in the above article, fighting on behalf of our culturally diverse workforce, and agree with them 100%. Why is it so easy for us in Australia to worship the important achievers in sport, who are from diverse background, why do we all rave about the fantastic variety of exotic foods in our restaurants run by successful migrants, when we continue to exclude people from diverse background in research, in policy &decision making, when we allow their neglect and abuse in residential care facilities as well as those in home care. WAKE UP&START TO CARE, start to make a difference now. Danijela Hlis (Author)

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