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Aged care providers across Australia, both commercial and not-for-profit, will now be represented by one voice in “an effort to lead and influence the sector’s future”.

After the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended greater industry collaboration and unification last year, representatives from across the aged care sector within the Transformation Steering Committee opted to join forces and create an entirely new organisation for optimal cohesion.

Last month, members of the Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) combined to establish the creation of Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA).

ACCPA provides the opportunity to “speak with one clear, loud voice, and advocate for – and achieve – transformational change,” said Chair of the Transformation Steering Committee and UnitingCare Australia National Director Claerwen Little.

We know that aged care is in crisis. We know that the system is complex and achieving genuine reform is difficult. But it is incumbent upon all of us to overcome these challenges and ensure we do everything we can to achieve the best outcomes possible,” she explained. 

So the sector has stepped up to the challenge and delivered a key recommendation of the Royal Commission – we are moving forward with one, united aged care peak body. A body that will represent and support all providers in the aged care sector. The process of change started some time ago, and has involved a lot of hard work, deliberation, and determination from many people. Many have been waiting patiently for this moment to come – and it is finally here.” 

A number of focus areas for ACCPA have been identified as such:

  • Building on the combined resources, experience, expertise and rich history of ACSA, LASA and others by complementing and enhancing each organisations’ strengths 
  • Leading proactive and positive change by providing leadership that assures authoritative guidance, communication, and advocacy 
  • Acting as one voice for influence by uniting the diverse range of aged care providers under one single advocacy agenda 
  • Valuing and representing individual member voices 
  • Delivering valued member services by offering an enhanced suite of services at scale 
  • Providing value for money by applying flexible and appropriate membership fees 
  • Proactively partners for change by deepening sector relationships to enhance advocacy 

Set to continue his role as interim chief of the ACCPA is Former ACSA president Paul Sadler, who states that the new role of ACCPA is to prioritise the push for “urgent reform”, to hold the new government to account, ensuring that higher pay, improved conditions and a “sustainable funding system” will remain top of the reform agenda for the next year.

The ACCPA board has 10 elected directors, three independent directors and two multi-state directors.

There is “a great deal of work ahead of us,” says Sadler. “Now, more than ever, our sector needs a strong and well-resourced advocate on its side able to take the concerns and needs of members to government and stakeholders in aged care.”

ARK Media is an industry partner of ACCPA