Outstanding contributors to aged care were recognised at the HESTA and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) Aged Care Awards on the Gold Coast this week.
The Individual Award for Excellence was presented to John Metaxas — manager of Hellenic Community Aged Care, WA — for his advocacy and dedication to small stand-alone, rural and regional aged care providers in Western Australia.
HESTA chief executive, Anne-Marie Corboy, said the Individual Award was the highest honour of the night, recognising exceptional service by an individual who has significantly improved the quality of services for older Australians.
“Over many years, Mr Metaxas has voluntarily mentored small aged care providers navigating their way through the challenges of operational management and regulatory requirements in regional areas,” Ms Corboy said.
“John has also provided innovative ideas to recruit and retain an aged care workforce and to improve quality of care — collaborating with tertiary education institutions to provide training for medical students.”
His welldeserved prize is a scholarship to attend an international conference of his choice, courtesy of HESTA.
ACSA chief executive, Professor John Kelly, commended this year’s highcalibre award winners.
“The 2012 award winners embody the remarkable ingenuity and dedication of the people and organisations that define aged care in Australia. Exemplary achievements and innovation result when people strive and succeed in delivering care and support above and beyond the call of duty,” he said.
The Organisation Award for Excellence was presented to Silver Chain Nursing Association, WA. Silver Chain is at the forefront of health care technology — making impressive improvements in implementing technology to develop efficiencies and enhance the wellbeing of those in their care.
Rhonda Sawtell — a support worker from Frontier Services Ngamang Bawoona, WA — took out the Employee Award. Based in a remote location, Ms Sawtell was recognised for her dedication to supporting and caring for members of the Kimberley indigenous community.
The Volunteer Award was presented to Shirley Nelson from Feros Care, New South Wales. A volunteer on the Feros Care Board of Directors, Ms Nelson’s passion and dedication to caring for others inspires all those she encounters.
Abby Dunnicliff, an orientation and mobility instructor at Guide Dogs SA/NT, was awarded the Trainee Award. Abby was commended for her contribution to improving the lives of senior citizens and those with physical and cognitive impairments.
Winners in the categories of Trainee, Volunteer, Employee and Organisation share a prize pool of $30,000 provided by ME Bank.