These annual awards highlight the outstanding achievements and contributions of organisations, teams, and individuals who work in the aged care sector, which has struggled with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACSA, Paul Sadler, says that all the winners should be proud of themselves for showing exemplary leadership during a tumultuous year.
"This year has been difficult for the aged care sector and these winners have risen to the challenge. To see so many providers, their employees, and volunteers working incredibly hard to continue delivering the best aged care they can under unprecedented circumstances shows just how committed the sector is to older Australians," says Mr Sadler.
"The national winners – along with all State winners and finalists – are to be commended for their exceptional efforts to support older Australians and their families throughout the year. The whole sector has worked tirelessly to maintain the safety of residents, their families and staff.
"I’m delighted that the exceptional work of these providers has been recognised through the awards. They are some of the many providers across the sector who can show all of us what aged care has the potential to contribute to our community.
"Congratulations to all winners, and nominees, for their commitment to deliver quality care to many older Australians."
The winners of the 2021 ACSA awards in each category are:
Innovation in Service and Design - Anglicare Southern Queensland, QLD
Anglicare Southern Queensland won the Innovation in Service and Design Award for its program, 'By Request: A Playlist of Memories'. The program is a special video series that celebrates the transformative power of music for aged care residents at Anglicare Southern Queensland. This program utilises a few bars or verses from a song and is instantly able to bring back precious memories to listeners.
Employee of the Year - Therese Best from Queen Victoria Care, TAS
Therese started working at Queen Victoria Care in 2000 as a cleaner. However, being an ambitious person, she pursued opportunities in leisure, lifestyle and physiotherapy. Therese achieved three qualifications and now works as a physio assistant in her dream job. She is a compassionate caring person who strives to make a difference to residents’ lives by providing support and guidance to older residents to help them reach their physio goals.
Volunteer of the Year - Christine Sward, Christian Homes Tasmania, TAS
Christine has been volunteering at Christian Homes Tasmania for over 20 years, and is described as a tireless and generous volunteer by the residents, families and staff at the facility. She initially provided pastoral care to residents and staff, but then began providing lifestyle activities to residents as a volunteer. In 2002, Christine was appointed to the Board at Christian Homes Tasmania and eventually was appointed as the Secretary to the Board in 2019. She was appointed to the Clinical Governance Committee, advocating on behalf of the residents, and was made a Life Member in 2020. She has truly shown she is a dedicated volunteer.
Regional, Rural, Remote (RRR) Provider of the Year - Mt View Homes, SA
The small rural community owned aged care facility of Booleroo Centre has been running for nearly 40 years, providing 30 beds and ten independent living units to its area. Mt View Homes was able to maintain its viability, endured times of hardship through drought and financial challenges, and is worthy of the excellent reputation it now holds. One of the largest employers in Booleroo Centre, there are 44 staff employed, with 90 percent of those staff travelling from surrounding towns to provide high quality services with care and compassion.
Provider of the Year - Warrigal, NSW/ACT
Warrigal, a not-for-profit community aged care provider of over 50 years, has a vision that "older people will have great lives" and their purpose is to "support older people to create inspiring communities". They employ over 1,500 staff and provide services to over 3,700 customers in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Queanbeyan, and Canberra Regions.
CEO of Mt View Homes, Jenny Deer, says that the facility’s team and community are so happy and proud to receive such a prestigious award.
"It means so much to us and our community. Mt View Homes is community owned, and we rely on the support of the community to help make the home the great place it is. We have been working hard at building a great organisation; a place that people will call ‘home’, and enjoy being a part of," says Ms Deer.
"This includes staff who work at the facility, the volunteers who help out, all the people who come to reside within Mt View Homes, and of course their family and friends. We feel we are achieving this goal, and this award only builds on that reputation and good feelings. The award is a huge recognition for Booleroo Centre community as a whole.
"It is challenging for all organisations to provide quality aged care services, and in Regional, Rural, Remote (RRR) areas, there is a further element of challenge due to distance, small communities, lack of services and resources, and the availability of people in general.
"Workforce is a constant battle, and we have worked hard at developing a good staff culture where people enjoy coming to work, feel valued and appreciated and are recognised for their achievements. Happy staff makes for happy residents and happy families! It is a privilege to be able to provide care to our people, and an honour to be recognised in this way."