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Excellence in aged care recognised in Victoria

Those who go above and beyond when caring for some of the frailest people in the community were recognised at the recent annual Aged & Community Services Australia Victoria (ACSA Vic) gala night.

Finalists in the Volunteer category with Helena Higginbottom representing HESTA, sponsor of the Award
Finalists in the Volunteer category with Helena Higginbottom representing HESTA, sponsor of the Award

“The annual ACSA Victoria Awards highlight the significant work aged care providers and their individual staff do to ensure older people get the best services and support possible,” says ACSA Chief Executive Officer Southern Pat Sparrow. “ACSA congratulates and thanks all of this year’s nominees and winners whose commitment and services exemplify quality care.”

Winner of the Organisation award, Southern Cross Care (Vic) achieved the accolade for its innovative ‘Valuing Every Person’ (VEP) philosophy which was implemented across the organisation early last year. Andrew Newton, Chief Executive Officer Southern Cross Care (Vic) says: “Our philosophy advocates a unique person-centred approach to the care and support we provide to our clients and residents.”

A key component of the VEP philosophy is choice, and this saw the organisation introduce changes to the way it provides food services. Since a buffet style breakfast was introduced into its Dandenong aged care home, staff noticed residents who had previously stayed in their own room to eat breakfast were joining others in the dining room.

“The award is a great achievement and recognition of the wonderful work staff hand volunteers have done over the past year to support and assist older people to live the best opportunities,” says Mr Newton.

In the Employee category, joint winners were Bill Brennan and John Curtis from the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS). Both are part of the RDNS Homeless Persons Program and over the last 13 and 16 years respectively, they have provided a cohesive primary health response to Supported Residential Services in the Inner South Region of Melbourne.

Mr Brennan and Mr Curtis demonstrate a service commitment on a daily basis to a group of people who are often ignored, viewed as difficult and non-compliant. In articulating what they like about their jobs it always comes back to the people they work with and a belief that their interventions do make a positive difference.

Recognised for his 17 years volunteering with Fronditha Care, Anastasios Bardakos was presented the Volunteer award. As well as knowing all 120 residents in the Thornbury facility personally, he initiated, organised and also regularly participates in the ‘Kafenio’ activity - a Greek tradition where men gather in a café and play backgammon, cards, read the newspaper and discuss politics, while drinking some wine and eating meze.

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