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Showcasing young leaders in aged care

More awareness is needed to demonstrate that working in aged care can be a rewarding career path for young professionals.
Samantha Bushell, Acorn Network founder, says she wants young people to be the future leaders in the aged care industry.
Samantha Bushell, Acorn Network founder, says she wants young people to be the future leaders in the aged care industry.

There is a perception that aged care is an unattractive option for people under 35 years of age, but there are many young people in the industry making a difference and excelling in many different ways, from architects to nurses to business managers.

Trevor Carr, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) Victoria chief executive, says the industry needs to create more awareness that working in aged care can be a rewarding career pathway personally and professionally.

“There is a perception that aged care is an unappealing career option for people under 35 years, and yet there are many genuine career opportunities across the sector that can make a meaningful difference to people’s lives," Mr Carr says.

A new organisation created exclusively for emerging aged and community care professionals, Acorn Network, showcases the industry’s young talent, and giving them the tools they need to thrive in the challenging care environment.

The Acorn Network will host a networking night for young aged and community care professionals, and their supporters to celebrate and connect a shared passion for the care industry, and show support for the industry's emerging aged and community leaders.

The focus of the event will be mentoring, celebrating young professionals, and connecting with like minded individuals.

It is focused on supporting and connecting our young aged care and community professionals who are disbursed over many sites, locations, and localities across Victoria, some never thinking about attending events as they are not directly marketed at them.

Samantha Bushell, Acorn Network founder, explains when she was working in an aged care facility, it was difficult to connect with people her age.

"My friends just really don't understand why I am so passionate about aged care," Ms Bushell says. 

“I want this event to show that young people are passionate about aged care and community professions. We want to be the future leaders, we want to be involved in the exciting future of the industry," she says.

While the residential aged care workforce grew 29% between 2003 and 2012, the average age for residential direct care workers is reportedly 48 years and 50 years for community direct care workers.

The proportion of age care professionals under the age of 35 in the workforce has not changed since 2003.

The Acorn Network free event will be held at from 6pm to 8pm at The Cluster (17/31 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000) on Tuesday, 22 July 2015. Book your free registration to The Cluster event.

Samantha Bushell will speak about emerging young leaders at the Aged Care Leaders Symposium in Melbourne on 23 and 24 July 2015, co-hosted by DPS Publishing - publishers of the DPS News. Register or find out more about the Aged Care Leaders Symposium.

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