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Streamlining Australia's dementia training

Dementia Training Australia (DTA), a consortium of Australia’s leading dementia educators and trainers, was recently awarded a $27.9 million contract by the government to streamline Australia’s dementia training and deliver education products.

Dementia Training Australia is delivering national accredited education (Source: Shutterstock)
Dementia Training Australia is delivering national accredited education (Source: Shutterstock)

Replacing the former Dementia Study Training Centres and Dementia Care Essentials Program, DTA is now delivering national accredited education, upskilling and professional development for those providing care to people living with dementia.

The consortium is headed up by the University of Wollongong (UOW) and draws on the expertise of five universities (UOW, La Trobe University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Tasmania, University of Western Australia) and Alzheimer’s Australia. It provides easy access to the most up-to-date training for all health and aged care personnel including personal care assistants in the community, residential care staff and medical specialists in hospitals.

Consortium leader Professor Richard Fleming says UOW and its DTA partners are well placed to successfully deliver the new program. “They will be building on the experience they have gained operating the Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Care Essentials program for the last nine years and from developing what is acknowledged as the world’s premier health care Massive Open Online Course (MOOC),” says Professor Fleming.

DTA draws on University of Tasmania Wicking Centre’s expertise in this area, with the centre producing online dementia education products due for release in 2017. “This contribution demonstrates the capacity of the Wicking Centre’s innovation in developing cutting edge, world class, on-line dementia education and training,” says Wicking Centre Co-Director, Professor Andrew Robinson. “It also brings us in line with mainstream dementia education and training in Australia, working with the best and most talented people within this space.”

La Trobe University’s DTA Director Dr Margaret Winbolt believes the nationwide programme marks a milestone in Australia’s journey towards consistently high standards of care for people with dementia. “It will ensure the best available dementia training is delivered not just to professional carers in major cities, but right across Australia’s regional and rural areas,” she says. “We will deliver quality training through a blend of face-to-face and online sessions, including workshops, lectures, training courses and webinars.”

National CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, Maree McCabe says Alzheimer’s Australia is pleased to play a key role in delivering Dementia Essentials to over 16,000 staff working directly with people living with dementia. “This unique collaboration and national approach to dementia training will ensure that the next generation of dementia training is based on the most up to date, evidence based best practice, delivered in a coordinated, nationally consistent way,” she says.

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