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Supporting future leaders in aged care

A number of experienced aged care professionals are participating in Young leaders in Social Care, a series of events being held across the country aimed at encouraging and supporting young leaders in the aged care industry. 

Acorn Network Founder Samantha Bowen says it is time to start exploring what leadership means to our industry professionals and ‘us’ as individuals.
Acorn Network Founder Samantha Bowen says it is time to start exploring what leadership means to our industry professionals and ‘us’ as individuals.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates Generation Y will make up over 42 percent of Australia’s working population. However, Samantha Bowen, Founder Acorn Network and host of the national Young Leaders in Social Care event series points out, at less than 18 percent, future leaders are massively under-represented in our care organisations.

“Aged care is a business dedicated to helping people. We need skilled flexible and passionate workers from all professions to keep it running,” she says.

“Peak organisations ACSA, LASA and the aged care community are calling for more staff to meet our future increases in client demand. We must do this by supporting leadership in a diverse, modern and passionate workforce.”

Ms Bowen believes we must increase the profile, showcase diversity and improve access to our industry leaders.

“We hear about ‘leadership’ all the time, but how do we ‘do’ leadership, how do we ‘become’ leaders? How do we support one another in this journey?” she queries.

“It is time to start exploring what leadership means to our industry professionals and ‘us’ as individuals.”

She highlights our care workforce, in particular those who are younger, respond positively to career discussions, leadership and education opportunities, but perceptions, shaped by ageist and traditional attitudes stop them from pursuing a career in long term aged care.

“With studies and surveys indicating disinterest in individuals pursuing care careers, lower ratios of people identifying as leaders, and low workforce retention, it is time to start exploring what leadership means to our industry professionals an ‘us’ as individuals,” Ms Bowen adds.

Melbourne panellist and Care Guidance CEO Lydia Paterson says: “It is important that young leaders have a forum such as the Acorn Network to come together to share experiences and ideas, and to support each other on what can sometimes be a lonely road.

"But more than that, it’s equally important that young people in aged care have a platform to demonstrate to others that there are great opportunities in aged care that are ready to be tapped by enthusiastic and committed young leaders.”

Anyone with a passion for aged and community care careers, students, CEOs, entrepreneurs, consultants, carers and people of all ages and from all levels of leadership are invited to attend and connect with passionate and driven young leaders.

Taking the form of a panel of speakers, the events will be full of inspiration, great conversations, and networking opportunities with panellists and fellow attendees.

Young leaders in Social Care event dates are:

  • Melbourne: Tuesday 6 September 2016, 6.00pm-8.00pm, KPMG, 147 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Sydney: Tuesday, 13 September 2016, 6.00pm-8.00pm, Mirus Australia HQ, 52/26-32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009
  • Perth: Wednesday, 28th September 2016, 6.00pm-8.00pm, KPMG, 235 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA 6000

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