Excellence in Age Services Awards: LASA announces winners

Excellence in Age Services Awards: LASA announces winners

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has announced the winners of the Excellence in Age Services (EIAS) Awards, congratulating the award recipients from across Australia. Sponsored by HESTA, the EIAS Awards recognise five winners from each region in the following categories: Rising Star, Individual, Next Gen Young Leader, Organisation and Team.

“The winners are exceptional and offer care and companionship for older Australians across the states,” LASA CEO Sean Rooney said.

“The EIAS Awards focus on great individuals and teams, recognising their excellence in looking after and making a big difference in the lives of elders.

“There is also innovation and imagination. It inspires carers and workers who support ageing well and honour and respect older people.”

Victoria and Tasmania

Rising Star: Tom Kariko, Service Delivery Manager, Royal Freemasons

Tom ensures consumers access as much continuity of care as possible, implementing staff utilisation data to analyse the most efficient and effective use of the workforce to maximise support.

Tom has brought a new lens to aged care through his knowledge and skills, gained working with Jetstar on rostering and customer service. His analytical and strategically minded approach brings a sense of calm and practicality for all stakeholders. Tom has built a great rapport in a short time in a difficult environment with consumers, staff and families.

Individual winner: Bill Appleby, Jewish Care Victoria

Bill joined Jewish Care Victoria as CEO in February 2010 and is passionate about value-based leadership and contributing to the development of a good society.

Bill’s personal objective: “Care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible”. After extensive desktop research, Bill and key executives toured facilities in the US and Europe to review best practices in aged care.

Under Bill’s leadership, Jewish Care undertook a capital works program, with investment exceeding $200 million. To date, four of the six projects have been completed, including two new homes, an Active Living Centre and the Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre.

Next Gen Young Leader: Joanne Wang, Ryman Healthcare

Joanne is Clinical Manager at Ryman Healthcare’s Weary Dunlop Retirement Village, with responsibility for more than 50 staff and 82 care centre residents. She is always putting others ahead of herself and lifting others up.

In 2019, Joanne was appointed as Ryman’s Operations Quality Manager for all of Victoria, and in the same year took a leadership role in the start-up of a new Ryman village, Nellie Melba.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joanne has been responsible for assessing, reviewing and refining Ryman’s infection control measures.

Organisation winner: Chaffey Aged Care Incorporated

In January 2021, Chaffey Aged Care opened Generations Early Learning, one of Australia’s first rural, co-located, intergenerational early learning centres. Inspiration for an onsite intergenerational early learning centre arose from positive experiences observed when aged-care recipients and preschoolers united in a pilot program hosted at Chaffey Aged Care.

Team winner: Incident Management Team (IMT) at Ryman Healthcare

The IMT was formed at the outset of the pandemic in January 2020 to lead Ryman Healthcare’s response to COVID-19.

The team met every weekday morning during the height of the outbreak in Victoria and currently meets three times a week.

Ryman’s ‘COVID-Go-Kit’ was formed so the entire team could understand and action emergency response plans.

Western Australia

Rising Star: Lena Judrill, Halls Creek Peoples Church Frail Aged Hostel

Lena provides culturally appropriate care to First Nations people in Halls Creek, who love her caring and kind nature. Lena loves her work — she attends every shift and elders get the care they require at all times.

Individual winner: Patricia Van Niekerk, Home Instead, Perth and south-west WA

Trish is exceptional at identifying and recognising each client’s individual likes to provide personalised care. For clients living with dementia, she uses strategies to enhance positive responses, incorporating colour, clothing styles and songs.

Trish researchers her clients and never misses a special occasion, often celebrating her clients’ milestones with their favourite tea and cake, which she enjoys making with them. Trish’s personal approach to clients has meant extending herself well beyond her own comfort zone.

Next Gen Young Leader: Richelle Johns, My at Home Care

Richelle is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable, working tirelessly for the benefit of customers and staff. She has been an integral part of implementing My at Home Care’s customer-centred approach to care, believing all customers should have direct access to their customer coordinator and somebody they can call 24 hours a day. Richelle has helped to implement the provider’s ‘personal assistant’ approach to customer coordination.

Organisation winner: Rosewood Care Group

Rosewood Care Group’s mission is to provide premium care and enhance the quality of life of ageing people. Rosewood celebrates champions in care, running audits to benchmark results for staff and resident satisfaction. This is backed up by 98% occupancy and low staff turnover. Rosewood has ‘Joy’ — a behaviour that is given as an example for a carer singing with a resident or sitting and chatting to them.

Team winner: Woodvale Getaway Team, Community Vision

The Woodvale team is a fundamental part of the Woodvale social club, providing social support, respite and wellbeing opportunities for older people wanting to live their best life possible.

The Woodvale team is multidisciplinary, with a passion for delivering quality services including support workers, an aged-care manager, an art therapist VR project lead and a chef to provide the best experiences for its customers.

The Woodvale Getaway Team created an opportunity for customers to travel the globe with a fully immersive, interactive travel experience using advanced technology.


Rising Star: Wayne Crase, Everglow Community Care

As CEO, Wayne has shaped the vision and strategic direction of Everglow. By inspiring and developing a strong clinical, support services and subcontractor workforce, Everglow continues to support frail, aged people to remain at home within their community.

Wayne advocated for veterans in the formal handover process between the Department of Health and Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure continuity of care for veterans moving to MyAgedCare. He also advocates for culturally and linguistically diverse members and clients to simply access services via MyAgedCare, and for veterans to have DVA approval for more panel members offering Veteran’s Home Care services after the withdrawal of providers in North Queensland.

Individual winner: Lesley Schneider, Mercy Aged Care Services Central Queensland

Lesley is a Registered Nurse and Executive Officer/Director of Nursing at Mercy Aged Care. She has developed an empathetic, team-based management style that emphasises the importance of valuing each other’s contributions and recognising the inherent worth of all within the Mercy Aged Care Family, including the consumers and their families.

Next Gen Young Leader: Lucy West, Angels in Aprons

Lucy is a Carer Angel and Care Coordinator. When Lucy talks about her clients, there’s a twinkle in her eye.

She aims to make a difference in people’s lives and wants to gain as much knowledge as possible in order to do so. Lucy has undertaken a Bachelor of Nursing, due for completion in September this year.

The Care Coordinator role truly encapsulates Lucy’s knowledge, passion and creativity that she describes as her “opportunity to give back to those that have supported her and her family and has motivated her to give aged care the service edge it requires”.

Organisation winner: Blackall RangeCare Group

Blackall RangeCare Group provides in-home community care services to aged and disabled residents living in the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland region. The organisation exists to help its clients live independent and purposeful lives at home by demonstrating kindness, empathy and compassion.

During the initial COVID-19 lockdown, RangeCare needed to find a way to keep its 150 staff members employed to support 2000 elderly and disabled clients. It organised local meal delivery services, meat and fruit and vegetable packs, an in-home haircut and beard-trimming service, and an iPad loan service including free internet and tuition. This later expanded into an in-home technology support service.

Team winner: Footprints Recovery and the Reablement Program Team

This program is designed to provide a holistic multidisciplinary evidence-based approach to address any decline in a person’s function or mental wellbeing that may have occurred as a result of a pandemic, including trauma-informed practice and health promotion.

The additional intention of this program is to reduce the impact of social isolation and enhance social connection in a safe manner. The Recovery and Reablement Program multidisciplinary team consists of a social worker, occupational therapist and health worker. This intervention is designed to empower and support individuals to play a more active role in their health care, adopting a wellness and reablement approach.

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

Rising Star: Emily Skeen, Carrington Care

Registered Nurse Emily Skeen has been promoted to a managerial position based on her leadership capability, her passion for her consumers and her commitment to Carrington and the aged-care industry.

She has shown a passion for delivering exceptional clinical care, holistically improving consumer care, service outcomes, staff engagement and motivation. She has actively taken on the role of a clinical mentor and resource staff member for the improvement of wound management across the organisation.

Individual winner: Janelle Veale, General Manager at Roseneath Aged Care Centre, Glen Innes

Prior to her appointment as General Manager of Roseneath in 2018, Janelle worked in the aged-care sector in Armidale for 14 years. She is committed to working in aged care and helping senior Australians in regional areas.

Using an approach she describes as Person First Care Planning, Janelle has developed a culture of providing customer-focused service within a team environment.

Next Gen Leader: Michael Monteleone, General Manager Hospitality and Operations Support, Whiddon

Michael brings to aged care a strong customer-service background in the hotel, catering and cinema industries and has applied this experience to significantly improve the food and dining experience at Whiddon. Michael’s incredible passion and enthusiasm strives to make a real difference in aged care.

Organisation winner: Twilight Age Care

Twilight Age Care has been providing services to the vulnerable elderly for more than 105 years and currently operates four residential aged-care homes across northern Sydney, with a fifth under design.

The 35- to 45-bed homes are boutique size, allowing the organisation to offer its unique Twilight Family Model of Care (TFMOC) to residents.

TFMOC empowers staff to take an active interest in the holistic care of residents and moves from task-focused care to a resident-focused model.

Team winner: Gymea Community Aid and Information Service (GCAIS)

The Community Connections Team delivers the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and services, including individual and social support, transport and domestic assistance.

Under previously awarded Innovation and Social Support Funding, seniors’ exercise programs were created and implemented, including Zumba, seniors’ boxing, matwork pilates, barre, yoga, Triple B, Buff Bands, Moves for All and Tai Chi. These groups are free and invaluable as a no-cost option for seniors.

South Australia and Northern Territory winners

Individual winner: Lee-Anne Beazley, Life Without Barriers

Providing services with great care and patience to clients with challenging circumstances, Lee-Anne’s passion and commitment is admired and congratulated. Her home care clients say she is an amazing support worker with empathy, excellent communication and a non-judgemental attitude.

The commitment and passion she shows goes above and beyond what is expected — she mentors new staff and shows a commitment to good practice in the future.

Organisation winner: ECH (Enabling Confidence at Home)

ECH provides affordable retirement living accommodation and ageing care services, enabling people to continue to live independently at home.

Operating since 1964, ECH is well attuned to the changing and complex needs of people as they age and promotes self-determination to enable people to have the best life possible as they age.

ECH wanted to disrupt traditional care delivery and better support people who wanted to have a respectful death at home. As such, ECH’s innovative General Practice Program was developed. The client is the focus and the care provided emerges from a human-rights base of respect, equality, dignity and autonomy.

Team winner: Rembrandt Living

Rembrandt home has décor and furniture designed specifically to be reminiscent of a resident’s home in the community. Its halls are filled with trinkets, photos, memorabilia from days gone by and tributes to its Dutch heritage.

The proudly small home allows the team of nurses and carers to provide individually tailored care. Rembrandt’s allied health team focuses on wellbeing, enablement and rehabilitation, with a primary focus on delivering occupational therapy and physiotherapy services to restore and/or maintain residents’ strength and balance.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/slonme

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