Fostering and supporting the next generation of aged care leaders will be the focus of a series of panel discussions to be held with emerging and established leaders.

Samantha Bowen, founder of the Acorn Network, said the aged care industry was failing to attract young people in substantial numbers and the proportion of young people in the workforce had not changed since 2003.

Current figures show only 18 per cent of aged care workers are under 35.

“We must increase the profile, showcase diversity, and improve access to our industry leaders,” said Ms Bowen, who is hosting the national Young Leaders in Care event series.

Samantha Bowen, Acorn founder
Samantha Bowen, Acorn founder

Negative stereotypes and a poor public image of aged care stopped many new graduates from entering the sector and there was a strong perception that other health areas such as acute care and paediatrics offered greater learning and growth opportunities. However, there dominant views had to be challenged, she said.

Managers and executives such as Cynthia Payne from SummitCare, Illana Halliday, head of Aged and Community Services NSW & ACT and Justine Colyer, CEO of Rise Network, will discuss their leadership experiences and the lessons to be learned from their own career trajectory as part of the series.

“These leaders are coming together to talk about their career paths and show there is no ‘one way’ to lead; the journey is different for all,” said Ms Bowen.

The panel discussions will also address the leadership skills necessary in the industry and the support and development opportunities that should be available to staff.

The Young Leaders in Care events take place in Melbourne (6th September), Sydney (13th September), and Perth (28th September). For more information visit the Acorn website.

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1 Comment

  1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if CEOs actually worked alongside staff PCAs, kitchen and laundry staff just to actually find out how tough the work is – sadly I don’t think that will ever happen in the industry. If they worked with/alongside the staff for at least a week in each section they may just learn a few lessons about endurance, stress, people priority, and why these people are so very important to residents. One lesson may be, don’t cut shifts and add to the load.

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