Sector’s best honoured on Aged Care Employee Day

Leading Age Services Australia announced 19 state and territory award winners for its Excellence in Age Services Awards 2020 to coincide with Aged Care Employee Day.


Physiotherapist Simon Kerrigan, Bolton Clarke’s gardening gurus and Helping Hand Aged Care are among those recognised for their dedication to aged care in recent awards.

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Simon Kerrigan

Leading Age Services Australia announced 19 state and territory award winners for its Excellence in Age Services Awards 2020 last Friday to coincide with Aged Care Employee Day.

The awards aim to recognise the achievements and passion of those working in aged care across five categories – individual, rising star, Next Gen Young Leader, organisation and team.

In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, physiotherapist and Guide Healthcare managing director Simon Kerrigan won the Next Gen Young Leader award for the development of the Get Up Guide.

The daily exercise program is designed for care workers to deliver to residents to keep them active and minimise the side effects of reduced activity due to COVID-19.

In Western Australia, Hadja Sow, a scheduler for home care provider ECHO Community Services, won the rising star award. In her role, she is the key link between clients and staff and aims to ensure clients are at ease. Her work has led to a significant decrease in scheduling-related complaints and an increase in compliments.

In Queensland, Bolton Clarke’s Let’s Dig in Team received the team award for the establishment of its weekly gardening group, which has increased social engagement, physical activity and improved residents’ wellbeing.

Aged care minister Richard Colbeck congratulates the winners at LASA’s Excellence in Age Services Awards

In South Australia and the Northern Territory, aged care provider Helping Hand Aged Care won the organisation award for its innovative student program promoting workforce development.

The program supports over 500 students a year, providing interprofessional understanding of the needs of older people across areas including allied health, nursing, medicine, engineering and business.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the winners demonstrate how passion for others and going the extra mile, can lead to innovation and true personal connections to help Australians age well.

“We are extremely fortunate in Australia to have such a caring and dedicated workforce, who put the wellbeing of older Australians at the forefront of everything they do, every day,” he said.

All winners are in the running for the national awards, which will be announced in October. See below for a list of other winners.

Benetas recognises outstanding staff

Also on Aged Care Employee Day, Victorian aged care provider Benetas held its own awards to honour three exceptional employees who were each nominated by their peers.

The awardees demonstrated organisational values and unwavering dedication and care for the older Australians they serve, Benetas said.

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Luke Boreham

Among them is human resource business partner Luke Boreham, who has worked with Benetas for five-and-a-half years.

He said the people he works with bring him back to work every day.

“The people are forever inspiring, as is their dedication to provide the highest quality of care that we can collectively provide,” Mr Boreham said.

The other award recipients were allied health assistant Nicolette Caggiati-Shortell and clinical nurse consultant Vikki Ough.

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Sandra Hills

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the coronavirus pandemic made recognising aged care staff more important than ever.

“They’ve been fronting up each and every day to provide tireless care, connection and humanity to our aged care residents, home care clients and their families who rely on them for essential care in this very challenging environment,” Ms Hills said.

Aged Care Employee Day is held annually on 7 August.

Other LASA award winners

  • Ben Van Lierop, RSL LifeCare (individual award NSW and the ACT)
  • Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla Aged Care Centre Teams at IRT Group (team award NSW and the ACT)
  • KinCare (organisation award NSW and the ACT)
  • Kathy White, RSL LifeCare (rising star award NSW and the ACT)
  • John Sisson, Churches of Christ in Queensland (rising star award Qld)
  • Chezz Thompson, Bolton Clarke (individual award Qld)
  • Communify Queensland (organisation award Qld)
  • Jamie Langdon, Benevolent Living (Next Gen Young Leader award Qld)
  • ECHO Community Services (organisation award WA)
  • Helen Nowlan, Compatible Care Nursing Services (individual award WA)
  • Collaborative Leadership Model, Maurice Zeffert Home Inc (team award WA)
  • Gabriela Di Perna, MercyCare (Next Gen Young Leader award WA)
  • Tom Gray, Xtra AgedCare (Next Gen Young Leader award SA and the NT)

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