Aged care provider peak body Aged and Community Services Australia has announced Patricia Sparrow has resigned and will finish her stint as chief executive officer in September.

Ms Sparrow, who has been at the helm for five years, finishes at ACSA on 10 September to take up a new position as CEO of Vision 2020 from 27 September.

Ms Sparrow, who has held several roles at ACSA including policy manager, acting chief executive officer and deputy CEO, first left the organisation in August 2011 to join Council on the Ageing Australia as director of aged care reform during the Living Longer Living Better era.

After that she was the aged care advisor to successive Federal ministers in the health, aged care and social services portfolios including Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley immediately before returning to ACSA as CEO in 2016.

ACSA chair Sara Blunt said Ms Sparrow successfully led the organisation through important structural change.

Sara Blunt

“More importantly she played a pivotal role in leading Australia’s not-for-profit aged care providers through the most challenging and turbulent time for our sector in history,” she said.

Ms Sparrow’s knowledge, hardwork and leadership have left ACSA stronger than before, Ms Blunt said. 

“Amongst Patricia’s most important achievements are her powerful advocacy through the royal commission and pandemic, bringing together a complex federated body of representatives while maintaining national unity, several specific regulatory and public health reforms, and perhaps most significantly and her leadership role in achieving significant reforms including an unprecedented increase in government funding,” she said.

Ian Yates

COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said Ms Sparrow had been a strong voice and leader for many reforms in aged care.

“During the current pandemic she has been a compassionate and sensible voice for protecting residents of nursing homes and was a key partner with COTA and others in developing the really important Visitors Code for Residential Aged Care,” he said.

Former president of ACSA and CEO of Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT Paul Sadler has been appointed interim CEO of the peak body.

Mr Sadler and will work closely with Ms Sparrow over the coming weeks “to ensure we continue to go from strength to strength,” Ms Blunt said.

Main image: Patricia Sparrow

This story first appeared on Australian Ageing Agenda.

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