Samantha Edmonds is the Silver Rainbow – National Project Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance and is responsible for implementing their LGBTI ageing and ageing project. This project educates and informs service providers, policy makers and government on inclusive practice in Australia and including delivery of the outcomes of the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy. Silver Rainbow also provides LGBTI aged care awareness training to staff in ageing and aged care nationally.
Samantha is a member of a number of national advisory groups in ageing and aged care, both Government and Non-government. She was recently appointed to the Aged Care Sector Committee (ACSC), which provides advice to the Government on aged care policy development and implementation and helps to guide the future reform of the aged care system. Samantha is chair of the ACSC Diversity Sub-Group which is developing a Diversity Framework for the Aged Care Sector. Samantha holds Masters Degrees in Social Policy, Politics and International Relations. She has also completed the Macquarie University Global Leadership Program.
Prior to her current role Sam has worked in diverse fields including health policy and human rights. She was part of a small team with the Australian Human Rights Commission working on the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry.
Diversity Framework for the Aged Care Sector
The Australian Government’s “Living Longer, Living Better” reform package was announced in April 2012. As part of that announcement the Government committed to providing funding to assist older Australians with diverse needs, their families and carers to access information and aged care services that are sensitive to their backgrounds. These funds covered people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless; people who are care leavers; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In addition, the National LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Strategy and the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds were released.
On the 30 June 2017 both Strategies will end. As well, there is no current Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander elders.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Federation of Ethnic Community Councils and the Australian Association of Gerontology met and put a proposal to the government for the creation of a Diversity Framework to ensure the ongoing inclusion of elders from these, and other special needs groups, continues and that their unique, and sometimes overlapping needs, are met by the ageing and aged care sector. This proposal was accepted and the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub Group, consisting of these organisations and others, was created to drive the development and delivery of the Framework.
The Framework is intended to assist providers, and enhance the sector’s capacity, to better meet the diverse needs, circumstances and life experiences of older people thereby ensuring inclusive aged care services.
The Framework was developed in a co-design process with all parts of the aged care sector – consumers, providers, professionals and government.
This presentation will explore the development of the Diversity Framework, including the challenges and issues faced in creating a broad reaching diversity document and how these were addressed. It will consider the consultation processes and how older people from diverse groups and life experiences were engaged and how information provided from consultations was incorporated into the Framework.
It will also look at the key parts of the Framework – Vision, Imperatives and Priorities, how these have been implemented and any initial evaluation of the Framework.