Home' Intouch : In Touch Summer 2016 Contents SUMMER 2016 IN TOUCH 3
It has been a busy time for us at Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW. As I write this, I am reflecting
with delight on the success of Dementia
Awareness Month 2016. I had the privilege
of attending events held across the state and
was inspired to see people embracing this
year’s theme: You Are Not Alone.
Highlights of Dementia Awareness Month
included a speaking tour by one of the world’s
leading dementia experts, Dr Ron Petersen,
who presented both in Sydney at NSW
Parliament House and at the National Press
Club in Canberra, along with Alzheimer’s Australia Ambassador Ita
Buttrose AO, OBE.
This year, our fundraising team embarked on new and exciting
initiatives to help provide invaluable support and resources for people
living with dementia, their carers and families. These included Thinko!,
a series of fun games and trivia events to boost brain health, and A
Trek to Remember, in which a team of fundraisers conquered Mount
Kilimanjaro in Africa in October.
The annual series of Memory Walk & Jog events in 2016 were a
great success and included a new event in Penrith in Sydney’s west.
We are happy to announce that in 2017 another brand new location
will host an event for the first time: the Northern Beaches in Sydney,
bringing the total number of Memory Walk & Jog events to be held
across NSW to six.
I am also proud to announce that the Dementia Training Australia
consortium, led by the University of Wollongong, and of which
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and all other state and territory offices
are a part, was successful in gaining the tender to deliver the
Commonwealth-funded Dementia Training Program. Alzheimer’s
Australia is pleased to play a key role in delivering Dementia
Essentials, a leading international vocational training program,
which provides free dementia training and education to over
16,000 staff working directly with people living with dementia. This
unique collaboration and national approach to dementia training will
ensure that the next generation of dementia training is based on
the most up -to - date, evidence -based best practice, delivered in a
coordinated, nationally consistent way. The training will be accessible
to a broad range of health and aged -care personnel, from personal
care assistants in the community and residential care to medical
specialists in hospitals. This will ensure the very best available
knowledge in dementia training is translated into best practice on the
ground, so the outcomes for people with dementia and their families
and carers can be improved.
As our Chairman Paul Robertson AM outlines in his In Touch
report, the recent move towards a new governance model for our
federation is both timely and welcome. With significant changes in
Federal Government funding and policy, reform is essential.
As this is the final issue of In Touch for 2016, I would like to take
this opportunity to thank everyone who supported Alzheimer’s
Australia NSW this year. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday
season and look forward to seeing you all in 2017.
The Hon. John Watkins AM
CEO, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
As we know, there are
people all over Australia
living with dementia. Our
association was formed
more than 30 years ago,
and during this time
Alzheimer’s Australia has
grown into a national
federation that annually
supports tens of thousands
of people adjusting to the
impact of a diagnosis of dementia.
However, the services offered by Alzheimer’s
Australia are very different depending on
your postcode. This is due to the fact that
Alzheimer’s Australia has different boards,
styles and services in each state and territory.
For many years, there have been conversations
about combining all the strengths of the various
state associations into one Australia-wide,
dementia-specific organisation. I’m happy to
report that it looks like all those talks are finally
Our operating environment is also changing.
Alzheimer’s Australia is preparing for a period of
unparalleled transformation as we adapt to the
structural reforms brought about by the National
Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), My Aged
Care, and the principles of consumer-directed
care in aged care. Responsibility for aged and
dementia care is increasingly moving to the
Commonwealth, with a new funding model
whereby the consumer has choice over how
their individualised funding is to be used.
This ‘new world’ of consumer-directed care is
widely welcomed – especially by your board of
directors and the management team. However,
it does present significant challenges to the way
we operate. To be an effective and sustainable
organisation, we need to become more efficient
and effective in all our operations.
I, and the entire board of directors of
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, am very excited by
the prospect of creating a new, single, unified
organisation and the many benefits that such
a structure will bring. By being more nimble
and efficient, we will be able to deliver
improved services and supports to more
people, more quickly.
What won’t change is the caring spirit and
dedication to all people living with dementia and
their families and carers. This is entrenched in
the DNA of the organisation.
This is a very exciting time, and I look forward
to keeping you informed about the opportunities
and challenges that lay ahead.
Paul Robertson AM
Chair, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW
BRAVE NEW WORLD
28/11/2016 2:21 pm
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