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Improving the way we support ageing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

IMG 3925 580pxIn a presentation to delegates attending the Better Practice 2017 Conference in Adelaide this week, annecto shed some much needed light on the needs of Australia’s ageing Aboriginal community, and how we, as a sector, can support them better.

As a Better Practice Awards winner for 2016, annecto shared their experience as providers of in-home support, particularly with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in NSW.

The 2016 Better Practice Award was won for the Improving Accessibility through Cultural Safety project, initiated by annecto Sydney.

“Through our engagement with the ageing Aboriginal community we developed concerns about the accessibility and function of Home Care Support to older Aboriginal people,” explains annecto Sydney Manager, Mike Hercock.

“Together with our Aboriginal-Identified Organisation partners, we observed culturally unsafe practices within the delivery of aged care services, including the current consumer-directed model of care for home care packages.”

The project enabled annecto to better understand the problems, and adapt their processes to improve the way we supported older people in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.  The Improving Accessibility through Cultural Safety project identified a number issues to how aged care services are accessed in Australia.

“We needed to work with key Aboriginal community leaders, and place ourselves in front of communities and ask them what they need,” explains Mr Hercock. “We needed to step back into the community to identify the barriers that restricted those, who for whatever reason, found the aged care system inaccessible. In our experience, we found it was almost impossible to meet the priority access requirements set by the Department for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group, as there was almost no Aboriginal ACAT assessment carried out. annecto is making significant changes to the way they work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities as a result of the Improving Accessibility through Cultural Safety project.

 The launch of annecto’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) during NAIDOC Week 2017, increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support workers, the employment of an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, setting up accessible offices in communities of high Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Kempsey and Bidwell, are all initiatives that have resulted from the project.

Read about annecto’s 2016 Better Practice award here.

Download a copy of annecto’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan here.

To enquire about in-home support call annecto on 1800 266 328 for a free phone consultation or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..