Aged Care Plenary Day One: Wednesday, 21 July 2021

7:30 am - 8:50 am Registration and Networking

8:50 am - 9:00 am Opening Remarks from the Chair

9:00 am - 9:30 am From Philosophy to Practice  - how Uniting transitioned to Household Model of Care

Lana Richards - Executive Manager (Ageing) – Practice Excellence, Uniting
Since 2015, Uniting have been reimagining aged care. This resulted in embarking on a transformation journey to transition to a new model of care and redesigning systems and operations to support person centred practice.  This session will explore:

  • Moving away from institutional models of care and making good on the person-centred practice promise. 
  • Redesigning systems and processes to enable choice, voice and control for consumers and employees.
  • Lessons learnt and measuring success of transformational change.
  • Key takeaways about implementing practice change into your organisation.

Lana Richards

Executive Manager (Ageing) – Practice Excellence

9:30 am - 10:00 am Ageing is Not a Disease! – Let’s Change the Lens on the Ageing Journey to Facilitate Wellness and Purpose

Lidia Conci - Managing Director, AvantiCare
What an exciting time to be a provider in aged care! This may appear contradictory considering the current state of the industry, with a Royal Commission currently investigating what is essentially a broken system. However, when viewed with a different lens it is a fantastic time for positive change. There has been no better time to be innovative and draw on best practice approaches for new and exciting models of service delivery, with an abundance of opportunity to redesign and create the kind of aged care system that is needed for the future. 

Funding arrangements should no longer be the driver of services, instead age care operators must become creative in how they utilise existing funding models and it is imperative that organisations become entrepreneurial and develop business streams within their operations to sustain the delivery of quality services. This session will:

  • Intorduce the AvantiCare model that facilitates wellness and enables individuals to experience purpose and engage in activities that are most meaningful for them
  • Provide thought provoking content that will inspire and motivate listeners to reflect on their own service delivery models
  • Encourage listeners to consider how to embrace a wellness and purposeful ageing approach in their respective organisations

Lidia Conci

Managing Director

10:00 am - 10:30 am THE GREAT DEBATE: Artificial Intelligence and Robotics: Is it Worth the Investment in Aged Care?

Technology has the potential to enhance and transform the lives of older Australians. With investment in technology on the rise, this debate poses the question: have we found the remedy to the aged care crisis, or is this just Band-Aid solution.

Consisting of two teams of three, this session will address some of the industry’s most contentious topics in an entertaining format!

10:30 am - 11:00 am Speed Networking

An effectively structured interactive session designed to help you expand your network through one-on-one focused conversations. Bring your business cards!

11:00 am - 11:30 am Networking Morning Tea

11:30 am - 12:00 pm INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION GROUPS: What Should System Reform Look like?

Sandra Hills - Chief Executive Officer, Benetas
The Royal Commission into aged care raised customer experience and quality of care as key areas for the industry to improve on. In response to this, Benetas reviewed their next generation strategy plan to align with the Commission’s agenda. In the following months, Benetas has reflected on their experience and lessons learnt and considered how key areas raised by the Commission will impact their organisation moving forward. 

In this interactive campfire session, Sandra Hills will guide you through the Benetas journey and how this process can be applied within your own organisation. 

This session is designed to drive your own learning by giving you the opportunity to share experiences, discuss challenges and ask the right questions in an interactive discussion group format:

  • How have you dealt with the Royal Commission so far and what could you have done differently?
  • What do you see as the most pressing areas improvement in aged care and why?
  • What are the implications of the royal commission outcomes for your organisation moving forward?  

Sandra Hills

Chief Executive Officer

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm Fronditha Care: Supporting Multicultural Victoria by Delivering Culturally Sensitive Care

Jim Scantsonihas - Executive GM of Residential Services, Fronditha Care
Vivi Mihailidou - Support Services Coordinator, Fronditha Care
Demand for aged care is rising, and providers are under financial and workforce strain. This can lead to challenges such as loneliness and isolation faced by residents in Aged Care 

Fronditha care are combating this issue and have received industry awarded for their unique model of care based upon the cultural background of residents. This session will explore:

  • Why cultural background is so important to Fronditha 
  • Understanding Frondita’s personal care lifestyle project, the results and benefits of tailoring individual care plans for residents based on their culture and lifestyle
  • Key takeaways that can improve the wellbeing of multicultural residents at your organisation and, that can be implement on a budget

Jim Scantsonihas

Executive GM of Residential Services
Fronditha Care

Vivi Mihailidou

Support Services Coordinator
Fronditha Care

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Networking Lunch

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm How Sustainable Practices have led to Improved Environmental, Social and Economic Outcomes at Regis Aged Care

Kaushik Sridhar - National Sustainability Manager, Regis Aged Care
Regis launched their Sustainability Program in 2018; since then the organisation has implemented a variety of sustainability projects including energy saving initiatives, garden program, waste reduction and a research partnership with RMIT University to understand the impact of indoor air quality on the health and wellbeing of residents.

These projects have brought Regis closer to its sustainability goals and enabled the organisation to strategically plan and future proof assets in response to environmental changes. This session will explore:

- Climate risk Assessment: understanding the degree of exposure to climate change across the 65 assets in the Regis aged care portfolio
  • Utilising this information to develop a strategic plan for the identification and management of physical climate change risks
- Materiality Assessment: Regis undertook a materiality assessment to better respond to the needs and interests of stakeholders in its sustainability reporting and align with the relevant frameworks, indices and
legislative requirements that exist to inform and guide sustainability disclosures
  • The assessment will help Regis to better manage risk and seize opportunity through an environmental, social and governance (ESG) lens

Kaushik Sridhar

National Sustainability Manager
Regis Aged Care

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm How do you make the change to Intergenerational Care? MercyCare Prepares the Way

Gabriele Di Perna - Manager Major Projects, Aged Care Services, MercyCare WA
MercyCare Western Australia is in the unique position to investigate Intergenerational care given they operate 13 early learning centres, 5 residential aged care facilities and 1 retirement village. They even have a campus that holds all three. Collaborating with Griffith University who are leading this research in Australia, they are preparing to co design a shared curriculum and develop a sustainable model of workforce training for integer generational care. This session will explore:

  • Groundwork and research behind this project 
  • How MercyCare are getting their workforce ready for this project
  • Breaking down institutional barriers to intergenerational care

Gabriele Di Perna

Manager Major Projects, Aged Care Services
MercyCare WA

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm Networking Afternoon Tea

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Improving Resident Wellbeing through Digital Wall Technology at Japara

Ben Gatehouse - Dementia , Lifestyle and Behavioural Consultant, Japara
With the prevalence of residents living with dementia numbers rising in Australian nursing homes , one of the known challenges  facing aged care homes is the feelings of loneliness and boredom that are often experienced by residents.

This presentation will explore how leading aged care provider Japara is using innovative digital wall technology at two of its homes to confront these challenges and improve resident quality of life. Learn about:

  • The resident quality of life outcomes of the digital wall following independent research from Swinburne and RMIT University. 
  • The benefits of using technology in non-traditional ways in the aged care industry
  • How technology can enrich the lives of residents, and how to maximise value from this technology investment within your organisation.

Ben Gatehouse

Dementia , Lifestyle and Behavioural Consultant

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Eden Alternative: Redefining Institutional Models of Care and Creating Long Lasting Change through Training, Education and Best Practice

Sally Hopkins - Executive Director, Eden in Oz & NZ
Lois Tarrant - Executive Lifestyle Officer, Fairview Village
The Eden Alternative has been recognized in the “Review of Innovative Models of Aged Care” report released by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. In this session, hear about how Eden is transforming the delivery of care for aged and community care organisations within Australia and New Zealand and now South East Asia. This session will explore:

  • Redefining the institutional model of care and  how bringing a changing culture through training, education and best practice operational outcomes for all stakeholders is a winner
  • Introduction to the framework of the Eden Alternative model of person centred care, which is used to retrain organisations and improve an individual's experience
  • Understanding the Eden Domains of Wellbeing and how they are linked to the Aged Care Quality Standards for better outcomes

Sally Hopkins

Executive Director
Eden in Oz & NZ

Lois Tarrant

Executive Lifestyle Officer
Fairview Village

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Doing Aged Care Differently: How Group Homes Australia is Redefining the Approach to Dementia, Respite & Palliative Care by Valuing Resident Independence

Tamar Krebs - Founder & CEO, Group Homes Australia
Group Homes Australia (GHA) has 18 homes around NSW for those living with dementia and are on a mission to deliver an innovative, world leading model of dementia care, respite and palliative care. These houses carefully match residents based on cultural background and interests to create a pleasant home atmosphere. Learn about:

  • Where the idea for Group Homes Australia came from, and what was wrong with existing models of care, particular for those with dementia
  • How Group Homes Australia overcame key barriers to entry and established themselves in a competitive industry
  • Next steps: what Group Homes Australia hopes to achieve from here

Tamar Krebs

Founder & CEO
Group Homes Australia

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm Lightning Talk: Utilising Digital App Technology to Serve as an Early Recognition & Intervention Platform for Residents with Mild Cognitive Impairment in Community Based Aged Care

Sue Gordon - Strategic Professor, Chair of Restorative Care in Ageing, ACH Group and Flinders University
ACH Group Speaker - ., TBD
Lua Perimal-Lewis - Senior Research Fellow in Digital Health, Flinders University
This lightning talk will highlight two innovative Digital Enhanced Living Projects in Aged Care:

Health Assessment for Community Based Aged Care: this project has developed a digital app and web dashboard system for early recognition and management of functional decline which contributes to pre-frailty and frailty in community dwelling adults. This system has been developed in collaboration with ACH Group to administer valid health assessments which can be used to monitor and measure the outcomes of health interventions, assist ACH Group to deliver person centred care and report against the Aged Care Quality Standards.


Sue Gordon

Strategic Professor, Chair of Restorative Care in Ageing
ACH Group and Flinders University

ACH Group Speaker



Lua Perimal-Lewis

Senior Research Fellow in Digital Health
Flinders University

5:00 pm - 5:00 pm Networking Drinks