Aged Care Plenary Day Two: Thursday, 22 July 2021

8:30 am - 9:20 am Registration and Networking

9:20 am - 9:30 am Opening Remarks from the Chair

9:30 am - 10:00 am How Dementia Australia is strengthening the Ability of Individuals and Organisations to Deliver High Quality, Innovative Dementia Care and Services

Wendy Henderson - Team Leader, Centre for Dementia Learning, Dementia Australia
Rachel Del Giudice - Facility Care Coordinator, Vasey RSL Frankston
Ashish Sood - Team Leader, Vasey RSL Frankston
Dementia Australia collaborates with aged care providers to guide strategy and policy for dementia care. This case study will explore how this has led to long lasting change and overcame key barriers to care for those with dementia.

This session will explore:
  • How can leadership and mentoring improve the care of people with dementia?
  • What needs to change about the current model of care for dementia and what strategies can be put in place to create sustainable ongoing change?\
  • How can staff be engaged around the change process so that they are actively part of change?

Wendy Henderson

Team Leader, Centre for Dementia Learning
Dementia Australia

Rachel Del Giudice

Facility Care Coordinator
Vasey RSL Frankston

Ashish Sood

Team Leader
Vasey RSL Frankston

10:00 am - 10:30 am Care Finders: What Could this Royal Commission Idea mean for our Sector?

Paul Ostrowski - Chief Executive Officer, Care Connect
The interim report of the aged care Royal Commission found that very few older Australians use online resources such as My Aged Care to find and compare information about home care packages. The system can be hard to navigate and complex.

It is clear that a face-to-face approach would be much better received, one that aims to get the best outcome for the individual regarding their home care options.

This session will discuss:
  • The Care Finder concept proposed in the Royal Commission’s system design consultation
  • How stakeholders in the aged care sector received this proposal and how they responded
  • The different forms Care Finding could take
  • Should care finders be independent or affiliated with the providers of home care
  • What are the pros and cons of each model

Paul Ostrowski

Chief Executive Officer
Care Connect

10:30 am - 11:00 am MercyCare Connect Study: Is Digital Technology Part of the Answer to Loneliness for Older Australians?

Gabriele Di Perna - Manager Major Projects, Aged Care Services, MercyCare WA
Loneliness, isolation and depression are all-too-common experiences for older Australians and MercyCare is working to empower seniors to reconnect with family, friends and community in an Australian-first study. Partnering with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) they are investigating the impact of digital technology on depression and loneliness in a cohort of 75 participants from Residential and Community Aged Care plus Retirement Villages.

This app allows the user to connect with family, friends, community and services, or engage in activities based on their unique interests.

This session will focus on:
  • Groundwork and research behind this project 
  • Findings from the research trial
  • Exploring if this app helped participants to deepen relationships with family and friends and increase confidence 

Gabriele Di Perna

Manager Major Projects, Aged Care Services
MercyCare WA

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

11:00 am - 12:00 pm The Day the Roof Fell Off: How Presbyterian Aged Care Maintained IT Integrity and Customer Experience During a Natural Disaster

Peter Newing - Chief Information Officer, Presbyterian Aged Care
On the evening of 9th August 2019 gale-force winds struck Presbyterian Aged Care’s 130-bed residential Aged Care Facility in Stockton, Newcastle. A large section of roof blew off the building. Fortunately, despite extensive damage to property no one was injured. However 20 consumers were quickly relocated to temporary accommodation in Hammond Care’s new facility in Waratah, 20 minutes away. 

The IT transition to the new facility was seamless. With the provision of a connection to the internet, and just two URLS on a Hammond Care PC, PAC staff were able to provide the same quality of care our consumers were used to receiving back home in Stockton.

This session will explore how this was made possible:
  • The journey to migrate PAC to the cloud to deliver a more flexible and cost effective hosting platform
  • Benefits of executing the PAC Cloud migration strategy
  • Next steps: increasing data security and governance structures

Peter Newing

Chief Information Officer
Presbyterian Aged Care

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will deliver its final report in November, which will undoubtedly be a turning point for the aged care sector.

Be ahead of the game with these top tips:
  • How can the aged care industry rebuild trust with consumers?
  • The demand for aged are is only going to increase: what are aged care providers doing to prepare their workforce for this trend?
  • How can providers empower staff to provide the highest level of care possible?
  • Build you build effective clinical governance strategies to resolve areas of complaints?
  • Tips on managing resources, doing more with less and increasing customer experience on a budget?

Lisa Giacomelli

Chief Operating Officer
Greengate Villages


Melissa Argent

Chief Executive Officer
Rockpool Residential Aged Care


Lana Richards

Executive Manager (Ageing) – Practice Excellence

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Networking Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Delivering Short Term Restorative Care – the Game Changer in Aged Care

Paul Johnson - Chief Opportunity Officer, Ballycara
This session will explore BallyCara’s delivery of the 8 week restorative care program since 2017.

Learn about:
  • The pillars of restorative health programs
  • Enhancing the consumer experience
  • The integration between primary health care and aged care

Paul Johnson

Chief Opportunity Officer

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm Intergenerational Programs are not just for 4 Year Olds! The Benefits and Challenges of Establishing an Intergenerational Program in Aged Care

Susan Blackbourn - Quality & Safety Director, Aged Care, Mercy Health
In 2020, Mercy will commence a pilot of an intergenerational program whereby a classroom will be built at their Bendigo facility for teenagers to complete a semester of schooling. Popular intergenerational programs tend to focus on younger children, however this project will be aimed at teenagers aged 14 and 15, which can pose a unique set of challenges. This session will explore the ground work in place for the pilot and what led Mercy to invest in this project:

  • Demonstrating the value and impact of intergenerational care and benefits for all involved 
  • Groundwork that has to go into establishing an intergenerational program
  • Addressing practical challenges and enabling a sustainable approach to intergenerational care

Susan Blackbourn

Quality & Safety Director, Aged Care
Mercy Health

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

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: How Technology is Increasing Resident Experience and Simplifying Backend Complicated Processes

Grace Petherick - Founder & CEO, Age Up Health
Gregory Satur - Co-Founder, hayylo
Nan Yu - Founder & CEO, My Dementia Companion
This interactive start up spotlight will highlight three of the fastest growing aged care start-ups in Australia. 

Age Up Health: Developing a fully integrated in-home care service co-designed with the older Australians who are using it. Age Up Health have taken this one step further and developed a user interface so
residents and families can gain real time access to notes about their care, and health professionals can easily develop complimentary care plans for a more holistic outcome.

Grace Petherick

Founder & CEO
Age Up Health

Gregory Satur


Nan Yu

Founder & CEO
My Dementia Companion

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION GROUP: Reablement = Retention = Results: Learn from Melville Cares Success with Increasing Staff Retention and Improving Workplace Culture

El Bennett - Executive Manager Community Development, Melville Cares
Melville Cares showcases reablement culture at its best. The organisation has so successful in establishing ties to the community they often see potential employees bringing their CVs to them reducing recruitment pressue. They have great volunteer/ staff ratios and word of mouth is all they need to grow.

In this interactive session, El Bennett will talk you through the recipe that has led to Melville Cares workforce success and suggest key takeaways that can be implemented into your organisation.


El Bennett

Executive Manager Community Development
Melville Cares

In the face of Australia's aging population, Uniting AgeWell (UA) and Deakin University’s ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living (DELH) have partnered to help people live at home for longer using smart home technology. 

Dubbed the Digital Living Assistant project, this project involves introducing affordable, off the shelf devices into the homes of UA customers to assist with reminders and engage users with interactive media and reduce symptoms of loneliness and other mental health issues.

This presentation will talk about the experiment design, preliminary results, and how aged care providers can position themselves to conduct and execute similar endeavors.


Nina Bowes

Senior Manager, Research Innovation & Advocacy
Uniting AgeWell


Dr Leonard Hoon

Chief Investigator
ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living

4:30 pm - 4:30 pm Closing Remarks from the Chair and Conference Closed