SPEECH TO LAUNCH COTA’S STATE OF THE (OLDER) NATION REPORT

SPEECH TO LAUNCH COTA’S STATE OF THE (OLDER) NATION REPORT

Thank you Jane Halton (COTA Australia Chair) for your warm welcome.

I acknowledge the Hon Julie Collins. Senator Rachel Siewart, it’s always good to see you. I know you often challenge me and I’ve enjoyed watching your debates in the other place. Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards; Ronda Held, who is the Executive Coordination Group Chair for COTA; Ian Yates, who I feel is like a coat - I see him so often in this place that I feel as though I should put him across my shoulder and carry him. But it’s always great to see Ian in here - he’s a champion for senior Australians and I thank you for the work that you do.

LABOR LIES AS HOME CARE SUPPORT REACHES RECORD NUMBERS

LABOR LIES AS HOME CARE SUPPORT REACHES RECORD NUMBERS

You can’t believe a word Labor says about aged care – under the Coalition, aged card funding is up, home care packages are up and residential aged care places are up.

Caring for senior Australians – including those who need aged care support to remain living independently in their own homes – is one of our Government’s top priorities.

The latest home care report shows that more than 95 per cent of people approved for home aged care services are receiving or have been offered home support.

RECORD GROWTH IN SENIORS RECEIVING HOME CARE PACKAGES - MEDIA RELEASE

The latest home care report shows increasing choice in home-based care for senior Australians, with almost 92,000 now receiving home aged care packages, a record annual growth rate of 29 per cent.

The Home Care Packages Program Data Report (1st Quarter 2018–­19) highlights how the Morrison Government is maintaining its commitment to provide more senior Australians with subsidised care and support, so they can continue to live in their own homes for longer.

LANDMARK REFORMS: THE AGED CARE ACT 20TH ANNIVERSARY - MEDIA RELEASE

he 2017-18 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Act and marks a period of landmark changes, with more to come.

The report highlights the progress of the unprecedented reform agenda, driven by our Government.

Last financial year, the Australian Government spent a total of $18.1 billion on aged care on a range of services for more than 1.3 million senior Australians.

Aged Care Quality Standards Launch

I am delighted to be with you this morning.

It is great to have the opportunity to speak about the Australian Government’s new Aged Care Quality Standards.

Make no mistake the Government is steadfast in its commitment to improve the quality of aged care provided to our senior Australians.

The implementation of the new Standards is a key element of transforming this commitment into a reality and we want to work closely with the sector to make this happen.

POWERFUL NEW AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY COMMISSION

A new era in Australian aged care is beginning, with legislation passing Parliament to establish the nation’s first, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The unified new Commission will begin operations on 1 January 2019, with funding of almost $300 million over four years, including an additional $48.2 million to expand monitoring, secure aged care quality and employ a network of dozens of additional senior compliance officers.

Healing Our Spirit Worldwide - Speech

The theme of “our grandchildren’s grandchild” is very apt, given the time that has elapsed since the settlement of all of our nations; the impact that it’s had on individuals, on families and communities; the displacement; the policies that governments put into place that were detrimental to our culture. Because what we have to remember is our culture is the essence of who we are.

Speech on the opening of the Gift of Life Garden

I have talked to so many people on the ground who are waiting for transplants. People who talk about the impact on their family. I met a couple who allowed me to sit in on their specialist consultation in Sydney. He invited me into the room and allowed me to look at his liver images and how it had reduced.

But the most telling comment came from his wife, who said: I’ll be glad when we find a liver donor.”

2nd World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference Speech

I acknowledge the many distinguished speakers here, particularly those who have travelled long distances from Canada and New Zealand.

I also thank the Centre of Best Practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention at the University of Western Australia, for bringing together this importance event.

Unfortunately, high rates of suicide are an issue for First Nations people across the world.

In 2016, the Turamarama Declaration was endorsed at the inaugural World Indigenous Suicide Prevention Conference in Rotorua in New Zealand.

Since then, this Declaration has travelled the globe.

Australian Association of Gerontology Conference 2018 Video Message

Your conference theme is “Advancing not retiring: Active players, a fair future”.

A message that I believe highlights the nation’s aspirations for Australians’ senior years - and certainly complements our Government’s ageing and aged care reform agenda.

A key area of focus is supporting Australians to remain active and engaged within our communities, whether in remote centres or inner cities.

STI Impacts on Indigenous Populations - PHN Conference Speech

Closing the Gap is important to the government which is why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is one of the seven agreed priority areas for all PHNs. At the beginning of my appointment, I’d wrote to PHNs, asking what was the focus of their work and how are they including Indigenous Australians in their planning and in the construct of their thinking. It’s a complex solution that we are seeking but we have to tackle it at multiple levels if we're going to make a difference and make inroads. The diversity in culture, language and geographic and socioeconomic influences on our people adds to the challenge. We are making headway on some indicators such as child mortality, early detection and management of chronic diseases and smoking rates. Other areas remain problematic and some such as sexually transmitted infections have become a growing concern in recent years. Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and infectious syphilis are at unacceptable levels in our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

HEALTHCARE INNOVATION AUSTRALIA SUMMIT – SPEECH

Although I can’t be with you today, I’m pleased to welcome you to the 2018 Healthcare Innovation Australia Summit.

 What an exciting theme - ‘Optimising Investment and Technology to Deliver Sustainable and Affordable Healthcare.’

Technology is absolutely transforming care delivery in Australia – particularly in aged care – and I believe Australian-developed technology has the potential to contribute strongly to care improvements across the world.

TACKLING AGED CARE MENTAL HEALTH & SOCIAL ISOLATION CONFERENCE

I begin my remarks today with a question.

Can you remember the last time you stood in a line at the bank, in a queue at the post office, or sat waiting for an eternity in the doctor’s surgery?

You’ve probably muttered ‘hurry up’ to yourself – but have you ever thought why it was taking so long?

The answer is often that the reason for the holdup is that the person being served is having the only conversation – the only contact –they’ll have that day.

This is loneliness – this is the manifestation of social isolation.

9th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men's Health Conference

In West Australian Noongar language, I say kaya wangju - hello and welcome.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather - the Durag people - and pay my respects to elders, past and present. And I thank Uncle Greg Simms for his welcome.  When I worked in New South Wales, I had a lot to do with him and he’s an incredible man whose knowledge and experiences certainly provides an opportunity to make some considerations in the lives that we lead.