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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Victorian and Tasmania winners of the Excellence In Age Services Awards announced

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Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has congratulated the Victoria and Tasmania winners of the Excellence In Age Services (EIAS) Awards.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the winners are exceptional role models for the sector and offer care and companionship for older Australians across the states.

“The EIAS Awards focus on great individuals and teams, recognising their excellence in looking after and making a big difference in the lives of elders.”

‘Rising Star’ award

Tom Kariko is 34 years old and works for Royal Freemasons. He joined as manager of direct services, with approximately 60 workers, and previously worked for Jetstar Workforce Planning.

Kariko ensured consumers were accessing as much continuity of care as possible and he implemented staff utilisation data to analyse the most efficient and effective use of the limited workforce to maximise support and worked with a COVID tracing system which supported early identification of possible contacts.

He has bought a new lens to aged care through the knowledge and skills gained working with Jetstar on rostering and customer service and his analytical and strategically minded approach to working in an environment of fear from consumers and staff has bought a sense of calm and practicality for all stakeholders.

Tom has built a great rapport in a short time in a difficult environment with consumers, staff and families.

‘Individual’ award

Bill Appleby joined Jewish Care Victoria as CEO in February 2010 and is passionate about values-based leadership and contributing to the development of a good society.

Appleby’s personal objective is to ‘care more than others think is wise, to risk more than others think is safe, to dream more than others think is practical, and to expect more than others think is possible’.

After extensive desktop research, he and key executives toured facilities in the US and Europe to review best practices in aged care.

Under Appleby’s leadership, Jewish Care undertook its largest capital works program, with an investment exceeding $200 million.

To date, four of the six projects have been completed, including two new homes, an Active Living Centre and the Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre.

‘Next Gen Young Leader’ award

Ryman Healthcare’s Joanne Wang is always putting others ahead of herself and always lifting others up.

She started her career as a personal care assistant then became a nurse, was promoted to nurse unit manager and was eventually appointed clinical manager at Ryman Healthcare’s Weary Dunlop Retirement Village, with responsibility for more than 50 staff and 82 care centre residents.

In 2019, Wang was appointed as Ryman’s operations quality manager for Victoria and in the same year she took a leadership role in the start-up of a new Ryman village, Nellie Melba.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang was responsible for constantly assessing, reviewing, and refining Ryman’s infection control measures.

‘Organisation’ award

Established in 2007, Chaffey Aged Care is a community-owned not-for-profit residential aged care facility and sole aged care provider in the township of Merbein in the north west of Victoria.

Chaffey Aged Care is the largest employer in Merbein with 130 dedicated staff and 30 volunteers. 

On January 4, Chaffey Aged Care opened Generations Early Learning which is believed to be one of Australia’s first rural, co-located, intergenerational Early Learning Centres.

The music program achieved some amazing outcomes, including care recipients with dementia who are no longer able to speak, able to sing along to songs. 

Inspiration for an onsite intergenerational early learning centre arose from positive experiences observed when aged care recipients and pre-schoolers united in a pilot program hosted at Chaffey Aged Care. 

‘Team’ award

The Incident Management Team at Ryman Healthcare was formed at the outset of the pandemic in January 2020 and was to lead every aspect of Ryman Healthcare’s Australian response to COVID-19.

The team met every weekday morning during the height of the outbreak in Victoria and it currently meets three times a week.

Ryman’s ‘COVID-Go-Kit’ was formed so the entire team – or, crucially, external staff seconded to support the village – could understand and action emergency response plans.

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