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Friday, December 8, 2023

LASA’s newest Next Gen Ambassadors providing leadership and voice in the aged care sector

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A new league of young professionals are providing fresh perspectives in the age services sector. They are Ambassadors – part of LASA’s Next Gen initiative.

They’re ready to ensure the aged care sector attracts, develops and retains the passionate professionals needed to lead the design and delivery of high-performing, respected and sustainable age services into the future.

As Next Gen Ambassadors – they are part of Leading Age Services Australia’s (LASA’s) young leaders’ initiative, an industry wide program to engage and encourage young professionals to see age services as a dynamic, innovative and life-changing career opportunity.

Over 70 new and existing ambassadors have joined the initiative and come together to share their experiences, expertise and ensure the voice of young professionals are heard in the industry’s discussions.

They are clinical and non-clinical professionals in a variety of leadership roles who are now providing advice on issues affecting them and their peers, and are advising on youth issues, creating innovative projects and promoting age services as a rewarding and progressive career pathway for young Australians.

Chair of the Ambassador Advisory Council and head of partnerships at Asperger’s Services Australia, Rebecca Hogan, wants young people to identify age services as a viable career path.

“Full of opportunities to work directly with older people, supporting them on a daily basis, whether that is in hospitality, allied health or working your way towards a more administrative, managerial role, the options are endless,” Hogan says.

“Age services is one of the largest service industries accompanied by strong future job growth and it’s aged care workers who have the most important job – taking care of the emotional, social and physical wellbeing of seniors and respecting the rights of this generation.

“I am inspired by the visionary ambassadors who are compassionate, innovative and driven young professionals that have the capacity to change society and outcomes for older people.”

Recognising the impact young professionals have and the need to ensure their voices are heard is critical for the age services workforce and succession planning efforts across Australia.

“Our ambassadors are creating and implementing innovative concepts for age services across the entire country,” Samantha Bowen, principal advisor at Next Gen, says.

“Younger viewpoints are propelling leaders forward and they are helping construct new programs to support older people.

“I am so energised by the new ambassadors that have joined Next Gen and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together over the next two years.”

LASA General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Tim Hicks says Next Gen Ambassadors are a vital voice for the upcoming innovations and changes that the age services and retirement living sectors will face.

“Young people bring their enthusiasm and vigour to older Australians. They have conviction and belief and their positive impact is being felt across the industry,” he says.

“I have full faith that the Next Gen initiative can empower and inspire further young leaders to choose a career in age services and bring their passion and energy to the sector.”

The aged care royal commission highlighted the need for fostering innovation and continuous improvement.

Recommendations focused on building the capacity of the workforce and ensuring there was strength in leadership roles across all Government agencies, aged care and other service providers, to ensure the aged care system as a whole delivers safe and high quality aged care.

“Encouraging and influencing positive change in aged care means making a big difference in  providing a purposeful and engaging lifestyle for our seniors,” Bowen says.

“Our Next Gen leaders are eager to transform lives and motivate staff, to build a new future that is inspired by the royal commission recommendations and accomplish the change our industry needs.”

Aged care needs to quickly increase its workforce numbers to meet the needs and desires of older Australians.

With young people seeking entry level and leadership roles, they are a key part of its workforce.

LASA Next Gen is an avenue to share their challenges, ideas, and solutions with industry leaders.

Today LASA is ensuring younger generations are changing perceptions of aged care by involving them in the industry’s transformation, and ensuring they are part of building solutions that support high quality care and safety of the nation’s older adults.

To see the full list of National Ambassadors and read quotes from ambassadors who are continuing their tenure, click here.

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