Vice-Chancellor appointed to aged care taskforce

Friday 3 November 2017

Linda Kristjanson looking away

Professor Linda Kristjanson AO brings a wealth of experience in health and palliative to the taskforce.

In summary

  • Vice-Chancellor appointed to expert taskforce to support quality aged care for senior Australians
  • The taskforce will develop a workforce strategy with national consultation
  • Aged care staffing needs predicted to grow from around 360,000 currently to almost one million by 2050

Swinburne Vice-Chancellor ‌Professor Linda Kristjanson AO has been appointed to an expert taskforce focused on supporting safe, quality aged care for senior Australians.  

The inclusive taskforce will develop a wide-ranging workforce strategy with national consultation to best find ways to support aged care residents. 

“Everything is on the table but there are only two things that matter, safety and quality,” says Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM.

“The Taskforce will reach out to senior Australians and their families, consumer organisations, informal carers, aged care workers and volunteers.

“It will also consult with many others including unions, health professionals, universities and the health, education, employment and disability sectors.”

Aged care careers

Minister Wyatt says he wants Australians to realise that aged care careers are a professional pathway to employment for life.

“The Taskforce will explore short, medium and longer term options to boost supply, address demand and improve productivity for the aged care workforce,” he says.  

“With Australia’s current aged care staffing needs predicted to grow from around 360,000 currently to almost one million by 2050, workforce issues are vital to the quality ongoing care of older Australians.”

Swinburne connection

‌Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson brings her experience in health and palliative care to the taskforce.

She currently chairs AuScope Ltd and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Previously she has been a member of the National Health & Medical Research Council and in 2012, she was recognised for her research in palliative care with a lifetime achievement award by the Bethlehem Griffith Research Foundation. 

“I feel privileged to be a part of this taskforce and look forward to tackling the issues that we face in the field of aged care,” says Professor Kristjanson.

“Aged care is something that I’ve been passionate about my entire career and I hope that in this role I will be able to make a further difference in the lives of many Australian families.”  

About the taskforce

The taskforce will develop a strategy for growing and sustaining the workforce providing aged care services and support for older people, to meet their care needs in a variety of settings across Australia.

The taskforce will place particular emphasis on:

  • Workforce planning covering workforce size and structure, managing growth and changes in service requirements, mix of occupations, workforce roles and distinct workforce needs in different care settings and market catchments.
  • Supply and retention of the right workers with the right aptitudes in the right locations, and securing and sustaining up-to-date skills.
  • The capacity of providers as employers, and the role of sector leadership, to equip the workforce to meet service requirements, needs and expectations of quality of care and services.
  • Building sector-wide capabilities to innovate and extend new ways of working tailored to the needs of the older people who use aged care services, their families, carers and communities.

It is scheduled to report to the Minister by 30 June 2018.