Community voices being heard

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Three Rivers staff, Dr Elyce Green and Ms Jayne Lawrence, Lecturers in Rural Health, together with A/Prof Maree Bernoth, were recently invited to provide a briefing to representatives of the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Safety ahead of the public meetings held by the Commission in Dubbo and Mudgee late September. This briefing was invited as a result of the submission to the Royal Commission, informed by an earlier community forum in Dubbo and coordinated by Dr Green, Ms Lawrence, Mrs Cathy Rogers, and A/Prof of Nursing, Maree Bernoth.

The Three Rivers team carefully orchestrated the community forum in Dubbo, back in May and reported earlier in The Current, to ensure key stakeholders had their voices heard. Representatives included clients in aged care, health professionals, family carers, Indigenous Elders and local Indigenous community members.

The submission presented by Three Rivers as a result of this forum certainly has had impact and has helped community members have their concerns heard, and to offer their ideas on the challenges, strengths of, and opportunities to improve aged care in rural areas. As highlighted by Ms Lawrence in a recent interview with Nic Healey on ABC Breakfast Radio, 17th September, some of the key messages arising from these community consultations to date have included:

  • Difficulty navigating the system and the My Aged Care website
  • Isolation from services
  • Lack of recreational facilities
  • Transport issues
  • Staffing of facilities
  • Culturally aware staff
  • Specifically designed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander facilities with awareness of men’s and women’s business
Period17 Sep 2019

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