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Aged and Community Services Australia CEO Paul Sadler. Picture: Supplied.

‘Major change’: new aged care peak comes into force

Australia’s aged care sector officially has a new joint peak organisation.

On Friday, Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Aged Services Australia (LASA) made its official transition into the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA).

The peak's formation follows a call by the royal commission which recommended greater industry collaboration and unified leadership between non-profit, profit and faith-based providers.

Former ACSA president Paul Sadler is set to continue his role as interim chief of the ACCPA, following LASA chief Sean Rooney's departure in May.

Sadler, a longtime advocate with over 35 years in the industry, says the new peak will prioritise pushing for “urgent reform” and holding the new government to account.

“This major change is just the beginning," he said.

“ACCPA is committed to ensuring that urgent aged care reform remains a top priority in the years to come. 

“We will face the challenges of the pandemic, implementing the aged care royal commission recommendations, and addressing the challenges in the sector head on as a united voice.”

The announcement comes as the aged care sector faces an estimated annual shortfall of up to 35,000 workers.

According to Sadler, higher pay, improved conditions and a "sustainable funding system" will remain top of the reform agenda for the next year.

The newly-formed ACCPA board has 10 elected directors, three independent directors and two multistate directors, with appointments lasting from one to three years.

Notable board members include Charles Sturt deputy chancellor Dr Saranne Cooke, Regis chief Linda Mellors, and leader of non-profit Royal Freemasons Kerri Rivett.

Sadler says the new peak body will have "a great deal of work ahead of us".

“Now, more than ever, our sector needs a strong and well-resourced advocate on its side able to take the concerns and needs of members to government and stakeholders in aged care."

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