The 27 August 2014: the annual trek to Canberra. This year the weather was mild; accommodation perfect, hospitality warm and engagement genuine. Each year the Department for Social Services (previously Department for Health and Ageing) hosts a meeting for the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Programme Managers from around Australia.
The PICAC Programme funded through the Department of Social Services is a national program which has three overarching outcomes:
- More residential and aged and community care services delivering culturally appropriate care to older people from CALD communities
- Older people from CALD communities having increased access to culturally appropriate residential and community aged care
- Older people from CALD communities having greater capacity to make informed decisions about residential and community aged care.
Each state and territory develops its own PICAC workplan in response to regional and local demographics and priorities.
The meeting was chaired by Loiuse O’Neill, Branch Manager, Ageing and Service Improvement Branch (ASIB) and other DSS officers included: Mark Gaukroger; Director, ASIB; Kamini Deveny A/g Assistant Director, ASIB; Michelle Charlton, Program Officer, ASIB; Anne-Louise Dawes, Director Community Relations Branch. Topics covered included: DSS policy direction; roles and responsibilities of PICAC organisations; links with Multicultural Liaison Officers (MCLOs); PICAC organisations key activities; showcase items and significant challenges and support for DSS policy direction through communication activities and resources.
It was a positive and constructive meeting where shared ground issues and principles regarding priorities for older people; CALD aged and community care and the PICAC Program were identified, clarified and highlighted and optimistic pathways for collaborations advocated.
We are looking forward to further discussions.