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I was invited to present at the CALDWays Forum in Sydney in early June 2013. I delivered a session on the practicalities of delivering on the goals of the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) older people and also participated on the Forum plenary panel.

The CALDWays Forum affirmed the important role played by the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care program (PICACs) in bringing together aged and community care stakeholders to canvass CALD aged and community care issues; exploring CALD policies, programs and priorities; facilitating networking; sharing and learning from each other; showcasing information, resources and training; and promoting best practice CALD programs, services and activities.

The Forum confirmed the importance of having a National CALD Strategy which is the solid foundation for building programs which will provide CALD older people culturally appropriate care and services.

In December 2012, Minister Butler launched the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for CALD older people. The principles, goals and outcomes are the aspirational beacons highlighting an aged care sector which is inclusive of and responsive to the needs of CALD older people. The PICAC programs around Australia are leading the way in exploring the Strategy, principles and goals and developing stepping stones for its implementation.

The Strategy, which is building onto the National Aged Care Reforms, is a call to action for the DoHA on CALD aged and community care and it is the opportunity for CALD aged and community care stakeholders to engage and connect with the discussions so that the implementation is a collaborative effort embedded in best practice and delivering on aged and community care information and services which are targeted and responsive to CALD priority needs.

In SA a workshop was held in March 2013 on how to use the CALD Strategy to inform CALD aged and community care planning, policies, processes, procedures and… For more information contact MAC (8241 9900) to see the presentation and workbook.

In Sydney the CALD Strategy was canvassed in a forum organised by PICAC NSW and ACT. Keynote speakers at the CALDWays Forum included the Minister, Government parliamentarians, local members, and some of those involved in drafting the Strategy such as DoHA officers, the FECCA Chair and Senior Policy Officer and PICACs. Participants included ethno-specific, multicultural and generalist service providers mainly based in the western suburbs of Sydney.

The Forum was a huge success and did canvass the principles, goals and outcomes of the CALD Strategy. There was an overwhelming and enthusiastic consensus that pulling together the threads of learnings and achievements over the years was a necessary and positive step towards the collaborative and collective planning and delivering on the implementation of culturally appropriate programs.

Also in early June, I attended the FECCA National Healthy Ageing Committee.

This group has been set up by FECCA to support its work in promoting the integration of CALD perspectives into the National Aged Care Reforms. The Government, DoHA and FECCA have been working together as the Living Longer Living Better program reforms are being canvassed, formulated and implemented.

FECCA has played a pivotal role in the National Aged Care Reforms: facilitating the consultations and leading the development of the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy for CALD older people; seeking funding for the development of CALD aged and community care program and projects; sitting on the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA), six advisory groups and other subcommittees to integrate CALD perspectives into the discussions and the outcomes; establishing and maintaining the National CALD Ageing Network (NCAN) and setting up a National committee, chaired by Mary Patetsos, to keep a CALD aged and community care eagle eye on all these developments and more.

SA voices are well represented on this committee. In the two face-to-face meetings and two teleconferences the voices and views expressed have contributed enormously to a substantive, coherent, coordinated CALD Ageing and Aged Care Strategy Implementation Plan.

I have been delighted to be at this FECCA table for the updates, discussions, sharing of ideas and strategies and exploring national and local pathways for implementing the CALD Strategy, so that CALD older people can access and receive culturally appropriate care services.

I hope my contribution to the conversations has been the PICAC Programs’ lens. Looking back and capturing: who has been doing what and where; what has been done and why; how outcomes have been met and outputs achieved; what has worked and how; what are the better practice learnings to take forward and what can be used to inform future directions and projects.

Looking forward and planning: how to connect with past projects and build on achievements; how to develop better practice projects from strong foundations; how to integrate consolidated learnings into future project outcomes and outputs; how to set a framework for the implementation plan and how to affirm a shared set of national priorities for CALD aged and community care.

Want to know more or express a view? Connect with the NCAN and Watch this space.