MAC Information Circular – 14 May 2021

MAC Information Circular

  • Federal Budget: Once in a generation change for aged care in Australia
  • SA Health Vaccine Update
  • Factsheet for residential aged care workers – now available in 19 languages
  • Launch of Operation Trace
  • Multifaith Practices: new resource launched
  • EthnicLinks Information Hub – aged care navigation support for CALD older people
  • Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care
  • Government awards funding to establish specialist dementia training for interpreters
  • National Volunteers Week 17‑23 May: celebrating CVS volunteers
  • Yarning Circle: Culturally appropriate support available to National Palliative Care Projects
  • #MyLifeChoices: Disability, ageing and lifestyle expo
  • Registration is now open for Vision Australia webinar: understanding low vision and blindness
  • Data Exchange update – new ‘Exit Reason’ graph added to Service Summary sheet
  • Handwashing not hand sanitiser best way to stop gastro causing norovirus
  • Applications for the ‘Come Together’ Multicultural Festival Grants are now open


Federal Budget: Once in a generation change for aged care in Australia

This week, as part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government announced a $17.7 billion package of support for aged care in response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The reforms will deliver respect, care and dignity for senior Australians, and place a critical focus on the quality and safety of care.

The reforms will be centred around 5 pillars to be delivered over 5 years:

  • Home care – supporting senior Australians who choose to remain in their home
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability – improving and simplifying residential aged care services and access
  • Residential aged care quality and safety – improving residential aged care quality and safety
  • Workforce – supporting a growing and better-skilled care workforce
  • Governance – new legislation and stronger governance.

What do the reforms mean for aged care workers and providers?

The reforms will grow a skilled, professional and compassionate aged care workforce, which will be the powerhouse of the Government’s reform agenda. There will be financial support for registered nurses and a focus on upskilling new and existing care workers.

The aged care workforce will be a critical partner with Government in delivering the reforms.

There is additional funding to increase the amount of front line care for senior Australians in residential care through mandated care minutes. There will be 80,000 additional home care packages for those who choose to stay in their own home.

More information

The Department of Health will continue providing updates as work progresses on these important reforms.

You can read more about the reforms at

You can also read the Australian Government’s response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety at

Source: Department of Health, Aged Care Updates

COVID Updates

SA Health Vaccine Update

SA Health is committed to providing all South Australians with access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible. Below are the steps that can be taken to ensure eligible individuals receive the vaccine.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Further COVID-19 information for older people

SA Health has developed a fact sheet and FAQs for older people with information about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Visit the SA Health website for an up to date and trusted source of information on the South Australian COVID-19 vaccination program.

An SA Health COVID-19 vaccine Q&A panel for over 50s is also is available to watch online on YouTube

Visit the Australian Government Department of Health website for a range of additional information about COVID-19 vaccines.

The National Coronavirus Helpline is the front door for all vaccine enquiries for the community and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 020 080.

Source: Office for Ageing Well

Factsheet for residential aged care workers – now available in 19 languages

The Australian Government is making it easier for workers in residential aged care to get a COVID-19 vaccine. There are a range of options.

As is the case with all people living in Australia, people working in residential aged care will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine depending on their age:

  • People aged 50 years and over will receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
  • People aged under 50 years will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
factsheet and posters explaining all of the options available for residential aged care workers are now available in 19 languages. The translated factsheets and posters can be accessed on the Department of Health website.

Source: Department of Health

Multilingual Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line

Launch of Operation Trace

SA Police have launched Operation ‘Trace’ today, using plain clothes police officers to ensure that people are checking in and providing their contact details when they enter a business or attend a public activity.

Police officers will also be ensuring businesses have QR codes displayed, are providing a secure hard copy check-in option and are ensuring as far as possible that customers and patrons are checking in.

Full details and requirements in relation to using the COVID SAfe Check-In system are in the Emergency Management (Public Activities No 24) (COVID-19) Direction 2021.

Multifaith Practices: new resource launched

Meaningful Ageing Australia has launched a new resource to assist the aged care workforce better deliver whole-person-centred care.

The Multifaith Practices resource is an Australian edition of a Canadian publication called Multi-faith Practices: Guidelines for Caregivers which was published in 2014 by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging. The Meaningful Ageing edition has revised and updated the original for both Australian and aged care contexts. Input was given by key representative from six religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, which the resource will cover.

Each chapter provides an introductory overview for each religion of their:

  • Beliefs and values
  • Sacred texts
  • Holy days, holidays, and ritual observances
  • Late life celebrations
  • Caring practices during illness
  • End of life practices
  • Readings and prayers

More information can be found here.

You can watch the launch video here.

The guide is now available free to Meaningful Ageing members in either a printed or electronic copy. The guide will be available to buy for $20 by non-members in October 2021.

EthnicLinks Information Hub – aged care navigation support for CALD older people

Launched in Adelaide to assist older people from diverse cultural backgrounds to access services which are right for them. 

UnitingSA is one of 30 partner organisations across Australia working with COTA Australia to deliver the Aged Care Navigators Trial which is funded by the Commonwealth Government.  It is also one of eight specialist providers working specifically with older people from CALD backgrounds.

There are many services available which support older people to remain living safely and independently in their homes and communities. These include domestic cleaning, home and garden maintenance, transport to GP and other appointments, assistance with meals, social support, personal care and in-home nursing care.  There are also services for those who require more extensive, round the clock care.

Many older people, and especially those who do not speak English well, struggle to understand what services are available and right for them.  Having to register for services can also be confusing and it is sometimes hard to know where to start.

The EthnicLinks Information Hub assists older people from CALD backgrounds aged 65 years and over to better understand their options so that they can make informed decisions about their care.  They also help them to register with My Aged Care and guide and support them through the process.

The information and support provided is FREE and delivered in the preferred language of their customers. 

For more information or to make a referral, contact Deepak Dev on 0422 978 161 or

Download the EthnicLinks Information Hub flyer.

Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care

Palliative Care Australia, together with two Parliamentary Friends Co-Convenors, the Hon Nola Marino MP and Senator Catryna Bilyk, is holding the next virtual Parliamentary Friends of Palliative Care event, at 12 pm (AEST) on 26 May.

Held during National Palliative Care Week, ABC presenter Di Darmody, and panellists will discuss what Australians know and understand about palliative care, and explore whether or not community understanding about palliative care presents a barrier to accessing timely care. At the event, they will launch an innovative national education campaign – Palliative Care It’s more than you think – and share key findings from the latest survey examining Australians’ attitudes and awareness of palliative care.

Government awards funding to establish specialist dementia training for interpreters

The MINDSET Study, led by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project grant on 27 March 2021. This will allow NARI to establish specialist dementia training for interpreters, in an effort to improve cognitive assessment for dementia of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

The study will also receive financial contributions from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters, Dementia Australia, the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators, All Graduates Interpreting and Translating, Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership and the Sydney Local Health District.

For information visit the media release here.

National Volunteers Week 17‑23 May: celebrating CVS volunteers

In honour of National Volunteers Week, the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) would like to recognise the many thousands of volunteer visitors across Australia making a difference to the lives of older Australians.

The CVS arranges volunteer visits to older people accessing residential or home care services (including those waiting for services) who may be lonely or socially isolated. These regular visits provide important friendship and companionship to the older person, and can be incredibly fulfilling for the volunteer visitor, often leading to lifelong friendships.

Join us in celebrating our CVS volunteers by listening to the stories below:

The CVS thanks all their volunteers for their time, commitment and dedication to improving the lives of older Australians.

To register interest in arranging for a visitor, or volunteering for the scheme, get in touch with a CVS State Network Member.

Yarning Circle: Culturally appropriate support available to National Palliative Care Projects

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has recently established an Indigenous National Palliative Care Yarning Circle. The first Yarning Circle was held on 30 April 2021 with two national projects presenting. The Yarning Circle is comprised of nominated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from National Palliative Care Projects’ Working Groups/Committees and peak health agencies who have an interest in palliative care.

The Yarning Circle is available to all nationally funded palliative care projects to seek support and cultural guidance for palliative care services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. National projects can present, discuss, and seek ongoing cultural guidance and support to inform project delivery throughout their project term.

PCA is being funded by the Department of Health to provide administrative and coordination support for the Yarning Circle. To find out more about the Yarning Circle, whether to join or raise any item at a bi-monthly meeting, email

Source: Palliative Care Australia

#MyLifeChoices: Disability, ageing and lifestyle expo

Enjoy a day out at Adelaide’s largest and most iconic disability and ageing services community event!
  • Access up-to-date information in one spot
  • Learn about available products and services
  • Discover pathways and explore your options
  • Enjoy a fun day out in the community
Thursday 14 October 2021
10am to 4pm
Wayville Pavilion
Adelaide Showgrounds

Entry is free

For more information visit or download a copy of the flyer here.

Registration is now open for Vision Australia webinar: understanding low vision and blindness

People with vision loss are three times more likely to suffer depression and twice as likely to experience a decrease in social independence. Vision Australia is hosting a webinar that will help you learn how you can support aged care clients to live more independently and continue doing the things they love. If you work as a Regional Assessment Service (RAS) or Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessor, this session will build your knowledge and confidence to discuss relevant supports and goals with vision impaired clients when completing assessments.

The webinar will cover:

  • common eye conditions and their impact on vision
  • impacts of vision loss on daily living activities
  • daily living strategies, aids and equipment useful for people with blindness or low vision
  • selecting the relevant service types when referring vision impaired clients for appropriate services.

DateTuesday 1 June 2021
Time12-1pm AEST

Health professionals may be eligible for Continuing Professional Development points when attending this session.

If you have questions about the webinar or need further information, call Denise Pellow on 1300 847 466.


Data Exchange update – new ‘Exit Reason’ graph added to Service Summary sheet

The ‘Exit Reason’ field was updated and extended to all Data Exchange programs as an optional partnership approach field in February 2021.

For further updates and more information click here.

Handwashing not hand sanitiser best way to stop gastro causing norovirus

The Food Safety Information Council has recently warned that good handwashing rather than using hand sanitiser is more effective in reducing the risk of catching the gastro causing norovirus.

Cathy Moir, Council Chair, said not all viruses are the same and although hand sanitisers are very effective against reducing the spread of COVID-19, it has little effect on the spread of norovirus. To effectively remove Norovirus you must wash your hands using soap, rubbing for 20 seconds and rinsing with running water then drying thoroughly.

Read more.


Applications for the ‘Come Together’ Multicultural Festival Grants are now open

The Come Together Multicultural Festival Grants support eligible multicultural community groups to participate in the 2021 Multicultural Festival, which will be held Sunday 14 November at Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga, Adelaide.

The 2021 Multicultural Festival is a free one-day event that celebrates multiculturalism through music, dance, heritage, arts, crafts and culinary delights.

The Festival will provide an opportunity for the wider community to experience and enjoy a diverse range of cultures and traditions.

There are three grant categories for multicultural community groups to showcase their culture through a performance, activity or stall. You can find more information on these grant categories here.

To apply for the grant, an online application form and guidelines are available here.

Applications close Tuesday 15 June 2021 at 5pm

Please contact the Multicultural Grants Team on 1300 239 468 or via email for more information.