National PICAC and FECCA Meeting

On the 26 August 2014 the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC ) Programme Managers from around Australia met with the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council (FECCA) officers in Canberra.

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.

There is a Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Programme funded and administered in each state and territory. The PICAC Programme has been funded for over 15 years and for most of this time a PICAC Manual has outlined National PICAC Programme functions; overarching outcomes and specific activities. The PICAC Programme has continued to be funded as an explicit, contained programme even when there has been an open tender.

At the meeting the overarching outcomes, functions and specific activities and resources of the PICAC Programmes were outlined in some detail.

The FECCA ageing and aged care projects were also described including the NCAN (the National CALD Aged Care Network), NCAN online newsletter and membership. The current issue focuses on dementia and the one after that will be on carers. Participants were invited to provide articles for the carer issue. Other activities described included supporting research, such as the literature review, awareness raising, and using consultation methods including aged care committees (such as the Healthy Ageing Reference Committee), and developing submissions to government.

FECCA also works closely with other national organisations such as the Council on the Ageing, Alzheimer’s Australia, Carers, and is a member of the National Aged Care Alliance.

Some organisational background information about FECCA was also provided: extensive membership of FECCA as its strength, as well as its broader networks. FECCA works to promote multiculturalism, and non-discriminatory and fair practices in Australia. The structure of FECCA includes an Executive Committee and 7 other committees. Aged care is an important part of the work of FECCA.

The status of the National Ageing and Aged Care Strategy was clarified with Gulnara advising the group that Senator Mitch Fifield has publicly supported the Strategy, and DSS is developing a model for the implementation of the Strategy. FECCA is in close contact with DSS and expects to be involved in whatever structure is established.

The purpose of the meeting was to share FECCA’s plans for 2014-15, and to hear about what all the PICACs are doing and where there may be scope for collaboration. It was agreed that the meeting was a encouraging first step towards further meetings, discussions and collaboration.