New members announced for the Aged Care Council of Elders

The Australian Government is pleased to announce a new term for the Aged Care Council of Elders.

The Hon Anika Wells MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Sport

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The Australian Government is pleased to announce a new term for the Aged Care Council of Elders.

The Council of Elders provides a direct voice to the government about aged care reform and ageing well on behalf of older people. 


Following the Council’s productive initial term, applications were sought from older people with strong connections in their local communities and lived experience of aged care.


A rigorous selection process resulted in the appointment of 13 members, commencing in January 2024. Six members return to Council, with 7 new members appointed.


Anne Burgess AM remains as Council chair and is joined by new members:

  • Ms Lynda Whiteway, who receives a home care package and is a carer for a family member with dementia.
  • Ms Anna Harrison AM, who has strong connections with local culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Aunty Lynette Cullinane, a Mununjali woman with strong connections with First Nations peoples, particularly women and people in rural and remote areas.
  • Ms Juliet Rankin, who has a background in palliative care and working in rural and remote communities.
  • Major General Vikram Madan OAM, who is connected to local older culturally and linguistically diverse people, particularly those experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Mr James Carey, who resides in an aged care home and is an aged care community volunteer.
  • Dr John Davis, who is well connected to older people in aged care in his local community, particularly those from LGBTQI+ communities.

Returning members are:

  • Mrs Gillian Groom AO
  • Dr Tom Calma AO
  • Professor John McCallum
  • Ms Margaret Walsh
  • Ms Val Fell OAM
  • Ms Gwenda Darling.

Appointed members are geographically and demographically diverse, ensuring the voices of a wide range of older people can be heard through the Council.


More information is available at


Quotes attributable to Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells:


“The Council of Elders plays a critical role in ensuring the diverse views and perspectives of older people are heard by the Australian Government as we reform aged care.


“I welcome both new and returning members and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Council of Elders as we reform aged care.


“Council members represent a diverse range of perspectives, which is critical to ensuring government hears the voices of diverse communities and regional and remote older people as we reform aged care.”


“I particularly look forward to the insights we will gain from having a Council member who lives in an aged care home. This appointment reflects our genuine commitment to hear from people who use aged care services as we reform aged care


“I thank all outgoing members for their contributions and acknowledge all the hard work that has been done by the Council of Elders members during their first term.”



Quote attributable to Chair of the Council of Elders, Anne Burgess:


“As a group, we are committed to ensuring the voices of older people are heard in the aged care reforms, and that advice based on lived experience is provided to government.”


“I look forward to working closely with new and returning members to ensure the voices of older people are at the heart of changes being made to aged care.”


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