Restoring Indigenous voice to Government on Aged Care

Jody Currie, a Yugambeh woman with traditional ties to the country between the Logan and Tweed Rivers in Queensland, has been appointed to the Australian Government’s National Aged Care Advisory Council.

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

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The National Aged Care Advisory Council provides expert advice to Government on the aged care sector and implementation of the reforms.

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells said, “The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! Jody Currie’s appointment to my Advisory Council on aged care restores the representation of First Nations people.

“The appointment of Jody Currie to the Council aligns with the Closing the Gap agreement to enable a genuine say in the design and delivery of policies, programs and services that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and achieve better outcomes.”

Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health Malarndirri McCarthy said, “For far too long older First Nations people have experienced barriers to accessing aged care services in their homes and communities. To address service gaps and improve access to care, we must include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in the design, discussion and implementation of aged care reforms.

“Jody brings a wealth of aged care and health knowledge and experience including roles in government, not-for-profit and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services. Her appointment is a significant step in the right direction for bringing meaningful change to aged care services for older First Nations people.”

Ms Currie has held several board positions in community and government sectors, including the former Aged Care Sector Committee and Hearing Australia. She has worked in senior roles for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane (ATSICHS Brisbane), Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Apunipima Cape York Health Council and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

Currently, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Ms Currie is also a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ageing and Aged Care Council.

Ms Currie said, “A seat at the table means our voices are heard at the national level to drive and action the aged care reforms. It means our Elders ageing on Country are not a second thought, they are front and centre of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations.”

“I hope that our ways of caring for our Elders can also help mainstream Australia to understand the importance of stewardship of our Elders. Walking, working and learning together, we can strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care and health services, and together care for our precious Elders.”

Minister Wells said the Labor Albanese government was committed to listening to First Nations people in the development of programs and policies that affect them.

“The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety quoted Uncle Brian Campbell's evidence, which said, ‘I've sat with the Royal Commission into deaths in custody, I've sat with the bringing them home hearing and, of all of them, hardly anything ever gets done - is this one going to be the same?’

“I want to say emphatically to Uncle Campbell ‘yes, we can have a better aged care system that puts security, dignity, quality and humanity back into aged care,’” said Minister Wells.

The National Aged Care Advisory Council is prioritising aged care access and navigation for older Australians and building provider and workforce capability to meet service expectations. The Council reports to the Minister for Health and Aged Care and the Minister for Aged Care.

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