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International recognition for aged care initiative

Written by Aged Care Channel (ACC) Australia | August 8, 2017

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has received international recognition for one of its aged care initiatives at the fifth Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in Singapore. 

The first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards was created to provide an annual recognition to organisations in the Asia Pacific that demonstrate eldercare innovation in their business, operational and service models to change the way our older adults age.


The ceremony took place in Singapore at the end of April and awarded 68 organisations from 12 countries for their innovative and quality approaches to change the way the region’s older adult age, and for their contribution in shaping the future of the ageing landscape.

Celebration of Life events have been hosted twice a year since 2006 by The Brotherhood of St Laurence. Each time it is held, it draws together residents from the Brotherhood’s Sambell Lodge and Sumner House in Melbourne’s inner north, as well from around 20 other aged care organisations around Melbourne. Staff, volunteers, students, family and friends also come along to join in song, dance and fancy dress. The theme of the last, held in May, was ‘Intergalactic Life’. Celebrity priest Father Bob Maguire regularly gives a welcome address, while the Huffers and Puffers big band lend their musical talents.

The City of Yarra is a partner, providing the use of the grand Collingwood Town Hall.

The initiative was selected as a finalist in the Best Active Ageing Program category at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards at the end of April.

Sambell Lodge Manager, Paul Brophy organises the events and travelled to Singapore for the awards, where he was congratulated by Australian High Commission, Singapore, Second Secretary Clele White.

“It’s a big collaboration. I work with people from aged care organisations far and wide,” Mr Brophy said. “It’s also a chance to bring together people from different cultural communities - the Greek community, the Chinese community, the Indigenous community. It’s about time we got on the front foot and promoted positive ageing, and there’s no better way than people in wheelchairs dancing,” Mr Brophy said.

“There’s a tidal wave of baby boomers who are retiring and are about to enter aged care residences, so it’s important to recognise that and support them to age well."

For more information about the The Brotherhood of St Laurence, please visit them here.