Coming soon to ACC is ‘Caring for Indigenous Australians: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’. Made in collaboration with the Department of Health and presented by indigenous advocate Mike Butler, the program aims to demonstrate how staff can respond to the cultural needs of indigenous Australians receiving care.
ACC visited two aged care organisations - The Elders Village in Davoren Park, South Australia, and Yaandina Aged Care in Roebourne, Western Australia to explore how they are meeting the cultural needs of their residents.
In the program we interviewed Graham Aitken, CEO of Aboriginal Community Care S.A. who spoke to us about his own story...
“I was born in Oodnadatta in South Australia’s far north. My mother was from Indulkana in the remote APY Lands of SA and our family are Yankunyjatjara. I moved to Adelaide at a very young age and have lived and worked in Adelaide all my life.
My first job was working in a bank straight from school. I stayed in banking for 23 years before working for the Aboriginal and Torres Islander Commission (ATSIC) where I stayed for seven years, until ATSIC was abolished.
I then moved to the SA State Government, working for the Office for the Ageing, where I was responsible for Home and Community Care (HACC) funding to aged care organisations that provided aged care services to the Aboriginal Community.
Aboriginal Community Care was one of the organisations that OFTA funded for aged care services and when the organisation advertised for the CEO role, I applied and won the position. I have been the CEO of our organisation for 6 years.
I have enjoyed seeing our organisation grow in terms of the number of Elders we provide services to. We are now supporting nearly 500 Elders across SA.
I am particularly proud that our organisation won the national tender to deliver aged care services on the APY Lands, where we currently support approximately 110 Elders across 5 remote communities.
We are also increasing our aged care services on the APY Lands and have established a significant workforce on the APY Lands. We are considered to be the second largest employer of Anangu people on the APY Lands.
The aged care sector is growing due to our ageing population. There are many different and rewarding jobs in the aged care sector and staff have great work satisfaction in providing support and assistance to our Elders.”
To find out more about caring for indigenous Australians, please join ACC on 22nd November for our live Q&A sessions.
Register here to join our online audiences at 10:45am, 2:15pm and 4:30pm AEDT.