Exceptional efforts in culturally inclusive practices

(LR): Soula Athanasia Houndalas, COTA Tasmania; Alexander Abramoff, Council of Russian Ethnic Representatives; Professor Bianca Brijnath, National Institute for Research on Aging; Luba Pyrslak, Culture; Yue Hu, Northern Health; Deidre McGill, Bolton Clarke; Elizabeth Drozd, Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS); Dr. Medha Gunawardana, AMCS; Russell Howard, AMCS.

Earlier this month, the Center for Cultural Diversity and Aging hosted the 2021 Cultural Diversity and Aging Achievement Awards – the event has been postponed due to COVID-19.

An evening filled with artistic and musical performances added to what was a dynamic event, with around 100 industry leaders working in the elderly care and multicultural sectors.

The Excellence Awards recognize and showcase initiatives that promote excellence in the delivery of culturally inclusive aged care services across Australia.

Dignitaries in attendance included MP John Kennedy representing the Hon. Anthony Carbines, Minister for Disability, Aging and Carers and Hon. Ros Spence Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

The awards themselves were presented by Robert Day, Assistant Secretary, Dementia, Diversity and Design Directorate, Ministry of Health, Mohammed Yassin, of Spectrum, also a board member of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and former Commissioner of the Multicultural Commission of Victoria, and Dr Olga Kanitsaki AM, former Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at RMIT University and first professor of cross-cultural nursing.

The 2021 Cultural Diversity in Aging Excellence Awards consisted of three categories:

Excellence in Organizational Leadership
Finalists: Bolton Clarke, Northern Health and Australian Multicultural Community Services.

Winner: Northern Health for its in-house department of Transcultural and Language Services (TALS).

Excellence in service delivery
Finalists: Uniting SA – Ethnic Link Services, Australian Multicultural Community Services and Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong.

Winner: Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong (MACS) for an extensive on-site and local program of individual and group activities catering to the cultural preferences, worship choices and general interests of MACS residents and consumers.

Individual Excellence Award
Awarded to an individual who demonstrates outstanding commitment and initiative in providing services to seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in the area of ​​elder care.

Finalists: Soula Athanasia Hundalas, Positive Aging Project Office for COTA Tas, Professor Bianca Brijnath and Alexander Abramoff Aged Care Manager at the Council of Russian Ethnic Representatives.

Winner: Professor Bianca Brijnath for her work to improve the quality of life for older Australians from diverse cultures and languages. Working nationally and internationally, Bianca has led four national projects to increase awareness of dementia prevention, improve interpreter training for cognitive assessment of dementia, increase awareness of diagnosis and timely care of dementia in CALD communities and improve dementia care in CALD families.

“It was a pleasure to share such a positive evening with industry leaders who work every day to support the human rights and needs of older people from diverse backgrounds. One of the Center’s goals is to promote good practices and stories to inspire and these awards have achieved this goal!

Lisa Tribuzio, Manager, Center for Cultural Diversity and Aging

James C. Tibbs