Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) is launching the NEXT GEN initiative to attract the best and brightest young leaders and professionals to steer the age services industry through a period of unprecedented growth and change and into the future.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the industry needs young leaders to ensure the growing numbers of older Australians receive the best possible care, support and service.

“The combination of increasing demand for age services, the emerging need for renewal and growth of the current workforce, and the desire for new ideas, technologies and models of care to meet the changing needs of the growing numbers of older Australians, make the NEXT GEN initiative a program of national importance for the age services industry.”

Mr Rooney said there is also a need to improve the perception of aged care as a career option for people under 35 years.

“Next Gen is designed to promote the changing face of aged care and profile the aged care industry as dynamic, innovative and potentially life-changing,” Mr Rooney said.

“There are many excellent career opportunities, working in either age services directly, or in the professions and trades that service our industry, where people can be challenged and rewarded, all while making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

“As new models of aged care emerge, this requires a broader range of expertise and skills – including experts in data science, artificial intelligence, technology, architecture and design, hospitality, engineering, property development, human resources management – as well as the more traditional professions of legal, clinical and allied health, finance and accounting, board and governance, leadership and executive management.

“Inside the industry we know that aged care professionals derive a sense of satisfaction from the positive benefits they bring to older Australians’ lives. They find their careers satisfying and value the opportunities our industry provides.”

Presently there are around 365,000 working the in age services industry. The Productivity Commission estimates that by 2050 the aged care workforce will need to have grown to 1.3 million. An estimated 60 per cent of the existing workforce will reach retirement age over the next 15 years.

Currently many providers of age services around Australia report challenges in attracting and retaining staff to meet current and future demand.

Mr Rooney said the Next Gen Young Leaders forum in Perth on 15 May is the first event under the NEXT GEN initiative.

“This program is about attracting and developing the next generation of age services leaders,” Mr Rooney said.

“This will be achieved by engaging and showcasing young leaders in our industry and designing and delivering programs to actively support their professional development and career progression.”

The Forum has been developed, and will be driven and facilitated, by young professionals. It is based on an open conversation between current and emerging leaders. The Forum will be launched by the Federal Minister for Aged Care Hon Ken Wyatt MP.

Mr Rooney said the forum targets all young professionals, current leaders, emerging leaders and Board Directors wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of older Australians.

“They may already be working in the aged care industry or be an ambitious young professional seeking a dynamic new career path,” Mr Rooney said.

“The feedback we are hearing is that young people want to have a voice and they want to play a key role in shaping and driving the aged care industry of the future.

“These young professionals are ambitious and creative, with a vision that challenges many of the mindsets and models associated with the way we currently care for our older Australians.”

NEXT GEN Young Leaders (L-R):

  • Lize Coetzee – Audiogist/Manager Ear Science Institute Australia (Lions Hearing Clinic)
  • Todd Paterson – Architect/Director (KPA Architects)
  • Sam Singh – Lifestyle Manager (Berrington Care)
  • Paul Forrest – Physiotherapist/Manager (Xtra Home Care)
  • Teelia Peploe – Business Operator/Director (St Louis Home care)
  • Laura Sutherland – Recruitment Specialist/Director (3D Recruit)
  • Samantha Bowen – Entrepreneur/Director (Acorn Network)
  • Daniel Lee – Consultant/Advisor (Ansell Strategic)
  • Chloe D’Souza- Solicitor (Jackson MacDonald)
  • Richard Holland – Security Expert (Blueforce)
  • Karlie Ford – Corporate Photographer/Owner (The Scene Team)
  • Kelly Gray – Business Founder/ Author (MyCare MyChoice)

View the Next Gen flyer here