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From an Idea to Reality: The Evolution of Association for Culturally Appropriate Services


April 9, 2018

By 2021, almost a third of Australians aged 65 years and older are expected to be born overseas (Aged Care Workforce Report 2016). There is mounting pressure on aged care services to respond to the needs of our culturally diverse population while many are struggling to remain financially viable, particularly those in remote and rural area and providers looking after the most disadvantaged. The Association for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS) has been established to facilitate and support culturally appropriate service delivery, assisted by Fortis Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) in Western Australia, a program funded by the Australian Government.

AfCAS will advocate for improved quality, accountability and access to culturally appropriate services for our Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) seniors, regardless of their geographic location.

Mary Gurgone, the WA State Director of the Fortis PICACWA said, “The rich tapestry of the Australian population demands that Aged Care Services are responsive to the needs of our CALD elderly who have contributed so much to our community. The driving force behind the Association for Culturally Appropriate Services (AfCAS) is to amplify the voices of our diverse communities so the most vulnerable in our community are heard.”

As urgent calls are being made by the nation’s aged care peak bodies for government to consider the pressures experienced by the current aged care funding arrangements, these funding pressures are more extreme for CALD specific aged care providers. A key objective of the newly formed Association for Culturally Appropriate Services is for the members to share their knowledge and strengths so as to support both customer and provider to ensure that culturally appropriate care is provided in a financially constrained environment.

AfCAS has been established on the foundation of a collaboration across the aged care sector with over 20 members who have contributed their expertise to help address the needs of our CALD elderly care recipients, currently 20% of the elderly and expected to increase to 26% by 2020. The founding members of the Association include:  – MYVISTA, African and CALD Elder Services, St Simeon’s Home Care, Madina Village Community Services, Hungarian Golden Village and Culture Centre, and CareALot.

Stay tuned for updates on new services and innovative offerings to make life better for CALD customers, family carers, care providers and the industry!

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