Media Release: Launch of the Aged Care Diversity Framework – Embracing diversity everyday.

Today the Hon Minister Wyatt, launched The Aged Care Diversity Framework in Parliament House.

The Aged Care Diversity Framework is the result of countless hours of consultation across the nation by the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub Group, chaired by Sam Edmonds, Silver Rainbow National Project Manager at the National LGBTI Health Alliance.

“This is a significant document that will play an important role in the Government’s generational aged care reforms. Reforms that will chart the future of our aged care system, to meet the needs and expectations of senior Australians,” said the Hon Minister Wyatt.

It reflects the importance of recognising that the diversity of race, religion, spirituality, language, sexuality, gender, economic status and personal experience across the broader population is also reflected in aged care provision for older people.

Speaking at the launch, the Hon Minister Wyatt affirmed the importance of embracing diversity in the Aged Care sector. “I believe that an inclusive aged care system is one that embraces diversity in all its forms – and that we as Australians, have a responsibility to work to deliver this,” he said. 

LGBTI people are part of all population groups, including Australians living in rural and remote areas, indigenous communities, and in culturally and linguistically diverse populations. LGBTI people have demonstrated considerable resilience in looking after themselves and their communities despite adversity. Many LGBTI people lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Nevertheless, the experience of dealing with marginalisation and stigmatisation often impacts on people’s health. For example, we know that LGBTI people have disproportionately negative mental health outcomes in comparison with the rest of the population, including depression and suicide.

In addition, older LGBTI people have experienced prejudice and discrimination over their life course. This has led to a fear of prejudice and discrimination, based on past both their experience and the experience of others. These experiences cause LGBTI older people to: remain in or return to the closet; be reluctant to reveal their sexual orientation, their gender identity, history or experience, or their intersex status to government agencies and service providers; and be reluctant to make complaints when they experience prejudice or discrimination.

Samantha Edmonds, speaking at the launch explained the context for the Diversity Framework:

“For many accessing the aged care system it is a daunting and frightening process at a time when you are even more vulnerable. A life time of exclusion because of diverse characteristics and life experiences makes it hard to trust this system. The Diversity Framework is designed for everyone, no matter where they are on their journey to a truly inclusive practice that not only respects diversity but embraces it. It is recognising that diversity is everyday business not an “add on”. It is about making the aged care system culturally safe.”

Members of the Aged Care Sector Committee Diversity Sub-Group. L to R: Helen Barrie (AAG); Matt Moore (Institute of Urban Indigenous Health); Samantha Edmonds CHAIR (Silver Rainbow/ National LGBTI Health Alliance); James Beckford Saunders (AAG); Minister Wyatt; Noeleen Tunny (VACCHO); Cristina Giusti (FECCA); Judy Gregurke (NACA); Russell Westacott (Seniors Rights Service); Mary Patetsos (FECCA – not pictured)

Rebecca Reynolds, Executive Director of the National LGBTI Health Alliance added, “The Alliance looks forward to the implementation of the Framework across government, peaks and providers and by consumers and to consumers and carers holding everyone accountable. We look forward to diversity being embraced across aged care no matter who they are, where they live or what their diverse characteristics and life experiences are.”


Contacts

Samantha Edmonds
National Project Manager – Silver Rainbow 
samantha.edmonds@lgbtihealth.org.au

Minister Wyatt’s media page

Find out more

Silver Rainbow – LGBTI inclusive ageing and aged care

Documents

Download your copy of The Diversity Framework (PDF 3mb)

Read about the review of the LGBTI Ageing & Aged Care Strategy