Older Australians are being asked to share their perspective on the country’s aged care system as part of a nationwide consultation process. 

Peak aged care advocacy bodies, Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia and Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) are leading a series of forums across the country with the ultimate aim of strengthening and improving the laws governing aged care.

The consultations follow the release of the Australian Government’s consultation paper on the new Aged Care Act, as well as the release of principles guiding aged care funding.


Feedback from the forums will be incorporated into the government’s consultation paper which focuses on foundational elements of the new act, such as whistleblower protection, supported decision-making arrangements, duty of care and compensation pathways, and a Statement of Rights.

 Aged care crossroads

OPAN Chief Executive Officer Craig Gear OAM said Australia is at an aged care crossroads, where the actions taken over the next 12 months will be crucial.


“Since older people are the experts in their aged care, we need their input on this major piece of reform to ensure we get it right.”

 “We can’t improve older people’s experience without an Aged Care Act that respects, protects and enforces their rights.”


He said the current version, which is more than 25 years old, is focused on the operation and funding of aged care services.


“It is largely divorced from the human experience of older people. Since older people are the experts in their aged care, we need their input on this major piece of reform to ensure we get it right.”

 Front and centre

COTA Australia Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Sparrow, said Australia needs laws that put the needs of older Australians front and centre.


“We’ll be speaking to older people and their families and carers over the coming weeks to ensure that the voices and experiences of those who matter most are heard loud and clear.”


“A key recommendation from the Aged Care Royal Commission was that our Aged Care Act needed to be revisited. It’s great that the Federal Government is finally opening up the conversation about what an Aged Care Act that truly delivers for older Australians looks like,” she said.


“If we are serious about a rights-based act that puts older people, and the services they need, front and centre, then it stands to reason that older people must also be front and centre of the discussion.”


Contact Older Persons Advocacy Network to register to be involved.


Do you need aged care support for yourself or a loved one? Just Better Care can help people from diverse backgrounds with different lifestyles achieve their goals. Get started by talking to a local team member today.