Change Champions Promote Importance of Living Life in Community Care

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Business Women Australia and Fortis Consulting continued their collaboration to facilitate roundtable forums confronting the important matters of cultural and gender diversity, Aboriginal issues and aged care.  The June topic in the Change Champions program addressed Innovation in Community Care.

At this closed group (invitation only) forum, Rosie Lawn the CEO of Avivo, shared her approach to influencing community aged care to embrace citizenship and self-direction where elders are respected as the authorities in their lives and the supports they need. Rosie addressed the challenges and opportunities faced by service providers, government and the wider community.  Invited leaders and WA champions of change shared their knowledge and ideas, insights and experiences and included leaders in Government (eg Australian Aged Care Quality Agency), Academia (Curtin University), Residential Aged Care (CEOs of mainstream and ethnically focussed facilities), home care services (eg CommunityWest, Chung Wah) along with executive members of Fortis Consulting and Business Women Australia.

With 72% of the population having at least one grandparent who is born overseas, and the high expectations of the “baby-boomer” generation in an environment of self-directed care, it is critical to discuss innovative ways to support our elderly in the community to live life and address the gendered and cultural issues for the aged care recipients, the care providers and the family carers.

Consumer choice is central to the evolution of care delivery and the deregulation underway will put greater control into the hands of consumers.  There will be greater competition among providers as we face challenges of the growth of the ageing population and the need to ensure services remain available to regional and underprivileged sectors.


Picture: Rosie Lawn, CEO of Avivo, presents her keynote address.

Mary Gurgone, National Director of Fortis Consulting, said “Fortis Consulting understands the importance of gender and cultural diversity to achieve productive workplaces. The Australian Government has selected Fortis as the Partners In Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) provider in WA to improve the capacity of aged care services to respond to the needs of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.’

‘We are keen to explore new and proven strategies in delivering consumer-directed care. In an area dominated by women and cultural diversity among staff, clients and their family carers, we can gain a better quality of life and improved financial performance by proactively managing the rich diversity of our workplaces and homes.”

Facilitated discussion on the past, current and future changes will focus on how to influence future innovation to support people to live life as they choose.

The Change Champions concept was developed as a collaboration between Business Women Australia and Fortis Consulting to bring together invited business women and corporate and government leaders to engage in conversation and address areas that require innovative pathways to facilitate change. The agenda, which will be held over a series of nine roundtable forums, will cover topics including gender concerns, women on boards, cultural diversity, aged care and leadership.

Fortis Consulting is a recognised leader in providing expertise in and the winner of the Multicultural Recognition Award (Private Sector Category) awarded by the WA Government.   As the new Western Australian PICAC (Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care) provider funded by the Australian Government Fortis will be driving improvements to the capacity of aged care services to respond to the differing needs of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Jennifer Rose Bryant, Managing Director of Business Women Australia said “Business Women Australia is delighted to be partnering with Fortis Consulting.  They share our values and desire to facilitate real change.  This partnership builds an important bridge connecting government and community leaders with business women focused on facilitating the changes needed to support diversity, inclusion and gender equality.


Picture: Adrian Gurgone, Fortis Consulting; Pat Bibb, Fortis Consulting; Mary Gurgone, Fortis Consulting; Rosie Lawn, Avivo; Anne Butorac, Fortis Consulting; Jennifer Rose Byrant, Business Women Australia

Business Women Australia grew from the locally focused member-based organisation established in 2008 as Women in Business WA. Managing Director, Jennifer Rose Bryant’s desire to expand across Australia became real in November 2015 with the addition of business strategist Lyn Hawkins as an investor and Director, the establishment of a board of business women advisers, launch of a new national brand and strategic input (and funding) from sponsors.

Last month’s roundtable topic “RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: LESSONS FROM DEFENCE” addressed the issue of accountability and responsiveness of organisations to gender issues, particularly where violence or intimidation has been exposed.   Stephen Smith shared his insights gained as Minister for Defence discussing lessons learnt influencing a culture to embrace transparency and accountability.   He highlighted the importance of leadership, choosing key influencers at every level and putting in place processes and task forces that support the intended directional changes that need to be made.


MEDIA CONTACTS – for Interviews, further information and photos.

Business Women Australia

Lyn Hawkins, Director

M> 0437 197 914             



Fortis Consulting

Mary Gurgone, National Director

P> +61 8 9467 2490