A delegation of 15 aged care professionals from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines visited Flinders’ Tonsley campus recently as the first step of the important Flinders Aged Care Fellowship Program.
The visitors are part of the inaugural Asia Pacific Aged Care Hub (APACH), which has been launched by ARIIA and Flinders University College of Business, Government and Law, Caring Futures Institute and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of Health and Aged Care, to improve aged care across Asia Pacific countries.
The visit, between Monday 21 August and Friday 25 August, included presentations at Tonsley highlighting Flinders’ expertise in aged care management, and two days of visits to various residential care facilities in the Adelaide and Barossa regions. This was part of a two-week Australia-wide fact-finding visit for the international delegates see first-hand contemporary aged care challenges and solutions in Australia.
Dr Madhan Balasubramanian, senior lecturer in health and aged care management in Flinders’ College of Business, Government and Law, is excited that the College is playing such a central role in this crucial international program.
“This novel multi-country fellowship program will facilitate knowledge transfer, and strengthen networks of influence that contribute to leadership in aged care across Asia-Pacific countries,” says Dr Balasubramanian.
As the population ages across the Asia-Pacific, demand is growing for aged care services and effective models, such as those in Australia for residential/community-based care, respite models and programs for virtual/integrated care.
To meet this demand, capacity and capability building for aged care is a valuable contribution of utmost priority in Australia’s health diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific.
The Flinders Aged Care Fellowship Program will provide valuable insights and experiences around shared aged care challenges and solutions.
An international multi-node hybrid policy forum on aged care is planned for December 2023, three months after the face-to-face fellowship program in Australia. Fellows in partner organisations will be supported to take leadership roles and strengthen networks of influence in their home countries.
Fellows will be also encouraged to network and invite experts from neighbouring countries – and Dr Balasubramanian and Associate Professor Abdel Shafei will be visiting these fellows’ countries later this year to reciprocate the aged care knowledge exchange.