Pilot project targets health sector

Published 6 March 2008

A pilot project designed to develop leadership skills in the health and community care sector is under way by researchers at Southern Cross University’s Aged Services Learning and Research Centre (ASLaRC).

Professor Colleen Cartwright, director of ASLaRC, said the project had a particular focus on not-for-profit health and community care organisations, of which aged care was a major component.

Funding for the project was provided jointly by Southern Cross University and Lutheran Community Care, with additional funding provided by the Enterprise and Training Company, Coffs Harbour, Ltd (ETC)to employ a research assistant.

“The whole industry sector is undergoing major change because of the ageing population. Lots of care is now being delivered in the community,” Professor Cartwright said.

“There is a real need for highly skilled leaders in these organisations. We want to empower and upskill people in these positions so they are able to deal with the many challenges the changing environment is likely to throw at them.”

Professor Cartwright said the success of the pilot project had led the research team to apply for an Australian Research Council grant, in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Southern Queensland, to expand the project across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

“We are aiming to test out this new model we have developed in the pilot project and do some case studies across the three states,” she said.

Professor Cartwright said ETC had been an ongoing supporter of the work being done by ASLaRC.

“Because of the funding ETC has provided, ASLaRC is able to employ a research assistant for a range of projects that will benefit older people,” Professor Cartwright said.

Mr Michael Close, ETC general manager, said the organisation was committed to supporting local industries.

“As a not for profit company we are an active partner in the social and economic profile of our region, having contributed in excess of $25 million back into the community over the past four years,” Mr Close said.

Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.