Dementia Australia National Symposium moves to free webinar series

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Originally planned to be held in Sydney earlier this year, the ‘Dementia Australia National Symposium Series 2020 – Dementia care is quality care’ has now been transformed into an online series of virtual events. 

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the 90-minute weekly online webinar series will be held over six weeks beginning on Tuesday 4 August.

“Offering the webinar series for free is our contribution to supporting the aged care sector through this difficult time to enable a greater level of engagement than would have been possible with the original event,” Ms McCabe said.

“The new Symposium format will bring together international and national speakers to present on a range of issues including leadership, culture and quality that will help raise the quality of dementia care as defined by people living with dementia, their families and carers.

“While it was disappointing to have to cancel the in-person event due to COVID-19 concerns, we are thrilled to be able to provide online access for more aged care professionals across the country.

“This is a unique opportunity for aged care professionals to learn from a selection of world-leading experts in dementia care, free of charge.

“With the impact of COVID-19 on aged care, now more than ever the issues the Symposium Series will address are of critical importance.”

The Symposium is the third stage of the Dementia Australia Quality Care Initiative focused on raising the quality of dementia care.

The first stage was the National Consumer Summit resulting in the communique, ‘Our Solution: Quality care for people living with dementia’. 

This communique was presented by Dementia Advocates to Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians in July 2019 and distributed throughout government and aged care industry networks.

The second was a National Stakeholder Roundtable that took place in Melbourne in November 2019, which was held to develop a clear action plan to consistently raise the quality of dementia care across the industry. This action plan is to be discussed and released during the Symposium Series.

The online series will feature presentations from people living with dementia, their families and carers as well as Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner; Prof Dawn Brooker, Director of the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies UK; Dr Lisa Trigg, Assistant Director, Research, Data and Intelligence, Social Care Wales, UK; James Adonis, author and leadership educator; Prof John Pollaers OAM, Chancellor, Swinburne University and Executive Chairman of Leef Independent Living Solutions; and Ita Buttrose AC OBE, Dementia Australia Ambassador and Chair ABC.

Journalist, broadcaster and comedian, Julie McCrossin AM will act as facilitator. The online series will be held weekly for six consecutive weeks beginning Tuesday 4 August. To join the webinars register through the Dementia Australia website here.