Latest News

Royal Commission – October Update

Written by Ilsa Bird, Sector Support Coordinator

“Aged care fails to meet their care needs, leads to isolation and physical and psychological deterioration and in some cases results in neglect and unsafe care” – Mr Richard Knowles, Counsel Assisting

During September, the Royal Commission held a public hearing in Melbourne.

Melbourne Hearing 1

The Melbourne hearing was held from 9-11 September and 13 September 2019 and looked at younger people in residential care, with a focus on:

  • the policy responsibilities of the aged care system, the social service system and health systems
  • the interfaces between the aged care system, social service system and health systems
  • the profile of younger people in residential aged care and any specific circumstances which drive the admission of younger people into residential aged care
  • the care of a younger person while they are in a residential aged care facility, and how this may impede their exit from residential aged care
  • the special challenges faced by younger people seeking appropriate accommodation
  • the nature of services typically provided to younger people in residential aged care.

Although this hearing was dedicated to the experiences of younger people in residential care, there were some interesting insights about aged care system failures around inter-sector integration and collaboration.

Hearing Summary

On the final day of the hearing, Mr Richard Knowles summarised the themes presented including:

  • the lack of data regarding aged care services, specifically around the number of young people in residential care
  • the lack of integration between services such as primary care, palliative services and ACAT
  • lack of accountability behind ACAT assessments, including those that recommend residential care
  • lack of collaboration between state and territory health, housing, aged care and disability portfolios
  • lack of information collecting, sharing and analysis from both Commonwealth, state and territory Governments.

The full transcripts and witness lists for the hearings can be found here:


The next hearings will take place 7-11 and 14-18 October 2019 in Melbourne. The hearing will inquire into diversity in aged care and the aged care workforce, with a focus on:

  • people with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • people who identify as being lesbian gay bisexual transgender intersex (LGBTI)
  • care leavers, being people who spent time in care as a child, including institutional and out of home care arrangements
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people living in urban areas
  • people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • veterans.
  • how to enhance the aged care workforce’s capacity and capability to provide high quality care and support good quality of life to care recipients
  • how to make the aged care sector a more attractive and rewarding place to work.