New National Aged Care Advocacy Program

Support and guidance for seniors will be fundamental to the new National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) to be delivered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN).


Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said OPAN would receive $25.7 million over the next three years to supply wide-ranging advocacy services


OPAN will deliver the advocacy program through its network of nine service delivery organisations across Australia.


“Moving to a single provider model will allow the NACAP to build on its experience and expand its skills base,” Minister Wyatt said.


“With consumers now more involved in making decisions, I understand the important role strong advocacy can play, especially when people may find it difficult to express themselves.”


Today’s announcement follows the development of the draft National Aged Care Advocacy Framework, which will support OPAN to deliver advocacy through the redesigned NACAP.


The framework, which provides a mechanism to drive a more consistent, national approach to the delivery of individual advocacy services, will be finalised with OPAN in collaboration with other key stakeholders.


From July 1, the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) – a recently formed entity comprising nine state and territory aged care advocacy organisations – will deliver advocacy services under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program’s new national framework.


OPAN chairperson Craig Gear said, “We want older Australians to be armed with the right knowledge, support and resources so that they can better protect themselves, and can live actively and happily in their later years,” he said.


OPAN Acting Executive Officer Fiona May said, “Our connected, integrated approach allows us to leverage existing networks, linkages and relationships we have built over the past 25 years, which are underpinned by trust, which is not easily or quickly replaced,” she said.


The funding will allow OPAN to increase its regional presence from 21 existing sites to 28 over the next two years, expand the range and delivery of education services in all Australian states and territories, while delivering new, scalable education to the most regional and remote parts of Australia.


Mr Gear said that, in many cases, advocacy and information support in rural and remote areas was delivered by phone, but in other cases – especially for special needs groups such as culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – face-to-face delivery was essential.


“Our advocates offer an incredibly important service for vulnerable Australians. Last year alone, we provided direct individual advocacy support to more than 9,000 people, provided information to 21,000 individual consumers and family members, and delivered education sessions to more than 42,000 people.”


Further information about OPAN can be found on the OPAN website


11 July 2017.