Maxine McKew, Member for Bennelong, today welcomed the announcement that a re-elected Gillard Labor Government will improve translation services for older Australian residents in aged care who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
“Often older Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds find it more difficult to communicate with aged care staff and access the care that is most suitable for their needs.
“This is why the Gillard Labor Government will invest a total of $5 million to provide improved access to translation services and cultural awareness training for aged care staff.
“This includes $2.2 million to engage interpreter services to help older persons from non‑English speaking backgrounds undertake critical communication for health and aged care matters,” Maxine McKew said.
The initiative will support around 14,000 hours worth of on-site visits and telephone interpretation services each year.
These additional translation services will be bolstered with a $1 million investment in grants to aged care facilities to translate documents used in day-to-day care such as notices, menus and newsletters.
A further $1.7 million will be allocated to provide cultural awareness training for staff in aged care facilities.
Together, these initiatives will help ensure that language or cultural background does not act as a barrier to receiving high quality aged care.
This investment builds on the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to aged care.
Already Federal Labor has increased funding for aged and community care by some 30 per cent and created more than 10,000 new aged care places.
Currently older persons from ethnic backgrounds make up around 15 per cent of people in residential aged care facilities.
“This is a particularly important announcement for my diverse community in Bennelong. Local Korean and Chinese community and business leaders are working hard to raise awareness of the specific needs of elderly residents from culturally diverse backgrounds.
“Local Korean and Chinese leaders are also currently advancing a proposal for the establishment of an ethno-specific aged care centre in the north-west of Sydney and if I am elected on August 21 I will continue to work to advance this proposal,” Maxine McKew said.
Tales from the Political Trenches
Tales from the Political Trenches is an intimate account of one of the most tumultuous periods in Australian politics, as well as a tale of personal change.
After winning a spectacular victory against Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, McKew was one of the many casualties of the disastrous 2010 election campaign, when Labor was left clinging to the wreckage and forced into minority government. Still dealing with her own disappointments in a political career cut short by the machinations of her own party, McKew has spent the past year talking to her colleagues in an effort to understand what went wrong.
Maxine McKew counters the view that in 2010 Julia Gillard was a reluctant conscript who was forced to move against a chaotic and dysfunctional Kevin Rudd—and offers a different version of events. Says McKew "Rudd was removed by an impatient deputy backed by a group of individuals who see themselves as the 'owners' of the Labor party".
Why is Labor now operating through the uncertainty of minority government and from a position of diminished trust? And why is our political culture so debauched? Tales from the Political Trenches is a must-read for those who have followed the events of the past few years and are still asking, 'What the hell happened?'For more information: