New peak body for aged care, the Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA), has announced that Tom Symondson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Victorian Healthcare Association (VHA), will be the organisation’s first CEO.
Chairman of ACCPA, Dr Graeme Blackman AO, announced the new CEO on Monday and said Mr Symondson will be taking over from interim CEO Paul Sadler from September.
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) announced on July 1 that the two peak bodies were beginning to transition over to the united peak body.
Dr Blackman said the ACCPA Board is excited for Mr Symondson to take the helm of the new aged care peak body.
“[Mr Symondson] comes to ACCPA with a proven track record as a leader and advocate in the public and community health sector in Victoria where he has been CEO of VHA for eight years and their Director, Policy and Strategy for two years before that,” said Dr Blackman.
“ACCPA is the result of an historic vote taken earlier this year by Members of LASA and ACSA and fulfills a desire by aged care representative organisations across Australia to create a stronger, unified voice with which to represent the sector from home care, community care [and] residential care to retirement living and seniors housing.
“The aged care sector has faced significant challenges with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the pandemic over the past two years which have exposed the sector’s severe staff shortages and the impact of the funding shortfall.
Mr Symondson said he is looking forward to the new challenge and is excited to start representing and providing support to Australia’s diverse aged care sector.
“The sector is facing many challenges, not least the incredible strain on our workforce after more than two years of a global pandemic and the huge financial strain on providers,” said Mr Symondson.
“But there are also so many opportunities to work together with our members and governments across the country to build a sustainable future for aged care and, most importantly, to improve the lives of older Australians, wherever they live.
Mr Symondson worked in local government as a political advisor in Southwark Council in London, England, before he moved to Australia in 2011.
He is also on the board of Aware Super and serves on a number of government boards and taskforces, including the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee for Mental Health, the Victorian Quality and Safety Council, and the Public Sector Residential Aged Care Expert Advisory Group.
Dr Blackman also thanked interim CEO, Mr Sadler, for leading ACCPA through the transition from LASA and ACSA.
Mr Sadler is unsure what his plans are after he finishes up in September.