Anne Burgess AM has been appointed as the new Chair of the Aged Care Council of Elders, taking over from Ian Yates.
Burgess has extensive knowledge of the sector, having served as a Board Director of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and Chairperson of the Aged Rights Advocacy Service. She has also held leadership roles at the national level, including as Chair of COTA’s National Policy Council.
Her appointment is seen as a positive step forward for aged care reform, particularly as the Council of Elders was formed on the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells stated that Burgess’ appointment was part of the government’s ongoing agenda to ensure older people’s needs were front and centre as it reformed aged care. The Council of Elders plays a critical role in ensuring the diverse views and perspectives of older people are heard by the government throughout the reform process.
Burgess brings over 40 years of experience leading initiatives and organisations focused on social justice, including previous roles as Director of the Office for Women and Acting Commissioner at the Equal Opportunity Commission in South Australia. She is also a member of the COTA Australia National Policy Council, the current COTA SA Deputy President and the Chair of the SA Policy Council, and a member of the governing board of the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network.
In accepting the appointment, Burgess stated that she was committed to working with council members and the government to ensure the rights and dignity of older people from all walks of life are protected in our future aged care system.
OPAN CEO Craig Gear OAM also welcomed the appointment and said that Burgess’ brings decades of experience to the role.
“Anne has an in-depth knowledge of the aged care system through her work with the National Aged Care Alliance.
“With her skills in policy development, strategic planning and community engagement, Anne is the perfect person to lead us through this period of significant change and to oversee the development of a new Aged Care Act that actively addresses older people’s basic human rights,” Gear added.