There's a new league of young professionals providing fresh perspectives in the age services sector.
They are ambassadors who are part of Leading Age Services Australia's (LASA) Next Gen initiative.
And they are ready to ensure the industry attracts, develops and retains the passionate professionals needed to lead the design and delivery of high-performing, respected and sustainable age services into the future.
As Next Gen ambassadors they are part of LASA's young leaders' initiative, an industry-wide program to engage and encourage young professionals to see age services as a dynamic, innovative and life-changing career opportunity.
More than 70 new and existing ambassadors have joined the initiative and come together to share their experiences, expertise and ensure the voice of young professionals are heard in our industry's discussions.
They are clinical and non-clinical professionals in a variety of leadership roles who are now providing advice on issues affecting them and their peers, and are advising on youth issues, creating innovative projects and promoting age services as a rewarding and progressive career pathway for young Australians.
Chairwoman of the Ambassador Advisory Council and Head of Partnerships at Asperger's Services Australia Rebecca Hogan wants young people to identify age services as a viable career path.
"Full of opportunities to work directly with older people, supporting them on a daily basis, whether that is in hospitality, allied health or working your way towards a more administrative, managerial role, the options are endless," she said.
"Age services is one of the largest service industries accompanied by strong future job growth and it's aged care workers who have the most important job - taking care of the emotional, social and physical well-being of seniors and respecting the rights of this generation.
"I am inspired by the visionary ambassadors who are compassionate, innovative and driven young professionals that have the capacity to change society and outcomes for older people."
Next Gen principal advisor Samantha Bowen said recognising the impact young professionals have and the need to ensure their voices are heard was critical for our age services workforce and succession planning efforts across Australia.
"Our ambassadors are creating and implementing innovative concepts for age services across the entire country," she said.
"Younger viewpoints are propelling leaders forward and they are helping construct new programs to support older people. I am so energised by the new Ambassadors that have joined Next Gen and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together over the next two years."
LASA general manager policy and advocacy Tim Hicks said Next Gen ambassadors were a vital voice for the upcoming innovations and changes that the age services and retirement living sectors will face.
"Young people bring their enthusiasm and vigour to older Australians," he said. "They have conviction and belief and their positive impact is being felt across the industry. I have full faith that the Next Gen initiative can empower and inspire further young leaders to chose a career in age services and bring their passion and energy to the sector."
The Aged Care Royal Commission highlighted the need for fostering innovation and continuous improvement.
Recommendations focused on building the capacity of the workforce and ensuring there was strength in leadership roles across all government agencies, aged care and other service providers to ensure the aged care system as a whole delivers safe and high quality aged care.
"Encouraging and influencing positive change in aged care means making a big difference in providing a purposeful and engaging lifestyle for our seniors," Ms Bowen said.
"Our Next Gen leaders are eager to transform lives and motivate staff, to build a new future that is inspired by the Royal Commission recommendations and accomplish the change our industry needs."
Jamie Langdon, deputy chair of the Ambassador Advisory Council and marketing and communications manager at Benevolent Living, thanked LASA for bringing together passionate, energetic and committed young professionals to be able to deliver real and meaningful and change to the industry.
"This initiative is bringing together like minded individuals from boardroom to bedroom and our main goal is to enhance both the physical and mental well-being of all older adults across Australia."