Seniors can rest easy with new advocacy group

AUSTRALIANS can now enter their golden years assured they have a government agency in their corner.

The Federal Government confirmed the newly formed Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) will become the leading voice for seniors after being entrusted to roll out a three-year, $25.7 million national service system.

The OPAN will deliver advocacy services under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program's new national framework from July 1.

OPAN chairperson Craig Gear said the funding would help deliver high-quality information and education to older Australians.

"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.

"The value and benefits that flow from OPAN's centrally governed and managed entity will ensure we can deliver significant value for each region and to the consumers we service across Australia."

The boost to funding will help the organisation increase its presence from 21 existing sites to 28, increasing the education focus and services to some of the most remote communities.

"We aim to provide a personalised service that meets the needs of each individual and their families. As part of this, we will be developing a range of on-demand content - including digital information packs, webinars and education services - to ensure families needing our services can connect online," Mr Gear said.

"Our goal is to deliver service excellence to all clients, carers, families and special needs groups, irrespective of location, and achieving this is only possible with a capable, scalable and agile workforce that can advocate collectively on national policy reforms."

OPAN acting executive officer Fiona May said the government's faith will help the organisation move quickly to render services to the community.

"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," Ms May said.

"No other organisation offers the same services, knowledge and practice experience to deliver quality services and continuity from the outset - and we are thrilled to receive this funding certainty."


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