Budget support for system coordinators for younger people in residential aged care a welcome development

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Tonight’s Budget announcement of $10 million to establish a national network of system coordinators for younger people in residential aged care has been welcomed by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) and the Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance (YPINHNA).

The initiative will support young people living in aged care facilities to find age-appropriate accommodation and live independently.

Many young Australians with high care needs have unfortunately found themselves being placed in aged care facilities because of a lack of other more suitable accommodation options.  

They often require a mix of services to be able to achieve the best possible outcomes, including support from health and mental health services, the NDIS, other disability programs, housing and legal services.

‘To negotiate, collaborate and join the dots across portfolios and jurisdictions to bring best value services to the young person is beyond most young people and their families. It requires considerable knowledge and skill—which is where system coordinators come in’, says AHHA Chief Executive Alison Verhoeven.

‘The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that employment of system coordinators was an ideal way to solve the issue.’

‘There are a few system coordinators employed in some parts of Australia right now, but they differ in what they do, how they operate and knowledge and skills required’, says YPINHNA National Director, Dr Bronwyn Morkham. 

‘It has been reported that the Department of Health will undertake a competitive process to select an organisation to employ, train and deploy the new system coordinators’, Dr Morkham said.

‘A nationally-recognised training and support program will help establish the role around Australia, and should help ensure that coordinators have the knowledge and skills required to support young people to receive appropriate care and accommodation.’

Ms Verhoeven said that the coordinator workforce would ideally include people who have a qualification in health, disability or aged care, as well as the ability to work effectively with different sectors and apply problem-solving skills and judgement to complex problems. 

‘The training and support program should provide both foundational knowledge development and ongoing support and professional development through a mentoring network’, Ms Verhoeven said. 

‘Overall, this announcement is good news for the 5,000 younger people living in residential aged care, or at risk of placement there.

‘AHHA and YPINHNA commend the Australian Government for taking this step.’


The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, Primary Health Networks, and community and primary healthcare services.

The Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance is Australia's first peak body for young Australians living in aged care facilities (or at risk of placement there) with a disability, who also have high and complex support needs.

Media contacts:

Alison Verhoeven, Chief Executive, AHHA  0403 282 501

Dr Bronwyn Morkham, YPINHNA National Director, 0437 178 078