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CEO Update with Samantha Kennerley

Youngcare CEO Sam and resident Tim at the Youngcare Budgie Bolt in Brisbane 2015

16 April 2015

I have a little catchphrase the Youngcare team have heard me say time and again – “Onwards and upwards”. You’ll hear me saying it in meetings, phone calls, and the occasional email, and it is a reminder that while we have come a long way since four great mates got together in 2005 to create change and lay the foundations for Youngcare, we’ve still got a long way to go.

As we come to the end of April (how quickly this year is going!), we continue to press on in our effort to create far-reaching and lasting change. We are excited by the momentum our cause continues to gather.

On 16 March, I watched as Ewen Jones MP, Member for Herbert addressed the House of Representatives to help highlight the inappropriateness of young people with high care needs living in aged care. He said:

“Aged-care facilities are not set up for this specific kind of care. It is a crack in the system, and one which will widen without attention. Youngcare is an organisation which was formed with the specific purpose of assisting young Australians with high care needs for whom living in or facing the prospect of living in an aged-care facility is very real.”

You can watch Mr Jones MP’s address below (it even includes a cheeky plug for the Youngcare Budgie Bolt!)

Also in March I travelled to Melbourne to attend a Public Hearing of the Senate Inquiry, following our submission on behalf of Youngcare. Ours was one of around 160 submissions in response to the senate inquiry into the level of residential care accommodations for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities. For more information about this submission please CLICK HERE.

I was certainly inspired onward by Lauren Bellert, who bravely shared her story at the hearing. Lauren’s husband Michael was in his early thirties and looking forward to becoming a father when he suffered a ruptured aneurysm, followed by several strokes. After four months in hospital, Michael was discharged to a nursing home. The effect this had on Michael and the family was devastating. But change is possible because people care enough to make it happen. Michael received one of Youngcare’s first Home Soon Grants, proudly supported by Foundation Partner Suncorp, to get him out of aged care and into supported accommodation that was far more appropriate for his age and care needs.

In February, I was invited by GIO to attend the 2015 ACT Insurance Industry Dinner, along with Todd, one of our residents at the Youngcare Wesley Mission Brisbane Apartments at Sinnamon Park. Todd is a natural speaker and had his audience’s rapt attention.

My next ‘upwards’ is coming in May – as I get in a plane that will drop me in the desert. Along with my husband, son, and 14 other trekkers, I will be taking on the Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge. I have no doubt it will be a tough nine days. It’s going to get pretty uncomfortable for us, but I know it’s nothing compared to what the 7,000 young people living in aged care face every day.

So that’s just a little of what’s been going on at Youngcare – I look forward to sharing our achievements and milestones with you. The whole idea of this newsletter is to show you what your support is doing, and how much it means to us. We will continue to do everything we can to get young people out of aged care, and ensure they can live the young lives they deserve. It’s very much onwards and upwards from here!

Best wishes,

Samantha Kennerley
Youngcare CEO

YOungcare-Budgie-Bolt-Brisbane-2015-Sam-&-Tim

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