The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards

Award Logo Final Web

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing launched a new national award scheme at the Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2014 Conference: Shaping Inclusive Services - The Excellence Awards aim to showcase leadership and innovation through quality initiatives that inspires and promotes excellence in the provision of culturally inclusive aged care services.

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Award scheme aims to:

  • Encourage and promote quality leadership and improvement in culturally inclusive provision of aged care services
  • Recognise excellence in continuous improvement and innovation
  • Promote quality initiatives across the sector

The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards consists of three award categories:

  • Excellence within the Not-for-Profit Sector
    Awarded to a community organisation demonstrating outstanding initiatives that support the wellbeing of older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

  • Excellence within Aged Care Services
    Awarded to an aged care provider that demonstrates a systematic culturally inclusive approach to service provision in a residential or home based service

  • The Dr Olga Kanitsaki AM Award for Individual Excellence
    Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and initiative in the delivery of culturally inclusive aged care


Winners & Finalists

'Excellence within the Not-For-Profit Sector'

Winner - Villa Maria Society, White Road Out and About Group

 2PW0937 smVilla Maria is a not-for-profit, values-based organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.

Villa Maria’s wide range of Community Services including carer support, dementia specific care, wellbeing, respite and day programs assist older people, people with a disability and their carers to lead active and socially connected lives. Villa Maria’s White Road Activity and Respite Centre in Melbourne’s eastern metropolitan region, is an exemplar not only of flexible and responsive service delivery, but of culturally inclusive service, where the needs of the individual are firmly in focus.

The group facilitates active community participation to 30 Chinese speaking elderly people in the eastern region of Melbourne. The group is supported by staff who speak Mandarin, Cantonese and a number of regional dialects.

Use of ethnic media including talk back sessions on SBS have helped shape the Out and About Group initiative and forge ongoing relationship building with participants, their families and the broader community. 

(Pictured above: Angela Ng accepting the award)

Read more


  • Continence Foundation of Australia - for their Incontinence Outreach in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities approach. This is a comprehensive approach to reaching out to CALD background communities and it involved research, piloting resources and finally the development of multilingual web pages and guidelines for health professionals and interpreters in effective, culturally inclusive continence assessments. 
    Read more

  • RDNS (Royal District Nursing Service) - for the development of the RDNS Diversity Framework; Policy, Planning and Practice 2012 – 2017. The Framework is used as a blueprint to guide the organisation in the delivery of person centred care to clients and carers with diverse needs and from diverse backgrounds.
    Read more


'Excellence within Aged Care Services'

Winner - Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong Inc.
(Pictured below: Joy Leggo accepting the award)

 2PW0985 sm

Opening in 1994, Multicultural Aged Care Services Geelong Inc. (MACS) is a community-based, non-profit organisation providing Commonwealth-funded residential and home based services for elders from the Geelong area’s many cultural groups.

MACS is dedicated to the provision of excellence in care meeting the diverse needs of the Geelong region’s multicultural community. Its values are based on providing excellence in care that promote dignity, integrity, religious and cultural diversity and freedom of choice. The organisation has clear leadership, operating from a sound financial base designed to ensure organisational sustainability and continuity.


In MACS’ rich cultural community over 40 different nationalities are represented. A high proportion of MACS’ residents and home care consumers have experienced social/financial disadvantage, but all receive the same quality individualised, culturally-sensitive and culturally-inclusive care appropriate to their assessed needs.

Read more  


  • Baptcare – for the development of the Lotus area at their Westhaven Community Footscray. Louts Area was established after extensive community consultations, comprehensive staff training programs and an organisational commitment to responding to the cultural and linguistic diversity of the local community. 
    Read more

  • Wintringham – has an organisational policy which guides the delivery of services that meet the needs of the diversity in its resident population. In addition to the extensive and culturally responsive recreation program, the service gives particular attention to the planning around end of life choices through acknowledging a person’s cultural and spiritual preferences.
    Read more

'Dr Olga Kanitsaki AM Award for Individual Excellence'

Winner - Urfi Mirza
(Pictured below)

 2PW0969 sm

Born in India, Urfi Mirza migrated to Australia in 2005. In 2006, Urfi joined aged care organisation, Southern Cross Care (Vic) as a Community Services Care Manager. Before coming to SCC (Vic), Urfi had extensive experience working as a senior social worker and program coordinator with a refugee assistance program.

With a Masters Degree in Social Work and Diploma in Software Engineering, Urfi has worked with international organisations, such as the YMCA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees assisting refugees/asylum seekers.

Collaborative approach to his work is evident in his involvement in community information sessions about aged care services that were organised by the Australian Turkish Association. He also provided Cultural Awareness sessions to Alzheimer’s Australia Vic on Indian-Tamil and Sri Lankan communities.

Within his own organisation, Southern Cross, Urfi advocates for culturally inclusive initiatives with his general manger and he also mentors new staff (many of whom are from CALD backgrounds) as well as provides supervision for students on placement.

Therese Desmond, Executive Manger Community Services at Southern Cross Care (VIC) in her nomination of Urfi stated "We are indebted to Urfi’s sensitive nature, which enriches him with a great understanding and respect for cultural diversity. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Southern Cross Community family".

Judging Panel

We received many quality nominations, which were carefully and thoroughly assessed by our independent judging panel:

  • Annalisa Cannizzaro, Carers Victoria
  • Betty Haralambous, National Ageing Research Institute (NARI)
  • Nikolaus Rittinghausen, Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV)
  • Diana Fitzgerald, Leading Age Services Australia, Victoria (LASA)