Care to Communicate – Hearing the voices of older people

The Cultural Diversity in Ageing Conference 2021 was held on Thursday 17 June. It was first time in its 16 year history it was held on virtual platform. The theme, Care to Communicate – Hearing the voices of older, showcased the ways in which the aged care sector can garner the voices of older people to shape a more equitable aged care system, now and into the future.

Keynote presentations and panel discussions features the following themes:

  • The importance of involving older people in the design, delivery and implementation of aged care services
  • Increasing the visibility of older people through story-telling
  • Inclusive strategies that promote better representation for older people to provide feedback to government on aged care services
  • Innovations in language services and resources
  • Good practice examples from leaders in the aged care sector that promote inclusive services
  • The Conference provided a platform for policy makers, aged care service managers and leaders to explore how they can work towards implementing organisation wide initiatives that ensure the needs of older people from diverse backgrounds are met.

View all our presentations on video by clicking on them below:

Tasneem Chopra

Tasneem Chopra

Cross Cultural Consultant OAM
and Moderator for the Conference

Conference Welcome and Introduction

Toby Dawson

Toby Dawson

Head of Strategic Partnerships
IRT Group


Consumers as partners – Co-designing home care services with Aboriginal elders

Toby talks about way in which Booraja, which provides home care services to Aboriginal Elders from Batemans Bay to Narooma in NSW has allowed Elders to maintain their lifestyle and connection to culture and country, while helping them stay independent and at home for longer.

Dr Ruth De Souza

Dr Ruth De Souza RN, PhD, FACN

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow School of Art, College of Design and Social Context
RMIT University


Alone Together – Communicating the needs and experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse older people in a creative way during COVID19

In this presentation, Ruth discusses a study undertaken during COVID-19 inviting older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to share their experiences of social connectedness, accessing health and social services and using technology. These research findings were converted into an accessible and appealing visual form, so participants could see themselves. Ruth suggests that sharing findings in this way can facilitate empathic engagement, reflection, and dialogue to change practice, policy, education and community attitudes in an era of COVID ageism

Tasneem Chopra

Tasneem Chopra

Cross Cultural Consultant OAM
and Moderator for the Conference

Audience Participation

Q and A session and invitations to share good practice

This session involved responding to questions and comments from the audience and will invite them to share ideas and examples of good practice.

Elizabeth Drozd

Elizabeth Drozd

Chief Executive Officer
Australian-Multicultural Community Services


A Fair Go – Increasing participation in aged care services for older people from culturally diverse backgrounds

Elizabeth highlighted the importance of innovation and creativity in gathering feedback of older people from diverse culturally backgrounds into shaping the aged care sector. Elizabeth will draw upon culturally inclusive approaches to consulting with diverse older people and highlighting how a “one size fits all” approach to consumer consultation in aged care can exclude valuable input from older people.

Jacinta Jarutis

Jacinta Jarutis

Group Lifestyle Coordinator
Medical and Aged Care Group

Rebeca G. Portero

Rebeca G. Portero

Lifestyle Team Leader
Medical and Aged Care Group

Stories to Inspire

Increasing linguistic diversity of aged care staff through consumer language lessons

Jacinta and Rebeca discussed the successes of the Italian Language Class project which commenced in June 2020 at Medical and Aged Care group's Residential Facility in Melbourne's Northern region entitled Northern Gardens. The Italian class is a cultural exchange promoting connection and relationships as well as giving older people the opportunity to share their strengths. Teaching Italian is now a weekly Friday class and residents have expressed feeling motivated to share their language, culture, and traditions. Italian letters & videos are also exchanged with Italian preschool children.

Tom Verghese

Dr Tom Verghese

Cultural Synergies


Cross cultural communication

This presentation aimed to equip staff working within the aged care sector with the knowledge and skills in communicating effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Some of the key themes include enabling participants to understand the impact of culture on communication, teamwork and client interactions and providing a framework to understand cultural similarities and differences and how this impacts cross-cultural interactions.

Katrina Long

Dr Katrina Long

School of Primary and Allied Health Care
Monash University

Jim Hlavac

Dr Jim Hlavac

Senior Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Services
Monash University

Dr Jill Freyne

Dr Jill Freyne

Deputy Research Director
Australian EHealth Research Centre, CSIRO

emiliano picture

Emiliano Zucchi

Director of the Transcultural & Language Services (TALS) department and the Narrun Wilip-giin Aboriginal Support Unit (ASU)
Northern Health

Panel Discussion

This panel discussion featured innovative developments in language service programs, research and resources.

Danijela Hlis

Danijela Hlis

Author, Carer and Advocate

Stories to Inspire

Depicting the lives of people of CALD background in Australia living with dementia

In this presentation, Danijela talked about the book FORGET-ME-NOTS/SPOMINCICE, a bilingual collection of works depicting lives of people from culturally diverse backgrounds in Australia living with dementia and experiencing ageism, disability, isolation and lack of inclusion.

Lisa Tribuzio

Lisa Tribuzio

Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing

Video Launch

Innovative approaches to inclusive practice by leaders in the aged care sector

Lisa gave an overview of the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing's Innovative Approaches to Inclusive Practice within the Aged Care sector film project, a project showcasing good practice in diversity and inclusion from leaders in the aged care sector.

Tasneem Chopra

Tasneem Chopra

Cross Cultural Consultant OAM
and Moderator for the Conference

Conference Closing


Previous Conferences


2018 logo final landscape web version

The Cultural Diversity in Ageing Conference 2018 was held on Friday 15 June at the iconic Arts Centre Melbourne. The theme, Setting Standards, showcased the latest range of initiatives and resources that can support inclusive practice in the aged care sector. 

The Conference provided a platform for policy makers, aged care service managers and leaders to explore how they can work towards implementing organisation wide initiatives that ensure the needs of older people from diverse backgrounds are met.

The conference also featured presentations from the winners and finalists of the Cultural Diversity in Ageing Excellence Awards 2018

View all our presenters on video by clicking on their images below: 


olga Consumer Directed Care (CDC) and vulnerable aged people
Dr Olga Kanitsaki AM, Former Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at RMIT University, and the first Professor of Transcultural Nursing
noeleen Our care our way: Aged care services for Aboriginal peoples
Noeleen Tunny, Policy Officer, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), Stephanie Suter, Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Rhonda Watson, Aboriginal Community Elders’ Service (ACES)
ann Diversity and Aged Care Quality Standards
Ann Wunsch, Executive Director Operations, Australian Aged Care Quality Agency
ljubica Inclusive Service Standards - Embedding inclusive practice across all policies, strategies and practice
Ljubica Petrov, Manager, Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing
cristina Focusing on solutions and strategies that improve aged care outcomes for older people from CALD backgrounds
Cristina Giusti, Director of Policy – Ageing & Disability, Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA)
margaret Journey to becoming an inclusive organisation - Uniting’s Cultural Diversity Strategy 
Margaret Teuma, Service Excellence Specialist CALD, Practice & Quality, Uniting, NSW
julie Accessing interpreting services via TIS National
Julie Hallifax, Senior Account Manager and Michael Edwards, Manager, Client Liaison, Translating & Interpreting Service (TIS National)
jaklina Bolton Clark Diversity Framework and support resources
Jaklina Michael, Manager Diversity, Bolton Clarke
matt Five good reasons you should use Health Translations
Matt Loads, Head of Communications, Centre for Culture, Ethnicity & Health

Excellence in Cultural Diversity in Ageing - Panel session

Pamela Bibby, Access & Support Worker, Rights Information and Advocacy Centre Inc.


Excellence in Cultural Diversity in Ageing - Panel session

Chris Lacey, Chief Executive Officer, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra

Excellence in Cultural Diversity in Ageing - Panel session

Henrietta Podgorska, Senior Community Engagement Coordinator, Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services

Excellence in Cultural Diversity in Ageing - Panel session

Alexis Hughes, Policy Advisor, MiCare


Shaping Inclusive Services: Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2014 Conference

13 - 14 June 2014
pdf Download 2014 Conference Program (4.00 MB)


Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2012 Conference: Stories to Inspire

7 - 8 June 2012, Melbourne Convention Centre
pdf Download 2012 conference program (4.88 MB)


Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2010 Victorian State Conference: Culturally Inclusive Quality Care at the End Of Life

12 October 2010 - Rydges on Swanston Hotel, Carlton Victoria
pdf Download 2010 conference program (759 KB)


Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2009 Victorian State Conference

4th May 2009 - Hemisphere Conference Centre and Hotel, Moorabbin
pdf Download 2009 conference program (33 KB)


Cultural Diversity in Ageing 2007 National Conference: Behind every person is a long journey

7-8 June 2007, Sofitel Melbourne
pdf Download 2007 conference program (132 KB)


Cultural Diversity in Aged Care Conference 2005

9 June 2005 - The Event Centre, Flemington