aged care awards

We are proud to present the finalists and winners across the two categories of Outstanding Organisation and Team Excellence in the 2021 HESTA Excellence Awards.


Outstanding Organisation finalists


Southern Cross Care


Royal Freemasons Benevolent Institution (RFBI)


Royal Freemasons Benevolent Institution (RFBI) is recognised for their Mental Moments Show, a week long show designed to highlight the importance of mental health for aged care professionals.

In a year of drought, bushfires and an unprecedented pandemic, RFBI knew their aged care workers were feeling the strain and it was time to start caring for the carers

The show was a free livestream event featuring performances from a number of Aussie legends and messages from residents and families as well as special guests the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Bronwyn Bishop AO, Pat Sparrow, CEO ACSA and Ian Thorpe. The show ran throughout mental health week, culminating in a finale on World Mental Health Day.

The show helped bring RFBI’s community together, with thousands of people watching live and sharing messages of love and support for RFBI staff. Many more watched on-demand in the days that followed

If successful at the awards, RFBI plans to expand their Mental Moments Show so the entire aged care sector across Australia can get involved to continue the conversation on the importance of caring for the carers.


Feros Care

Coolangatta QLD

Feros Care is recognised for supporting older Australians to live happier, connected, more fulfilling lives through innovative technology, wellness strategies and communication efforts.

Feros Care knew the COVID lockdowns would disconnect seniors and implemented individualised training to build digital literacy and share how to use Feros’ online platform, the Virtual Social Centre. This ensured seniors were able to live safely in their homes using online resources and smart home technology, while reducing loneliness and increasing psychosocial stimulation.

The organisation also developed Wellness Information Packs for clients and created the Feros Care Coronavirus Hotline. They also established a Wellness Warriors Team, who made more than 5000 calls to community-based clients and provided over 2000 hours of phone support.

Their work has helped more older people feel better connected and has improved health and wellbeing outcomes for seniors. 


integratedliving Australia


integratedliving Australia is recognised for increasing its ability to deliver virtual programs, helping their clients remain connected and enabled during COVID lockdowns and beyond.

The uptake of virtual programs was supported by the organisation’s Digital Wellness for Independence Program, designed to guide older Australians to maximise their virtual experience at home. It aims to instil confidence in using technology like Zoom and telehealth platforms, enabling older people to better access other programs including nutrition, nursing and arts-based social activities.

Older Australians who have used the virtual programs reported having increased flexibility and mobility, improved coordination and balance, and increased strength and physical endurance.

integratedliving Australia plans to train additional staff in the delivery of the virtual program, develop sensory, arts-based programs such as painting, music and singing.



Whiddon is recognised for their strategic initiative to support the holistic health and wellbeing of their wider team during challenging times. Recognising the pressures placed on their employees from bushfires, floods and a global pandemic, Whiddon provided their employees with care packages, a phone support hotline and a range of wellbeing resources. They also provided financial support, including referral and retention bonuses and financial assistance for employees whose homes were damaged in the floods.

Their ‘Everyday Heroes’ campaign was developed to encourage peer-to-peer/consumer recognition and elevate the voice of employees by sharing their stories, and has boosted morale and helped employees feel more supported and valued as they continued caring for their residents and clients.

Whiddon plans to build on these initiatives and create a structured 12-month wellbeing and support program for all staff.


Team Excellence finalists



Hospitality and Gardening Teams

Lifeview, Carnegie VIC

Lifeview’s Hospitality and Gardening Teams are recognised for their Planting with a Purpose Program, which brings together the chefs at all four Lifeview homes with the gardening team and residents to create menus and grow the required produce.

Once the menu is agreed, the gardeners and residents start germinating seeds, plant and tend to crops, and then harvest the produce for the kitchen.

The project has resulted in underutilised garden spaces turned into mini market gardens, growing vegetables such as corn, zucchini, radishes and lettuce.

Importantly, the program brings physical, emotional and psychological benefits to residents along with a sense of purpose and community contribution.

If successful at the awards, Lifeview plans to purchase garden beds, seedlings and worm farms for their residential homes. 

Wellbeing Clinic

Brightwater Music Pharmacy Team

Brightwater Care Group, Osborne Park WA

Brightwater Music Pharmacy Team is recognised for their work bringing music therapy and music engagement services to aged care clients living in residential care or at home.

The allied health music and wellbeing program is designed and led by a Registered Music Therapist, who links music therapy practice with neuroscience, psychology and dementia wellbeing research.

The program has been so successful, it has expanded to 11 residential aged care homes, two transition care programs, and one specialised dementia care unit.

In the future, the team would like to purchase additional music instruments, develop online content, and provide training opportunities. 


Critical Interim Support Team

Brotherhood of St Laurence, Frankston VIC

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Critical Interim Support Team is recognised for making a real difference to the lives of older people experiencing disadvantage.

The team provides intensive case management, in an outreach capacity, to address initial crises, support the individual through the aged care assessment process, and connect them to essential and sustainable services.

The team has worked with older people who are living in the community, are socially isolated older and without support networks.

The program has received wonderful feedback from Western Health, Brimbank Regional Assessment Service and more, demonstrating the team has had a big impact in just a few months.

The team hopes to expand and provide additional resources and support to their case managers in the future. 

Wound Champions

Dementia Australia Centre for Dementia Learning

Dementia Australia, National

Dementia Australia is recognised for reimagining their education and consultancy programs during the global pandemic, supporting the transformation of dementia practice.

The Centre provided online peer-supports networks through which aged care professionals could collaborate. They also created interactive virtual classrooms for aged care professionals, covering topics such understanding dementia and supporting behaviour changes during the COVID restrictions.

A number of programs were launched free of charge to maximise access to this education.

An example of the reach some of these programs achieved is that more than 2000 individuals completed the online dementia education learning modules.

The Centre for Dementia Learning has also continued to demonstrate its award-winning use of technology to create unique learning experiences for participants and hopes to utilise the prize money to support the ongoing professional development of its staff.


Check out the other HESTA Excellence Awards finalists

allied health | community services | disability services

2020  finalists and winners:   allied health  | aged care  |  community services  |  disability services

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Learn more about the HESTA Excellence Awards