Professional Care Workers: Investing in our most valuable assets

Mrs Connie Bruckard1, Mrs Janis McKenna2

1Anglicare Tasmania Inc , Hobart, Australia

2Elm Consulting Australia, Hobart, Australia


Our care workers are our greatest assets and ambassadors. The way they deliver care and services play a critical role in meeting changing regulatory and consumer expectations.  We expect so  much from them, yet the workforce is large, fragmented, underpaid, and often with limited qualifications and opportunities for further development. It’s time we commit to our people by investing properly in their success.

Elm Consulting Australia, in partnership with Anglicare Tasmania Inc., developed a practical, professional development program for home care workers that incorporates the new aged care standards and best practice research in exceptional customer experience, consumer-centricity, greater choice and wellness and reablement. The program is based on a Practice Framework with six focus areas: Values; Dignity and Respect; Partnership in Care; Exceptional Customer Experience; Wellbeing and Reablement; Professionalism and Team Work.  Each focus area provides digestible explanations, practice statements, example behaviours (written in the words of aged care workers), case studies and reflective questions. The framework is delivered through a series of interactive workshops.

The program can increase the confidence, skills, knowledge and attitudes of care workers in a way that is aligned to their personal values, meets regulatory standards and best practice, and emphasises the importance of their role as aged care professionals.  The wellness of workers is enhanced, and they are likely to express genuine enjoyment for the job. For the organisation, the program can lead to higher attraction and retention rates, and more loyal, satisfied customers.


Connie Bruckard is General Manager of Aged and Home-Based Care Service with Anglicare Tasmania. She holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Tasmania, a Master of Health and Human Service Management from Deakin University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Connie has 35 years’ experience working in the healthcare, aged and community sectors and is know for her strong strategic leadership, business acumen and management skills. She is a highly committed, people focused, and values driven professional with the capacity to analyse organisational strengths and drive change to achieve sustainable, appropriate outcomes.

Connie is a respected thought leader with a commitment to championing a organisation’s vision, mission and values with strong stakeholder focus and a commitment to meeting and exceeding client expectations in the delivery of high-quality services, in tandem, with performance and expectation monitoring.

Janis McKenna is founder and principal consultant of Elm Consulting Australia, a management consultancy partnering with the aged and community sectors to establish new governance structures, build strategies and capabilities that open new avenues for growth. Elm transforms organisations while staying true to their values and culture.

Her business interests include part ownership of the Nyaho Medical Centre, the first private hospital in Accra Ghana, whose client base include, diplomatic missions, and large multinational corporations including Unilever, Nestle, Vodaphone, Barclays Bank and NGO’s including World Vision and Oxfam. She is a MBA and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
As a highly respected advocate Janis has provided expert advice to two Tasmanian Premiers, Ministers of Health and Human Services (both Australian Commonwealth and Tasmanian State) and is a past Chairman of the Tasmanian Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs and a member of the Premiers Disability Advisory Council and Premiers National Disability Insurance Scheme taskforce.

In 2009 Janis was recognized by the Australian business community for her leadership winning the prestigious Telstra Business Women’s Award in the Tasmanian Government and Community Category and the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Leader of the Year Award. She is passionate about developing people, particularly frontline team members.

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