Extension of the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line

The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line has been extended until 30 June 2021 following the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck’s announcement of a $2.5 million investment to expand this service to continue assisting older Australians in need during the pandemic. This support service is a joint initiative of COTA Australia, Dementia Australia, National Seniors Australia and the Older Persons Advocacy Network. Expanding this service means that service users will also receive support from the Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Alliance.

For information and support, call the Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line on 1800 171 866, Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6pm AEDT (excluding public holidays).


CHSP grandfathered client additional migration – My Aged Care provider portal now open

The Department of Health has recently announced that Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers who were unable to create or update their grandfathered clients’ data, now have until 29 January 2021 to submit the information to the My Aged Care provider portal. The portal will remain open from now until the end of this 10-week period.

By the end of this, all grandfathered clients who have received services between 2019 and 2020 must be collected. It is a requirement for CHSP providers to use the new template which has been provided for the collection of their clients’ data.

More information


Updated NSW Advice for Aged Care Visitors

The NSW Ministry of Health has released updated advice for staff and visitors of residential aged care facilities and home care service providers. Exclusion guidelines now apply to those who have visited a location of interest in New Zealand in the last 14 days, or have been in a contact tracing location in South Australia on or after 7 November 2020.


Data Snapshot on COVID-19 Outbreaks in Australian Residential Aged Care Facilities

This data snapshot includes information on the current COVID-19 situation in Australia, the number of residential aged care facilities that have been impacted by COVID-19, the number of staff and resident cases, and testing and PPE provided to affected services.


Further Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control Lead Requirements

It has previously been announced that all residential aged care facilities must appoint an infection prevention and control (IPC) lead. The requirements regarding this role include the IPC lead needing to be a designated member of the nursing staff who has completed an identified IPC course or is in the process of doing so, and being engaged onsite and dedicated to a facility, among other requirements.

Letter for Approved Providers

Letter for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Providers

More information


Emergency Planning to Ensure Service Continuity for Aged Care Services

As the high-risk season is fast approaching in Australia, it is important to be prepared for emergency events which may impact a provider’s ability to deliver services. The Department of Health has a number of resources to assist in developing effective risk management systems and practices, and include: information on preparing for an emergency event; preparing for extreme heat; clearly identifying staff roles and responsibilities during these times; and costs of relocation during and after emergencies.

Bushfires present a particularly serious threat. The emergency planning from service providers should include: contacting the local fire authority to discuss bushfire implications and requirements; updating lists of onsite residents daily; regularly monitoring broadcasting services for information; and ensuring there is a fire evacuation plan in place.

Full list of resources


Entries Open for Blue Mountains Stories: A Year Like No Other

Blue Mountains City Council are collecting stories from local residents about how life has been in the Blue Mountains during the bushfires, floods and COVID-19 over the last year. These stories aim to reflect on the community’s individual experiences, and to have a record of their strength and resilience during these times. Selected stories will form part of an exhibition in 2021 and can include: an original written story up to 600 words long, an original photograph of a portrait, place, object or artwork, or a combination of both. The categories for judging are Open, High School and Primary School.

Entries close at midnight on Tuesday 15 December 2020. For any questions, contact the Blue Mountains City Council at communitydevelopment@bmcc.gov.au.

For further details and to enter, visit


Have Your Say – NSW Disability Inclusion Plan Survey

The NSW Disability Inclusion Plan (NSW DIP) is a plan that outlines whole-of-government goals to support the inclusion of people with disability. The four areas of focus are developing positive community attitudes, creating liveable communities, supporting access to meaningful employment and increasing access to mainstream services. As part of the review and update process of the NSW DIP, the Department of Communities and Justice is inviting participation via the survey and share within your networks. The survey closes on 4 December 2020.

For any further information, contact Ebru Sumaktas, Senior Policy Officer, Disability Inclusion on ebru.sumaktas@dcj.nsw.gov.au or (02) 8753 9338.

Take the survey


Have Your Say – Heat Smart Western Sydney Survey

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is conducting a survey as part of its Heat Smart Western Sydney project. This project aims to understand how heatwaves impact mental and physical health, finances, and so on. Charity groups, at-home care and disability services, volunteer organisations, community centres and religious or cultural associations are encouraged to submit responses.

Take the survey


“How’s Your Head?” Mental Health Campaign Launched

The Australian Government has invested $10 million into developing and launching a new COVID-19 mental health campaign called “How’s your head today?”, with the aim that it will bring mental health awareness and conversation to the foreground and encourage people to seek help when needed. The campaign will be available in 15 languages including Arabic, Greek, Spanish, Hindi and Macedonian, and will be launched on TV, radio, print, in various venues, online and through social media.

“How’s Your Head?” Campaign Stakeholder Kit

Head to Health website


Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability – Interim Report Released

The Royal Commission Interim Report was released on 30 October 2020. This report outlines the work completed by the Royal Commission in its first 15 months, and explores the attitudinal, environmental, institutional and communication barriers which prevent people with disability from achieving inclusion.

Read the Interim Report


Changes to Centrelink and Aged Care Nominee Arrangements

There are a few changes to nominee arrangements starting from 5 December 2020. New Centrelink correspondence nominees can enquire, update and act for Centrelink payments, services and aged care costs. Customers who have a Centrelink correspondence nominee but not an aged care nominee, or customers who have the same nominee for both will transition automatically on 5 December 2020. Customers with a different nominee for Centrelink and for aged care will transition in March 2021. Customers who have an aged care nominee but not a Centrelink correspondence nominee, or those who are Department of Veterans’ Affairs income support recipients will not transition. My Aged Care recipients are unaffected. More information is available for My Aged Care customers on the My Aged Care website or by calling 1800 200 422.

Authorising a person or organisation to enquire or act on your behalf form
Aged Care Request for a nominee for DVA customers


Grief and Trauma COVID-19 Response Package

$12.4 million has been invested into a Grief and Trauma Response Package for those affected by COVID-19, with services available including (but not limited to) Dementia Support Australia (DSA) line on 1800 699 799 and Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) will expand COVID19 support and advocacy services including warm referrals to the other services.