Catholic Health Australia’s pilot awareness-raising campaign on aged care held during the recent Eden Monaro by-election on NSW’s South Coast attracted widespread support from the political parties, and confirmed the community wants change.
Volunteers and party officials from Labor, the Liberals, the Nationals and minor parties such as the Shooters Fishers & Farmers were all happy to support our Fight for Better Aged Care campaign.
In the lead up to the 4 July election day CHA ran newspaper, radio and social media ads promoting the campaign. Posters went up in shop windows and on community noticeboards in Bega and Merimbula and volunteers handed out hundreds of leaflets to voters as they entered polling stations in those towns.
The awareness campaign did not promote any particular political party or their policies.
In a survey of 627 residents conducted two days after polling day, the campaign had achieved 15% awareness – all in the space of just three weeks.
The survey found that amongst those aware of the campaign, there was stronger agreement of the following:
- Fixing the aged care system should be a government priority;
- The government needs to improve the quality of aged care services by additional funding;
- There needs to be additional government funding for better aged care;
- The community is responsible for improving aged care – not just politicians and the providers; and</>
- There was greater willingness for people to pay a levy to better fund aged care.
CHA’s Director of Policy for Aged Care Nick Mersiades said the campaign showed what could be done in a short period of time.
“This campaign demonstrated what could be achieved on a small scale in just one electorate. Imagine what we could do if the entire aged care industry united as one with the aim of putting aged care on the political agenda.
“There is strong support in the community for reform of aged care and more generally for the elderly in our population. Our challenge is to tap into that and ensure that our political leaders cannot afford to ignore it as an issue.”
To get a feel for the campaign please take a look at the video here LINK