With a commitment to build on its legacy, Fronditha Care marks 45 years of service to the Greek community
On April 26, 1977, six members of the then Australian Greek Welfare Society gathered to form the committee of the Senior Greek Citizens Association. A year later, the Australian Greek Society for the Care of the Elderly became a registered entity and in 1999 Fronditha Care was officially established. Forty-five years after that first meeting, Fronditha Care marks its service to the Greek community and its contribution to the Australian aged care sector.
The minutes of that first meeting, framed for posterity, are displayed outside the boardroom of the Fronditha Care offices.
The meaning of this one page of handwritten notes is easy to miss; but I often stop to read them, marveling at their simplicity, in awe of their impact – which was profound. Those minutes are a daily reminder that we are custodians of an incredible legacy.
Since February 2021 I have the privilege of being CEO of Fronditha Care. However, I have had a long association with the organization, as a former director and with the honor of being its first female chairman and chairman of the board. Over the years I have come to truly appreciate the unique organization that is Fronditha Care and how it has made a significant contribution to the well-being of thousands of elderly Greeks in its 45-year history. Fronditha Care is committed to ensuring the quality of life of the elderly entrusted to it and has made a positive difference in their lives by ensuring their health, well-being and dignity at their third age.
I recognize and pay tribute to our founders and ancestors and their determination to develop the blueprint for our common goal – caring for our elders with the utmost commitment to service excellence, underpinned by compassion and respect.
The solid foundation laid all those years ago has enabled us to go much further than just offering elderly care. They have enabled us to build on the legacy and create a modern, agile organization that truly provides, every person we care for and their respective families, service that is defined by a true Bounty of Care. Today, Fronditha Care provides community services to more than 1000 clients and, with 5 facilities and 40 independent housing units, residential services to more than 500 community members.
However, change is constant and bold steps are being taken in aged care, signaling a major reform following the transfer of the Royal Commission’s recommendations to the aged care sector. The redesign of a health system under pressure has also led to major disruptions and changes in thinking regarding the delivery of aged care services across the spectrum. And all of this is playing out in the background with a federal election approaching.
Despite these uncertain times, Fronditha Care has embarked on its own significant transformation since early 2021 to continue to respond and meet the needs of all those entrusted to our care. The organization faced major challenges when I took the reins in February 2021; and the COVID-19 pandemic requires and requires hypervigilance and ongoing close management.
Nevertheless, the Board of Directors and the Executive team of Fronditha Care have spent the past 12 months focusing our thoughts on developing our strategy and preparing for the future, to pave the way forward. By learning from new ways of working, member and community feedback, and new approaches to aged care services to inform our work, we continue to strengthen and build on our organizational goals – set forth by our founders all those years ago. To address the evolving needs of the community, we also explore the future state through a deep dive into multiple factors – mapping our ecosystem to ensure a holistic and integrated approach across a continuum of caring for those who need our services, now and in the future.
I am proud of what Fronditha Care has achieved so far and the dedication of all those who are determined not to lose sight of who we were, who we are and who we can become to build on our legacy.
The organization’s vision, purpose, values and Bounty of Care philosophy continue to steer us in the right direction. As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of our business, we look to the future and prepare to deliver a comprehensive strategic framework and transformation program and lead the way in providing aged care services for our community.
Current demand for Fronditha Care’s Greek culture-specific aged care services exceeds the organization’s ability to meet it. However, a key question for Fronditha Care in planning for the future is how and in what ways demand will change as successive generations of Greek-speaking Australians age. And who do we become in this context if we make the organization future-proof.
We have two main areas of focus:
- we are working hard to deliver integrated capacity and capacity building programs geared to a major restructuring of the way we operate and the services we will deliver, especially going forward to benefit the Greek and wider Australian community for the generations to come; and
- we look forward to what is to come and continue to improve our business and especially the elderly experience – whether they are at the beginning or end of their journey into aged care.
However, all of our strategy and planning would be completely meaningless were it not for the elderly and families of the community we serve. Together, over 45 years together, we have achieved many milestones, created a real sense of place and, more importantly, a genuine connection for our beloved elders – whether they are in their homes or in a residential facility. Over the past year I have really seen the Fronditha Care community come together. The board, management team, staff, auxiliaries and volunteers work together, nurture and support each other and help grow this unique, dynamic organization.
We are eternally grateful to our ancestors for their vision and are deeply indebted to all presidents and board members (current and past), former CEOs, the Greek community, government and our stakeholders for their commitment, dedication and financial support. The hundreds of community service clients, facility residents, families, members, volunteers, aid organizations, staff and the wider Greek community have been instrumental in shaping the legacy of Fronditha Care. I hope our founders look with pride at what has been accomplished since that very first meeting in 1977.
Celebrating 45 years of community service and a myriad of incredible achievements, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make the vision of our ancestors come true.
As we work hard to ensure the legacy lives on for generations to come, we look forward to celebrating this milestone year with the extended Fronditha Care family and community in the coming months.