With a commitment to build on its legacy, Fronditha Care marks 45 years service to Greek community

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Written by Faye Spiteri (Tsolakis) OAM – CEO, Fronditha Care

On April 26, 1977, six members of the then Australian Greek Welfare Society convened to form the Senior Greek Citizens Association committee. A year later, the Australian Greek Society for the Care of the Elderly became a registered entity and in 1999, Fronditha Care was officially born. Forty-five years on from that initial meeting, Fronditha Care is marking its service to the Greek community and contribution to the Australian aged care sector.

The minutes from that first meeting, framed for posterity, are displayed outside the board room at the Fronditha Care Corporate offices.   

The significance of this one page of handwritten notes is easy to miss; but I often stop to read them, marvelling at their simplicity, in awe of their impact -which has been profound. Those minutes remind me daily that we are custodians of an incredible legacy.

Since February 2021, I’ve had the privilege of being CEO of Fronditha Care. I have however had a long association with the organisation, being a former Director and having had the honour of being the first female President and Board Chair. I have been able, over the years, to really appreciate the unique organisation that Fronditha Care is and how it has made a significant contribution to the wellbeing of thousands of Greek elderly across its 45-year history. Placing a premium on ensuring quality of life for the elderly in its care, Fronditha Care has made a positive difference to their lives ensuring their health, wellbeing and dignity in their third age.

I acknowledge and pay tribute to our founders and forefathers and their determination in developing the blueprint for our common purpose – caring for our elderly with the utmost commitment to service excellence underpinned by compassion and respect.

The solid foundations put in place all those years ago have allowed us to go far beyond just offering aged care services. They have enabled us to build on the legacy and create a modern, agile organisation that genuinely offers, each and 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 over 1000 clients and, with 5 facilities and 40 Independent Living Units, delivers residential services to over 500 community members.

Fronditha Care became the first residential aged care provider to vaccinate majority of its elderly last year.

Change however is constant and bold steps forward are underway in the aged care sector, signalling major reform post the handing down of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Redesign of a health system under pressure has also seen major disruption and change in thinking related to the delivery of aged care services across the spectrum. And this is all playing out in the background with a federal election looming.

Despite these uncertain times, Fronditha Care has embarked on own significant transformation since the beginning of 2021 to continue to respond and meet the needs of all those in our care. The organisation faced considerable challenges when I took the reins in February 2021; and the COVID-19 pandemic required and continues to require hyper vigilance and ongoing close management.

The Fronditha Care Board and Executive team have nonetheless in the past 12-month period turned our minds to developing our strategy and preparing for the future, paving the way forward. Taking learnings from new ways of working, member and community feedback and new approaches to service delivery in the aged care sector to inform our work, we continue to strengthen and build on our organisational objectives – set out by our founders all those years ago. To meet the evolving needs of the community, we are also exploring through a deep dive of multiple factors the future state – mapping our ecosystem to ensure a holistic and integrated approach across a continuum of care for those who need our services, now and into the future. 

Faye Spiteri.

I am proud of what Fronditha Care has achieved to date and the dedication of all those who have been determined to not lose sight of who we were, who we are, and who we can become to continue to build on our legacy.

The organisational vision, purpose, values and Bounty of Care philosophy continue to steer us in the right direction. As we celebrate 45 years of operations, we are future focused preparing to deliver an extensive strategic framework and transformation program and leading the way in the provision of aged care services for our community.

Current demand for Fronditha Care’s Greek culture-specific aged care services outstrips the organisation’s ability to meet it. However, a core question for Fronditha Care as we plan for the future is how and in what ways demand will change as successive generations of Greek-speaking Australians reach older age. And in this context who do we become as we future proof the organisation.

We have two key areas of focus:

  • We are working hard to deliver integrated capability and capacity building programs aligned to significant restructuring of the way we operate and the services we will deliver, especially into the future for the benefit of the Greek and broader Australian community for generations to come; and
  • We are looking forward to what’s to come and continuing to improve our business and especially the elder experience – whether they are at the beginning or end of their aged care journey.

All our strategy and planning however would be totally void of meaning were it not for the elders and families of the community we serve. Together, collectively, over the arc of 45 years we have realised many milestones, created a genuine sense of place and more importantly genuine connection for our beloved elders- be they in their home or in a residential facility. Over the past year, I have watched the Fronditha Care community really come together the board, the executive team, the staff, auxiliaries and volunteers – work together, nurture and support each other and help grow this unique, dynamic organisation.

We are eternally grateful to our forbearers for their vison and indebted to all Presidents and Board Directors (current and previous), past CEOs, the Greek community, government and our stakeholders for their commitment, dedication, and financial support. The hundreds of community services clients, facility residents, families, members, volunteers, auxiliaries, staff and the broader Greek community have been critical in shaping the Fronditha Care legacy.  I hope our founders look on with pride at what has been accomplished since that very first meeting in 1977.

Celebrating 45 years of service to the community and a multitude of incredible successes, I want to acknowledge with a deep heartfelt thank you each and every person who has contributed to making the vision of our forefathers a reality.

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 the community in the coming months.

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