Video Message by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Aged Care Employee Day
7 August 2020
Today is Aged Care Employees Day. Across Australia, there are 360,000 aged care workers doing an amazing job, a mighty job – caring for our parents, our grandparents, the elderly in our community.
Now, in normal times, they do incredible work. But in these extraordinary times, they are doing the work of absolute heroes: keeping their residents safe, encouraging them, sustaining them, respecting them, helping them navigate through a terrible time.
The work is vital. The essentials of life that our aged care residents need others to do: the cooking, cleaning, laundry, maintenance, personal care, medical care, holding their hand. All of this work is more difficult because of COVID-19.
And it’s been a strain on residents too, not just staff. Deprived of so many of the family interactions, and those with friends they draw so much strength from. You know what that’s like for them. You’ve had to mediate that. You’ve had to enforce those important controls. And I know that couldn’t have been easy.
But there’s a lot at stake. I know you know that. The risks are extraordinarily high. The most vulnerable of our community are the ones that we are most keen to protect.
I want our aged care workers to know that we have your back, that we value you and the work that you do. We’ve worked with the industry, with the unions and peak bodies to ensure that you have the support you need. And that includes support through a range of required areas to stand down or to self-isolate in circumstances that you find yourself in because of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is throwing at us a multitude of issues in the sector. And I want you to know that we’re working quickly with the sector to deal with any issues as they arise. We’re thinking of your welfare. We’re also thinking of the welfare of those that you care for so well.
I thank you for your efforts. I thank you for your patience and the way that you are keeping so many hundreds of thousands of Australians safe. We’re counting on you. They’re counting on you. But we’re also really proud of you.
So today and every day, we’re extremely grateful for everything you do. Thank you.