Awards

Award Seal 2016_Winner

FRONDITHA CARE SHINES AT ACSA ANNUAL VOLUNTEER AWARDS 2016

ACSA: AGED & COMMUNITY SERVICES AUSTRALIA

“Australia offered me the opportunity for a better life. Now it’s my turn to give back – that’s why I became a volunteer”. With these words, Fronditha Care volunteer Tassos Bardakos expressed his thankfulness for being awarded the ACSA 2016 Volunteer of the Year Award. ACSA is the peak body for organisations providing aged care services in Australia. It supports over 1,100 churches, charitable and community-based not-for-profit organisations that provide accommodation and care services to over 450,000 older Australians.

ACSA is at the forefront representing, leading and supporting members to achieve excellence in providing quality, affordable housing and community and residential care services for older Australians. The ACSA Victoria Aged Care Awards celebrate outstanding efforts in the delivery of care to older Victorians and promote sharing of best practices and effective responses to community needs. The Volunteer Award recognises an individual who exemplifies the tireless generosity of volunteers in caring for and supporting older people, people with disabilities and their carers. The Awards ceremony took place on Thursday 29th September. There were 6 finalists for the Volunteer Award from organisations across Victoria. Fronditha Care nominated two volunteers, Tassos Bardakos and Dinos Diamantopoulos, who was also a finalist and received the ACSA Volunteer Finalist Certificate, as a recognition for his wonderful contribution. In awarding Tassos, the judges commented that “he is a man who likes to help others in any way he can” and that he “enjoys life as a celebration” which led him to bringing other volunteers along to celebrate life with our residents who have limited opportunities to get out in to the wider community. Tassos was also recognised for his barbeques and ‘Kafenio’ initiatives, however above all, his generosity of spirit. During the Awards ceremony Tassos stated that as a volunteer he does not only give, but also receives a lot of love from the elderly. In particular, he mentioned an incident where, whilst he was talking to a Fronditha Care elder, she looked at him in the eyes and said:

“you are my medicine”. This, Tassos says, was the most heart-warming comment he could hear. “I do not wish for anything else; such comments make my day”. A few words about Tassos: he is a volunteer at Fronditha Care’s Aged Care Facility in Thornbury, Melbourne. He has been with Fronditha as a volunteer since 1999, for 17 years. Even before that, Tassos used to attend daily whilst his mother-in-law was a resident. Although he always took good care of her, he also spent time and looked after the other residents present. When his mother-in-law passed away, he decided that he wanted to continue coming and became a volunteer. Tassos says that “for me this was a natural progression from attending as a visitor, to start attending as a volunteer. I had bonded with the elderly, and felt their need for human contact”. Tassos attends every day, without fail, including weekends. He is always with a smile. What is to be noted is that he knows all residents by name, and he greets all residents individually (we are talking about 120 residents here). He knows their personal stories and conditions, and he enquires about their well-being. “They ask for my opinion and advice and I make certain that whatever I say is to calm them, reassure them and make them happier”, Tassos says.  

Tassos was also joined by another Fronditha Care volunteer, Dino Diamantopoulos, who was also an ACSA Volunteer Award finalist in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of Fronditha Care residents. Konstantinos (Dinos) is a volunteer at Fronditha Care’s Aged Care Facility in Templestowe, Melbourne. He has been with Fronditha as a volunteer since 1994, for 22 years. Dinos left Greece and his parents when he was young, and he feels that the elderly residents help him gain some of the experiences he did not have with his parents. When he started as a volunteer, Dinos soon realised the need for residents to go to outings, outside the facility. He took this task upon himself and for years now, in cooperation with Management and staff, organizes for residents to go on weekly excursions. Dinos himself drives the bus and uses his contacts so residents can attend different Greek Clubs around the area for free, which include clubs that residents used to attend and still have friendships with club members. This is a tremendous boost for the residents, who still feel an active part of their Greek community, and also have the opportunity to get away from the facility for a while. Dinos also got his lovely wife Panagiota to participate and become a volunteer as well. Dinos is also a church chanter and comes and performs “Paraklisi” church service with the residents; this is of great importance to them since their religious needs are taken care of, especially during significant religious anniversaries like Christmas and Greek Orthodox Easter.

Both Tassos and Dinos are equally appreciated and respected by staff, because they never refused a request and never demand anything in return. Fronditha Care also congratulates the volunteer coordinators Stelios Piakis and Effie Kapnias. This award is very much a culmination of the program’s ongoing quality improvement strategy. Tassos and Dinos are volunteers, but most importantly they are genuine human beings. They put others first and their actions help Fronditha Care’s Greek elderly clients feel included and immersed in Greek language and culture. For this reason, and with a deep sense of pride, Fronditha Care congratulates them.

ACSA Award Seal 2015


FRONDITHA CARE RECEIVED DISTINGUISHES ACCOLADE

AT THE ACSA AGED CARE AWARDS

Since its establishment in 1977, Fronditha Care has aimed to become an industry leader in the provision of aged care to elderly Australians with a Greek or CALD background and the organisation’s highly commendable result at the ACSA Aged Care Awards on Friday, 22nd May, 205, portrays the exceptional initiatives that Fronditha Care has undertaken and successfully implemented in the field.

The awards recognize excellence in contributing to improving the quality of life of older people, people with disabilities and their carers.

Fronditha Care was one of only three finalists in the Organisation category which recognized and commended the success of the Labour Agreement that Fronditha Care signed with the Department of Immigration. The agreement recognizes the organisation’s need to recruit overseas individuals who are locally qualified personal care workers, with an understanding of the Greek language and culture.

The Fronditha Care Labour Agreement has facilitated the placement of at least one Greek speaking staff member on each shift in each Fronditha Care facility. This imitative has significantly eased the communication between staff and residents, creating a calmer and more culturally appropriate environment for residents (particularly for those suffering from dementia) and a safer work environment for carers. Moreover, it is generating an influx of young people into the aged care sector.