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Maggie Beer Foundation welcomes support to improve aged care food experiences

The Maggie Beer Foundation (MBF), along with partners William Angliss Institute and Altura Learning, very much welcome today's announcement by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt of a $500,000 grant to create online training for aged care cooks and chefs across Australia.

This online training dedicated to aged care cooks and chefs is the first of its kind in Australia and will be of interest around the world.

"Chefs and cooks are at the frontline in aged care and there is so much we can do to help them bring life-altering change to so many older Australians. I am thrilled and delighted that the Federal Government has chosen to support our training programs," Maggie Beer said.

"This wonderful support will enable us to help cooks and chefs right across Australia to provide enjoyable, appetising and nutritious food to older people. The MBF has been running face-to-face training courses since its inception in 2014. When the learning is taken back into aged care homes, we have seen dramatic changes in the engagement of staff and the wellbeing of the residents. The creation of an online program will enable all chefs and cooks across Australia to gain access to the training."

Year One of the program consists of 11 training modules (including 'High Energy and Protein', 'Texture Modification' and 'The Dining Environment') which are being created and will be distributed in cooperation with William Angliss Institute and Altura Learning.

"These two partners are highly credentialed and the leaders in their fields. Together we will create high quality, practical training which will make an immediate difference to the lives of older Australians," Ms Beer said.

As a partner with the MBF, Altura Learning will provide high quality customised training and bring rapid distribution across rural, remote and metropolitan aged care homes. Altura Learning's existing reach into home- based care will ensure that the online skills-based training programs reaches cooks and chefs throughout the country.

"It's a privilege for Altura Learning to be working with the Maggie Beer Foundation to develop these online skills-based training programs and engaging learning experiences for the cooks and chefs who are at the front line. Like the MBF, Altura Learning believe that through this training, there will be a significant improvement in the current structure of training courses for chefs who wish to work in the residential aged care and home care sector," Yvie Webley CEO Altura Learning said.

"We are proud to be partnering with the MBF on a training initiative that has proven positive impacts on the wellbeing of aged care residents. William Angliss Institute has worked closely with industry to identify skill sets needed to support staff and improve not only their knowledge of various illnesses, such as dementia, but also specific nutritional requirements of the aged. The training has been designed for accessibility by industry with delivery to be available both online or in the workplace," William Angliss Institute CEO Nicholas Hunt said.

The MBF would also like to acknowledge one of Australia's leading aged care peak bodies, Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), for their support in developing our proposal and encouragement to expand our training programs and Masterclasses.