On the early morning hours of April 19, standing on the street edge with boards at the ready, a sea of supporters from the Our Turn to Care campaign were ready to make some noise.
The sea consisted of family members and Aged Care workers who were campaigning for an increase in funding for the sector.
Supporters of all ages lined up near Centrepoint Shopping Centre to show passing commuter why this campaign was so important to them.
With supporters chanting at every light change, the streets were filled with honks in support for better funding for Aged Care.
Under the Federal Liberal Government, billions of dollars have been cut from the sector, leaving carers feeling stressed, overworked and unable to provide the care older Australians deserve.
Jude, an Our Turn to Care Warrior, passionate workplace delegate, and Midland-based carer for 40 years was in attendance, and said she had seen the industry change in just 12 months.
“The changes in 12 months have been immense, the morale is low and I’ve been talking to people who have been in Aged Care for many years and they’re just about ready to give up,”
“They go home feeling over undervalued, exhausted both mentally and physically and they say they don’t have enough time to do their job properly and this is directly linked to the budget cuts in Aged Care,”
“It’s getting worse and worse every day; those of us on the floor know how bad it is. We know we don’t get to care the way we want to.”
During her speech to the supporters, Jude said she felt like the Turnbull Government had turned their back on the Aged Care sector.
“The Federal Government has abandoned us, making us feel worthless and making the Aged Care sector feel like they don’t matter,”
“It’s not fair to do this to the people who fought for us and died for us.” She said.
The action was attended by the Federal Labor candidate for Hasluck, Lauren Palmer, who will be going up against Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt in the upcoming Federal election.
Ms Palmer spoke about the necessity of supporting Aged Care workers.
“This is about supporting each other and recognising the work that goes into providing Aged Care services be at the front line, be it the carer, the person visiting the home, the handyman or the people working in the kitchen.”
Our Turn to Care Warrior and workplace delegate, Melinda, said the action was going well.
“It’s been fantastic. The response has been great, everybody has been honking their horns. It’s just been fantastic.” Melinda said
Melinda, who has always been a strong advocate for the campaign, also spoke with Channel Nine news about the campaign.
While the inaugural National Day of Action may be over, there are exciting opportunities ahead for all of those in the industry.
If you’d like to get involved with the campaign ‘like’ the Our Turn to Care WA page on Facebook, and share it with your friends.