Israel’s Pension Minister visits Melbourne’s Jewish Care

December 21, 2010 by Ayal Tusia
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Israel’s Deputy Minister of Pensioner Affairs shared information and ideas with Jewish Care aged care experts and community leaders when she visited Melbourne this week.

Dr Lea Nass and Bill Appleby

Dr Lea Nass and representatives of fellow aged care providers were hosted 16 December at Jewish Care’s Staff Education Centre, 619 St Kilda Road Melbourne.

The visit provided an extraordinary opportunity for Dr Nass to hear about care for the elderly in Victoria from leaders of the aged care sector, including Jewish Care, Aged and Community Care Victoria, Alzheimer’s Australia and Carer’s Victoria.

The event will conclude with a tour of two Jewish Care’s aged care facilities – Smorgon Nursing Home and Monetefiore Homes for the Aged.

Jewish Care CEO Bill Appleby said the visit provided a high level forum for ideas exchange.

“The Australian Jewish community welcomes the collaboration of knowledge with Dr Nass in the aim of providing the very best of care for senior citizens – both here and overseas,” he said.

Jewish Care highlighted important research regarding the changing demographics of the Jewish community and how that was impacting on its future plans for aged care provision.

“In line with our research, we envision new residential aged care infrastructure to better meet our community’s needs into the future, including dementia care. Our home support services are geared towards encouraging our clients to be actively involved in maintaining their health and independence.  We are also  strengthening partnerships with primary health care providers to encourage earlier introduction to healthy ageing programs, to support the preference expressed by 75% of our community who wish to remain living independently in their own home for as long as possible.”

“We view the ageing process as an evolving journey,” Mr Appleby said. “By providing appropriate support, when and as required, we can greatly enhance people’s lives.”

Mr Appleby commented that Jewish Care was always striving to adopt the very latest advances and thinking related to elderly care and wellbeing. He said partnership with other organisations and sharing of ideas was critical to ongoing improvement and excellence.

Dr Nass will be in Australia from 16-24 December 2010.

A spokesperson for the Israeli  Embassy in Canberra told J-Wire: “An Israeli governmental delegation of the Senior Citizens Ministry, headed by the Deputy Minister, Lea Nass, is visiting Australia.

During their visit the group will meet, amongst others, with the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler MP, the Minister for Health and Ageing of Victoria, David Davis MP, and members of the Jewish community.

The aim of the visit is to strengthen the relations between the ministries, currently the only two ministries in the world to deal directly with senior citizens. In addition, Deputy Minister Nass will discuss with her counterparts the unique program of the World Health Organization that focuses on the development of a new model which deals with the process of aging in the community. This primary model will only take part in four countries, amongst them Australia and Israel.”

Lea Nass was born in Israel in 1961. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and has published articles on sperm motility in international scientific journals.

Lea Nass lectured at Bar Ilan University from 1982-1991. From 1993-2003 she served on the Givat Shmuel Local Council, also serving as Deputy Mayor, responsible for city beautification, sanitation, and environment (1998, 2002-2003). She also served as a member of the Committee for Health and Environment of the Union of Local Authorities (1996) and the Council of the Postal Authority (1997-2003). She has been active in numerous humanitarian organizations and charities.

Lea Nass served in the 16th Knesset (2003-6) as a member and chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Chairperson of Subcommittee for Environmental Threats, and member of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child. She was again elected to the 18th Knesset in February 2009. In April 2009 she was appointed Deputy Minister of Pensioner Affairs.

She is married and the mother of five children.

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