Aged care peaks prepare to launch PR campaign to lobby politicians – led by John Howard’s media adviser

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The Age is reporting some of the sector’s largest players are working together to devise a huge media campaign to “change the conversation” on aged care and “win the hearts and minds of middle Australia”.

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), the Aged Care Guild, BaptistCare and Anglicare have all been named in the push, which is pulling out the big guns in the form of Sydney-based crisis and reputation management firm Apollo Communications.

Apollo’s CEO Adam Connolly is best known as Prime Minister John Howard’s Media Adviser, and has also worked as an investment banker and a journalist for News Limited.

The paper also reports that advertising guru Geoff Denman – who worked with the late Neil Lawrence on the famed Kevin 07 campaign before leading the anti-mining tax advertisements that led to Mr Rudd’s fall and the anti-carbon tax campaign that also saw Julia Gillard pushed from the leadership – is also on board.

While LASA CEO Sean Rooney would not comment on the strategic goal of the campaign, he tells us:

“What the Royal Commission and COVID-19 have shown is that there is a disconnect between what the community expects of aged care and how the system is currently designed. The industry is exploring how best to get that message across to Parliamentarians from both sides of politics for the benefit of current and future older Australians.”

Past campaigns by the sector’s leaders have focused on funding.

But with all of Australia now well aware of the system’s chronic underfunding thanks to the spotlight shone by the Royal Commission and COVID, we suspect this campaign will be more about demanding the respect that the sector rightly deserves.

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