National First Nations Elder's Wellbeing: Greater Choices For Aged Care Conference

10 - 12 December, 2024

Hilton Hotel, Cairns QLD

Conference Aboriginal Art


As an Aboriginal organisation, Indigenous Conference Services knows how important it is to work in a culturally safe and respectful environment, wherein workers in the industry providing supports to our Elders genuinely understand the important of culture, country, history, community and family as well as achieving a level of cultural competency so that they can work collaboratively and respectfully alongside our people.

​In Australia, the protocol is to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land to which we are gathering. Therefore, all presentations must begin with an acknowledgement to Country and acknowledgement to local Traditional Elders. All presentations must begin with words like, “We wish to acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians whose ancestral lands we are to meet upon. We acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples to Country. We also pay respects to the cultural authority of Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples attending from other areas of Australia.”​


The 2024 National First Nations Elders Wellbeing Conference: Greater Choices for Aged Care is designed to provide organisations, service managers and front line workers in the aged care sector the opportunity to network, discuss and share information in regards to the successes and challenges they have experienced in the roll out and the implementation of the My Aged Care's consumer-directed care which aimed to provide frail older persons living in the community better choice and control over their care, independence at home and decision-making to address their needs to stay at home safely.

​This conference aims to highlight the eight priority areas which My Aged Care clients identified as important to them, based on the survey results outlined in the Consumer Experience Report (CER) for home-based and community-based aged care services. These priority areas include but are not limited to: control, Interpersonal interaction, Flexibility, Local residence in Country, Affordability, Administrative and financial literacy, Safety and Timeliness of service provision. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Elders and their families would more likely access aged care services when it allows them to stay on Country, being cared for by their own mob and the ability to maintain their connection to country, culture and community. 

​The conference will also be a great resource and avenue to identify models of support and engagement that reflect various cultural practices of our communities, to ensure that First Nations Peoples who are frail aged can live life their way. Sharing stories and story-telling is so strong in Aboriginal communities, in that it leads the way to support healing in our community so we can move forward and get things right. Reflecting the importance of culturally respectful planning resources and tools to adapt the changes in community services, disability and aged care sectors, that is our Elders will have “choice and control” over their own lives and empowered to make decisions for their own care, according to their personal needs and wants.

Furthermore, the conference also aims to give a voice to frail aged, over 50 years old Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Elders and their family carers to share their needs, their concerns and share their story and experiences. Similarly, this conference presents a chance for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander frontline aged care support workers, mainstream community and allied health workers serving First Nations Peoples who are frail aged, to engage with industry leaders and peers, learn cutting edge innovations and techniques as well as hear firsthand experiences from Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Community Elders . The conference will also examine innovative ways to activate and engage family carers in employment opportunities and challenge delegates individually and collectively to identify the way forward for their organisations. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of our Elders. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion for supporting your clients to reach their goals of keeping their independence and stay at home for as long as they can, stay on Country as safe as they can.


The conference philosophy is based upon the holistic model approach with emphasis on consumer directed care, which requires collaborative partnership between the client, their family, carers and all service providers, working together to support First Nations communities in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander frail aged peoples. The foundation of the conference is to share and discuss positive models of change and initiatives. The event is structured in such a way as to develop a wider methodology towards aged care and home and community programs that are culturally appropriate, and therefore more likely to succeed.  This conference is devoted to showing the positives in addressing My Aged Care successes and challenges in our communities today. Hence, the event has been developed with the belief that it is time to promote the positives and successes of the My Aged Care platform, whilst also recognising that we still have a long way to go to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage. 


The conference objectives are designed to empower and stimulate discussion in a positive manner that can and may be used back in our work environment to further develop strength, unity and education. Moreover, one of the most powerful objectives that Indigenous peoples have is the strength to overcome adversity through the power of sharing knowledge and therefore, the conference will attempt to foster all of the issues set out in this conference. The conference believes that the participation of First Peoples in the consultation, planning, formulation of policies and programs for Closing the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage to include the implementation of the My Aged Care's consumer-directed care in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and other aspects of the My Aged Care Strategy is fundamentally important to achieve our desired goal of closing the gap. Moreover, the conference also aims to:

  • Provide an open and frank forum for discussion

  • Network and lend support to individuals and families working in the aged care sector

  • Help establish and grow a national network and resources through information sharing

  • Show that there are great efforts being made to make change for our Elders

  • Exchange information regarding the successes and challenges in the roll-out and My Aged Care implementation

  • To bring together all sectors of the community as a united voice 

  • Bring together researchers, service providers, government agencies, policy makers & organisations

  • Foster partnerships between government, NGOs, community groups and Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples living with at home in advanced years and their families


2024 National First Nations Elder's Wellbeing: Greater Choices For Aged Care Conference focuses on how service providers are finding ways to deliver high quality support to First Nations peoples who are frail aged in the My Aged Care context to tackle some of the difficult issues that have threatened to derail the delivery of My Aged Care in our communities. The conference themes include:

  • Control Over Health & Wellbeing

  • Community Living – housing and supported living accommodation

  • Residential and Centre-based Day Respite Services

  • Mobility & Transport

  • Life skills, education and employment

  • Aged Care Workforce Sector Development

  • Geriatric Nurse Patient Ratio in Residential Facilities

  • Technology & Innovations

  • Reablement

The conference will highlight how service providers are working together, with government and with Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples and their families to find innovative ways to address the above topics. The conference will include keynote speakers, practical workshops and concurrent sessions as well as yarning circles and interactive panel discussions.

The conference is not politically based, rather should be seen as an opportunity to access information that is not readily available. The conference envisions that partnerships and working in unison should form the basis of closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage, particularly in Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander peoples whose living with a disability.


This conference presents a unique opportunity for delegates to participate in a positive environment that is dedicated to the sharing of information and the empowering of all who attend. In our everyday working environment, the day to day stresses of our positions tends to limit us in expanding our knowledge and networking. Whether you work at a community level or at governmental level the opportunity to network and gain contacts outside of your local region tend to be limited, this is why this conference will be so valuable to participants. Hence all Indigenous people and non-indigenous people, whether professional or community-based, who have a vested interest in improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples are invited. This conference is for anyone who is interested in strengthening and upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples who are frail aged and their caring families. With a rich diversity of speakers, delegates and exhibitors, this two-day conference will empower you, inspire you and invigorate your passion for supporting your clients to reach their goals each and every day.


  • Community Support Workers and Aged Care Workers

  • Indigenous Community Workers

  • Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Elders

  • Nurses, Doctors, Psychiatrists, Social Workers and Allied Health Workers

  • Community groups and Human Rights Enthusiasts

  • Family relationship workers

  • Elders and Community leaders

  • Indigenous women's and men’s groups

  • CEOs, Executive Management, Program Managers

  • First Nations groups, Human Rights Enthusiasts

  • Government and Non-Government Organisation Representatives

  • Field, Remote & Rural Health Workers


We wish to invite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from Australia and throughout, to attend the conference to share and gather information. We also extend an invitation to participants to join us at the conference dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. To ensure that delegates attend and participate in the conference experience, it is important to note that to show accountability of delegates in meeting their obligation; each delegate will receive a Certificate of Attendance only when they attend 85% of all the conference sessions. In addition, at the end of the conference, delegates will receive a copy of all papers & presentations presented at the conference through Dropbox.

Who: Individuals, Groups, NGO’s, Government Agencies & Others

When: December 3-5, 2024

Where: Gold Coast (Venue TBA)

Time: 8.00am 


​Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) is a privately owned, wholly self-funded Indigenous business which specialises in events and conferences. Even though we are a self-funded enterprise, we come from grass roots backgrounds with a burning passion for social justice issues. As such, we seek to compliment the workings of community initiatives and organisations across a broad spectrum of Indigenous affairs. The events that we design seek not to have a political agenda, however, to compliment local, state and national organisations. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) seeks to employ local community members wherever possible and gives a strong undertaking to adhere to local customs and protocols. As we are a not-for-profit enterprise, we are continually seeking to partner with organisations. ICS-MEES Pty Ltd is totally Indigenous owned and over time has helped establish Indigenous controlled organisations free of charge. Our next major project is to establish and develop a fully Indigenous Children Services within the Wide Bay region. Our vision for the service is that it will be a stand-alone, privately sponsored organisation in which the core values are the protection of our children through reducing the number of children entering state-controlled child safety and care.  


If you have any participation requirements (e.g hearing loop, interpreters, large print program) please advise us ahead of time to ensure availability. Delegates will need to organise their own personal support. Family carers attending will need to register as well. The venue is wheelchair accessible.


Come and celebrate First Nations people & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, strengths, successes and empowerment. To share First Nations peoples stories and ideas about what has worked for you or your community and how we address life’s challenges. This conference is blessed with an abundance of highest calibre guest speakers from proud Indigenous Elders around Australia.  


As an employee we are asked to present valid reasons why we should attend. Listed below are valid points that can be raised with your employer to justify your attendance.

  • Staff attending conferences regularly tend to become long term employees

  • An event such as this adds to the positive morale of staff

  • Conferences are a great way of providing ongoing training

  • Provides the opportunity to further enhance the organisation knowledge base

  • The opportunity for saving organisations money because of the short duration of the event

  • Allows delegates to showcase their organisation nationally and internationally

  • May provide organisations with new ideas

  • Gives organisations a voice at a national level

  • Provide an opportunity to evaluate various programs

  • Because this event is conducted over a short period, staff are only absent for a minimal number of days


​(Invitation to submit abstracts for presentations and workshops)

Guidelines for Submitting a Paper:

  • Papers should not contain offensive language and take in to account cultural sensitivities.

  • Papers may treat the themes in a manner that contributes to a further discussion of the conference aims.

  • Conference papers must be presented in the finish format not less 60 days prior to the event.

  • Papers that are not chosen in the first round may be resubmitted if there is a second round.

  • Papers should be submitted in IBM and Microsoft Word format.

  • A Brief Outline of Paper (maximum 350 words online).

  • Author/s of papers presented at the conference will be formally notified of acceptance.

  • Presentation time at the conference for your papers will be allowed a maximum of 45 minutes, this will include question and answer time.

  • Call for papers registration fee of $750 will apply to all persons submitting papers payable upon acceptance of papers.

  • Papers should explore ways in which the themes show up in the philosophy of the conference.

  • A maximum of two presenters for each paper are eligible for the discounted call for papers registration fee. If 2 presenters, then 2 biographies are required. Two paragraphs outlining the proposed speaker’s Biography

  • All papers must be presented in a positive and informative light                                          

  • A Head and Shoulders photo of papers’ authors/presenters are required within 30 days of confirmation of acceptance of paper.

  • Authors agree to have their paper published as part of the conference proceedings

  • Authors to agree to allow biography of themselves and their photo published as part of the conference promotion

  • Authors agree to consent to media interviews, if required

  • Authors and presenters must show due respect and acknowledgement to Traditional Owners. Hence, presentations and speech must begin with an “Acknowledgement To Country”.

  • The correct wording will be provided as part of your confirmation letter if chosen and successful in being accepted with due respects and acknowledgement to traditional owners of land where we will be convening.

  • To submit a Paper, you must register on the web portal and complete the online Submit-A-Paper form                                    


The conference may or may not save you, or your organisation, time, money and manpower. However, one thing the event guarantees is the opportunity to enlarge your network and information base, thus empowering delegates to make greater informed decisions.


(This agenda is not final and published only to guide those who will be submitting paper. It will change without prior notice. Please visit this website for future updates)

Tuesday 3rd

8:00am    REGISTRATION         8:30am    COMBINED SESSION Announcements by Master of Ceremony  9:00am    COMBINED SESSION Welcome To Country, Cultural Performance & Group Photo      9:10am    COMBINED SESSION Welcome Address     9:40am    COMBINED SESSION Formal Opening  Keynote Address    10:30am  MORNING BREAK  Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers   11:00am  KEYNOTE My Aged Care and The First Peoples     11:45am  KEYNOTE  Connecting Our Elders to Youth for Culturally- Appropriate Aged Care Services at home on country  12:30pm  LUNCH BREAK Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers 1:30pm    CONCURRENT A Successes & Challenges in My Aged Care Assessments & Referral Pathways (Calling for Papers) 1:30pm    CONCURRENT B  Individual Experiences of Transitioning from Basic Home Support under CHSP to Home Care Package ( Calling for Papers) 2:15pm    CONCURRENT A Assistive Technology and home modifications  (Calling for Papers)   2:15pm    CONCURRENT B Residential Aged Care Versus Retirement Village  (Calling for Papers) 3:00pm    AFTERNOON TEA Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers)     3:30pm    KEYNOTE Dementia Care in Aboriginal & Torres STraits Islander Elders 4:15pm    KEYNOTE Doing It Our Way - Aged Care at Home in Country  6:00pm    CONFERENCE NETWORKING DINNER            Wednesday 4th     

8:30am    REGISTRATION      9:00am    COMBINED SESSION My Aged Care Complaint Commission

9:45am    COMBINED SESSION The Works of ADA     10:30am MORNING TEA Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers      11:00am  KEYNOTE Elder Abuse Prevention & Senior's Legal Services in the Community 11.45 am KEYNOTE Home Care Packages Planning and Budgeting Innovation   12:30pm   LUNCH BREAK Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers      1:30pm    CONCURRENT A Working Within the Community (Respite Support Services) - Calling for Papers 1:30pm    CONCURRENT  B Working Within the Community (Transport Support Services) - Calling for Papers 2:15pm    CONCURRENT  A Working Within the Community (Allied Health Services) - Calling for Papers

2:15pm    CONCURRENT B Working Within the Community (Social & Cultural Support Services) - Calling for Papers 3:00pm    AFTERNOON TEA Network with Exhibitors & Service Providers     3:30pm    WORKSHOP (1.5 Hrs) Empowering Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Aged Care Workers in the community 4:15pm    YARNING PANEL Have we hit the mark in Aged Care service delivery for Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander Elders?  

5:00pm    CULMINATION END OF CONFERENCE: Distribution of Certificates  

Thursday 5th

For 2024, we offer new and exciting innovation for our conferences. Day 3 is devoted to professional development workshop or masterclass. As such, we have introduced several exciting networking and professional development innovations which is an extra cost for your chosen masterclass and comes with a course certificate. Day Three is optional so please make sure you complete your registration form with the masterclass included if you intend to attend. This year’s program features a strong selection of Leadership and Empowerment topics for workers in Indigenous Health sector and practitioners at every level of experience and expertise.


​Worrying about how your team, family and community effectively assist and manage clients experiencing inter-generational trauma? Indigenous peoples around the world endured several generations of trauma and other neurological effects and compromised behavioural immunity which leads to behavioural indicators such as substance-abuse and suicide.  Our current generation is impacted by structural violence, poverty, racism, governmental neglect and ongoing hostilities, and unfortunately our mob have learned our lessons in traumatisation as well where in many situations, we have internalised the trauma imposed on ourselves and turned onto our own families, communities, and selves.   

​This workshop will teach you:

  • The strong benefits of recapturing and revitalising our languages, cultures and spirituality

  • How to become an interventionist to suicide in your communities

  • Understand and utilise trauma-informed care to heal ourselves, our clients, and our communities.

  • Strategies in managing clients and families affected by inter-generational trauma and break the cycle of suicide in our communities.

In Just One Day You Can Learn Strategies how to become an interventionist to suicide and work effectively with your clients who are experiencing inter-generational trauma and their families.


Joseph B. Stone, PhD. Is an Amskapi-pikuni ceremonialist and traditionalist and member of the OKKAN (Sundance), the Last Star Thunder Medicine Pipe and Beaver Lodge.  He is a clinical psychologist and with his partner, Amber Logan, owner of Indigenous Development Specialists of Havelock North, New Zealand.  Dr. Stone works at the Napier Family Centre in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.  He has clinical experience with adult prisoners and corrections and juvenile justice in both New Zealand and USA.  He is affiliated with the National Centre on Trauma and Project Making Medicine – Indian Health Service Assessment and Treatment of Child Abuse at Oklahoma State University. He has presented to and served as consultant to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs of Native Youth Suicide.  Joseph's publications include articles on trauma, suicide, and other cultural / behavioural issues. 

Amber Logan is a traditional Kahungunu Māori wahine, a New Zealand Health Psychologist and a Doctoral Fellow in Public Health at Otago University.  She teaches health psychology course work at the University of Auckland and Otago University and is well-known in New Zealand for her work in Methamphetamine education and community activism.  Amber is a consummate grant writer, health services evaluator and health services program designer.  She has presented extensively in Australia, Canada, and the USA at Harvard University, the University of Washington, and to the US Federal Government under the Obama administration.                            

​This Masterclass is strictly limited to 30 people only. Cost is $350 per person.

Call or email us to register for this workshop or CLICK TO BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE.​


As they say, all work and no play makes for a dull conference. To overcome this, the secretariat has organised a conference dinner to be held on the first night of the event. This dinner will give delegates the opportunity to further network while letting your hair down in an informal setting. The conference dinner will cost $150 per person and is additional to the conference fees. Bookings must be made with our office prior to the event. 


Furthermore, it has been proven time and time again that events such as this empower and reinvigorate workers with new ideas and with enthusiasm, with a greater feeling of support and contacts that may be utilised for the betterment of their own or local community. Whether you are an allied health professional, Indigenous health worker, medical professional, disability support worker or in an administrative clerical role within the organisation, this conference will provide excellent opportunities to gain and share information that will be of use to you back in your community.  The opportunity that this conference provides to people involved in the disability sector is the sharing of knowledge and development of long term friendships/partnerships.  This conference is basically designed from an Indigenous perspective in which we all lend support to each other regardless of our employers. With all this in mind, we invite you to actively participate in the upcoming event.


(Register early to get a discount!) Please note that registrations are set out in an affordable way for organisations, which changes on a monthly basis. The earlier you register, the more savings for your organisation. Registration fees include all day access to the event, available conference papers, daily lunch and refreshments for registered delegates only. Fees do not include travel costs or accommodation. Registration fees are non-refundable and must be received within 7 DAYS from being issued an invoice. Otherwise, bookings will not be considered.  To register, please click on the registration page and complete the form or you can also request for a conference brochure and the registration form to be sent to you by email at                                                                                               


One of the prohibitive factors in attending a conference is the airfare component. Our company strives in making our event a lesser burden on the individual or organisation by negotiating competitive and affordable travel packages. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) also recognises that some NGO’s or other agencies will need to seek additional funding to attend, therefore First Nations Travel Agency quotation can be made out to either pay ASAP or to take into account the time that is required to obtain funding. For the best possible airfares and seat availability, please confirm your attendance ASAP.


Flexible sponsorship packages are available. Sponsorship opportunities are only open to businesses and private enterprise, not individuals. Indigenous Conference Services (Australia) will be of further assistance in tailoring your sponsorship arrangement. Please phone us on +61455776668 or send us your expression of interest by e-Mail:



Indigenous Conference Services (Australia)

Postal Address: 8 Kiwi Court Pt Vernon Queensland 4655 Australia



Phone: 0740009111  | Mobile: 0455776668

​Please note this website is continually being updated.

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