Claerwen Little
National Director, UnitingCare Australia


Ms Claerwen Little has been National Director of UnitingCare Australia since 2017, one of the largest community services networks in Australia.

Claerwen has over 40 years of experience working in human services, focused on disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals, families and communities. She has held a number of senior executive roles in service delivery, organisational transformation, policy and advocacy, dedicating her career to solving our most challenging social issues.

Claerwen holds a Master of Policy (Social Policy), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate of the Stanford Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders. Claerwen sits on a number of governance and advisory committees, including the National Aged Care Advisory Council, is the Chair of the National Coordination Group on Emergency and Food Relief and was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Aged Care Collaboration.

A Fair and Sustainable Aged Care System

The UnitingCare Network is the largest not-for-profit aged care provider network nationally. The Network has come together and agreed on key priorities to modernise and future-proof the funding of Australia’s aged care system. These priorities seek to ensure older Australians can access high quality care when and where they need it.

The Aged Care Royal Commission identified the chronic underfunding of aged care in Australia. Older people deserve to access high quality care now and in the future, and additional funding is required to do this.

The UnitingCare Network believes all Australians should experience compassion and dignity as they age regardless of their means. Older Australians, irrespective of where they live, must be able to access high quality care and support services, be it in their home or in an aged care home. A key concern of the Network is to ensure all older Australians have access to high quality care, especially the most vulnerable.

The Network have agreed on overarching principles to inform a financially sustainable aged care system:

• Everyone deserves care
• Those who can afford to pay more, should
• A strong safety net is needed

Based on these principles, the UnitingCare Aged Care Network has agreed on a mixed financing model comprised of three revenue streams to increase funding of the aged care system.

This session will bring together a panel of UnitingCare Network members to discuss our proposed model, and practical proposals to fund high quality care for older Australians now and into the future. Panel members will be a selection of UnitingCare not-for-profit aged care leaders from across the country. Panel members will represent a range of UnitingCare organisations delivering in home and residential aged care service across urban, regional and remote communities.