Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Garden Village CEO calls for aged care wage equity 


Garden Village CEO calls for aged care wage equity 

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day #EmbraceEquity supports gender equity in the workplace and community. 

With women making up 80 percent of aged care workers, the message of equity is particularly pertinent in response to recent Fair Work Commission announcements. 

The Fair Work Commission ruled aged care workers should receive a 15 percent pay rise from July this year. The rise applies to workers involved in direct care of people, but excludes workers such as cleaning, maintenance, catering and administration staff. 

Garden Village calls on the government to address the pay inequality across the sector.

“It is unacceptable that the important work of Catering, Cleaning, Maintenance, and Administration staff has not been recognised in the recent increase to the modern award for direct care staff,” said Craig Wearne, CEO Garden Village. 

 “The important care work we do at Garden Village is a team effort. People receive excellence in care thanks to everyone who works here. The inequity of not providing the wage increase to all employees that work in aged care must change. All aged care workers must receive this increase,” Mr Wearne said.

“We will continue to lead the call for equitable and fair approaches to pay and other issues in our sector. Garden Village takes this very seriously. We are advocating for wage parity for our support staff and ongoing recognition of the great work done by all team members at Garden Village,” added Mr Wearne.

There is strong community support for a pay rise for all aged care workers. Garden Village is giving a voice to our team and sharing their stories to advocate for change. 

Derek Burbridge and Chris Smith Maintenance Manager Garden Village

Head of Maintenance and Facilities Manager Chris Smith said, “The wages aren’t great in the sector to start with. A lot of the people in the maintenance and cleaning team understand that the care staff do an amazing job, but we are all part of the same team.” 

“The sector has been underrated for too long.  We are way behind other industries and with the cost of living rising it’s ridiculous. It’s a struggle for people and it’s just not right.”

“The decision is not equitable for everyone and it impacts the sector’s sustainability. People will say ‘stuff that’ I’m not working in that sector because of the wages. So this decision has created a problem without thinking through the consequences.”

“ You ask our team and they all love working here and love the residents. It’s the wages that causes the issues. This is about bringing issues to the fore and getting people to understand the sector,” added Mr Smith. 

Garden Village is working on a number of priorities to progress this issue and ensure we can continue to attract and retain skilled workers to all professions and provide excellence in care. These include:

  • Communicating openly with employees to update them on key decisions and give them an opportunity to voice their concerns
  • Writing a submission to the Fair Work Commission  
  • Advocating for better wages, greater flexibility and improved working conditions to support regional workforces
  • Supporting employee health and wellbeing through new Healthy Workplace Initiatives
  • Implementing a new Capability Framework and learning pathways to support all staff in developing skills now and into the future

The Garden Village team is incredibly proud to consistently achieve excellence in Aged Care Quality Audits and Star Ratings. This level of care and excellence can only be achieved as a team. 

For further information contact Craig Wearne CEO Garden Village.




Located in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast, Garden Village is a leading Retirement Living, Aged Care, Disability and Home Care Service. As a registered not for profit we’ve provided care services to the community for over 40 years.

For more than 40 years, Garden Village has provided homes, care and support for ageing Australians on the land of the Birpai people. We pay our respects to all First Nations Ancestors, Elders and People in our community and throughout Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country, and their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community.

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