Dementia Australia launches impactful courses to guide emerging leaders

Last updated on 2 November 2023

Dementia Australia’s new suite of leadership courses provides a unique approach to dementia care from a leadership perspective. [Source: Supplied]

Dementia Australia has launched four new courses designed to inspire future leaders in aged care while grounding the education and learning opportunities in dementia care settings. It’s a focused approach to leadership training that will provide benefits for aged care workers and people living with dementia. 

Key points

  • There is a mixture of accredited and non-accredited programs in the Leadership and Practice Change suite, headlined by the first national Certificate IV in Dementia Practice
  • The courses cover a range of topics, with the Certificate IV providing the most focus on dementia-related topics, while stress management, leadership, communication, networking and organisational management skills are among the other subject areas explored
  • All courses are fully funded by the Federal Government and are available online while course durations range from five weeks to 12 months, including a full-time study load (20 hours per week) for the Certificate IV

As there is no mandatory dementia education within the sector, the courses address unmet needs. Created to provide fresh development and learning pathways, they will upskill employees ready to take the next steps in their careers.

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe AM, said the courses have been designed to create and inspire lasting change through leadership, a core element for the delivery of high-quality dementia care.

“Our programs provide opportunities for ongoing development and learning pathways for future leaders in the sector. With the current shortage of aged care workers, it is crucial that we attract more people to the sector, strengthen the current workforce’s capability and develop meaningful learning pathways,” Ms McCabe said.

Importantly, participants will gain knowledge that can be brought back to the workplace and implemented in a wide variety of ways to improve dementia care practices. This is part of the Dementia Australia’s dementia care transformation process.

“It is critical that we have an aged care workforce that is trained and skilled in dementia education, to ensure people living with dementia are treated with dignity and respect. This expanding range of programs, in addition to many established courses, supports the sustainable, long-term transformation of dementia care,” Ms McCabe added.

Additional dementia knowledge in workforces is proven to reduce the number of high-risk incidents and lower rates of medication and administration. Ms McCabe said staff also tend to develop more positive attitudes and morale, which in turn leads to better care and quality of life for people living with dementia.

“For participants, these programs will deliver engaging education to build the dementia capability of future leaders in the sector, as well as create lasting change through leadership and culture change that in turn promotes improved behaviours, attitudes, and care practices for all care workers,” she said.

What’s on offer

10993NAT Certificate IV in Dementia Practice

  • Featuring 14 units of competency, this is the first national Certificate IV in Dementia Practice. It will be delivered over a 12-month period.
  • With a focus on establishing collaborative networks, it provides participants with advanced tools to become leaders in implementing practice change so they can support staff, families and carers in improving the lives of people living with dementia.
  • The coursework features a cross-section of leadership and dementia education, including units of competency such as Demonstrate leadership in the workplace (BSBLDR411), Deliver dementia support using enablement strategies (NAT10993003) and Facilitate wellbeing of carers and self in dementia care (NAT10993006).

Demonstrating Dementia Leadership

  • With a clear focus on leadership and organisational management, Demonstrating Dementia Leadership is essentially a short course version of the Certificate IV: participants will receive a credit transfer for two nationally recognised units of competency if they choose to complete the full-length course later on.
  • Unlike other leadership courses, its focus on leading dementia practice improvement means participants will find their newfound knowledge is more relatable to specialised dementia care settings.
  • Additional insights into team effectiveness and communication will pave the way to shared learning and enhanced teamwork in residential aged care settings, or on the road for community care.

Leading Quality Dementia Care

  • Delivered across five weeks, Leading Quality Dementia Care is all about how personal growth can help the individual participant better support people living with dementia and work more collaboratively with others.
  • Four learning modules focus on self-leadership, communication, trust and stress management: crucial tools any emerging and experienced leader requires.
  • Empathy is a crucial soft skill underlying each topic, highlighting the importance of a caring and considered approach to working in a dementia care setting.

Dementia Community of Practice (CoPs)

  • Unlike the other courses, CoPs is a structured environment where aged care professionals can network with their peers, build relationships and share knowledge regarding dementia practice.
  • Monthly discussions will focus on how to implement change, new and emerging trends in dementia care and learning new information from industry experts.
  • Rather than providing core knowledge, this is for more advanced dementia care professionals who want to seek outside perspectives and fresh opinions to benefit their organisation and dementia care initiatives.

For more information or to register your staff/teams, please visit

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