After more than two decades in Aged Care, Natasha Chadwick believed Australia’s aged care model needed an innovative makeover and a people first approach. A year ago, she opened the doors to NewDirection Care, the world’s first diagnosis-inclusive Microtown for Australian seniors with complex care needs including those with dementia and younger onset dementia. A pioneer in the Australian Aged Care industry, she is passionate about changing the way we care for our elderly members of society and those living with dementia.

Natasha aims to revolutionise a sector often considered excessively institutionalised, segregated and task driven. Through experience in traditional Aged Care and spending time with seniors in their last stages of life, it became apparent to Natasha on both a personal and professional level, that the industry can improve. “I set about changing the beliefs, attitudes and opinions of the industry by creating a system that operated around intrinsic human values, encouraging inclusiveness and driving empathy, all while still being viable as a business. We needed to create a system that revolves around the things that really matter in life,” she said.

In 2012, Natasha began her global search for a proven, alternative model for Aged Care that aligned with her vision for an inclusive community. As an Australian first, two houses were built in Wynyard, Tasmania in December 2014. Natasha’s bold new direction had a significant and positive impact on the lives of its residents as well as their families. The success of the small-scale model in Tasmania led to Natasha pioneering the development of NewDirection Care’s Microtown at Bellmere, located between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

NewDirection Care has transformed the industry, operating around intrinsic human values, encouraging inclusiveness and freedom, while creating the start of a global movement to a new way of caring for our elderly. The ground-breaking complex care model is unique in being diagnosis inclusive meaning no segregation or discrimination.

Natasha is currently a committee member of Leading Aged Services Australia (NSW/ACT) and a past Board Member of this peak body. She has also been a member of the Ministerial Dementia Forum Working Group and the ACFA Advisory Group. With a reformer’s zeal, Natasha is helping to fundamentally improve the lives of people with a dementia diagnosis. Another cause close to her heart is education and for many years she has mentored young women in their final year at the University of Sydney and Western University, as part of the LUCY mentoring program.

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