It’s all in our name – MiCare, or Migrant Care, is Australia’s most caring provider of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We understand your culture and speak your language. We are committed to providing a comprehensive range of culturally appropriate care in the most professional, compassionate, and dignified manner. We strive to provide holistic care for Elders, families, and clients taking into consideration their spiritual, physical, social, and psychological needs.
Today, MiCare has a range of services to offer such as Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living, Home Care services, Migrant services, Social Support Groups, Volunteers, Meals (MiMeals), and other community services. Information about each of these services is available on our website.
MiCare started off as an aged care service for Dutch migrants and was first known as DutchCare which provided ethno-specific care to the elderly Dutch who, although well assimilated into the Australian way of life, experienced English language loss or language reversal. Its services acknowledged the physical, mental, and spiritual comfort derived from familiar surroundings, first language, food from the place of birth, ethno-specific entertainment, and common religious affiliations.
DutchCare Ltd was formed on 1 October 1996 out of an amalgamation of Avondrust Incorporated (1974) Dutch Australian Community Action Incorporated (1984) and the Holland Australian Retirement Foundation Incorporation (1971).
In 2001, the Polder Model of Care (a system of tight cooperation between staff, residents, and family members particularly between the staff) was developed during a time when medication management was highly regulated and challenging. Over the years, DutchCare received many awards including Victoria’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs in 2004 and the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing: Excellence in Ageing Services Award for the Polder Model in 2006.
In 2001, DutchCare adopted the ‘Eden Alternative’ philosophy where the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of people are met by embracing an intergenerational and partnership approach. This philosophy has seen a 50% increase in the longevity of residents in our care. All of DutchCare’s (and now MiCare Ltd’s) facilities are Eden Registered Homes.
In 2010, our commercial kitchen in Seaford, now known as MiMeals, was completed and we began providing culturally appropriate food throughout Victoria. It was also this year that DutchCare’s Aged care facilities were the first in Australia to receive recognition for all 10 Eden Principles.
In 2013, DutchCare and New Hope Foundation (a Settlement service – see below) began working side by side in programs such as community visiting and capacity building. As our relationship grew, we acknowledged the commonalities of the two organizations, in particular our value systems and the communities we served.
We began exploring opportunities to increase our scope of service provision and where possible reduce our operational costs. The more we worked together the clearer it became that a merger could offer enormous scope for us in relation to our service delivery and growth opportunities for our communities. In 2015 we began working on a merger and this officially occurred on 1 October 2016 whilst still retaining services under the business names of DutchCare and New Hope Foundation.
On 1 July 2016, DutchCare was renamed MiCare to reflect our focus on all migrant groups, not just the Dutch. The merger with the New Hope Foundation consolidated our work with new and emerging ethnic communities. Where the aged were concerned, our experience confirmed that English language loss or language reversal was common to other groups from a non-English speaking background and that, they too, derived comfort from services that reflected their ethnic backgrounds. Indeed, to provide otherwise is to invite misdiagnosis, isolation, withdrawal, challenging behaviors, and accelerated deterioration.
The next merger occurred with the Netherlands Retirement Village Association Queensland (NRVAQ) (see below) on 1 July 2017. This followed a long association between the two organizations for over 10 years.
At the NRVAQ special members’ meeting held in Brisbane, the new constitution and merger with MiCare was passed on 23 April 2017. The village and aged care home have retained their name, Prins Willem Alexander, but the name of the organization became MiCare.
In 2018, we merged with the Dutch Australian Community Centre (a recreation center) in Sunshine.
With these mergers some things remain constant, that is, the importance of relationships, making the lives of those around us as good as we can, maintaining the community spirit that keeps us going, and finally, making a difference in each other’s lives.
Those mergers which had the most impact on the future direction of MiCare were the New Hope Foundation and the Netherlands Retirement Village Association Queensland (NRVAQ).
New Hope Foundation
New Hope Foundation was established on the values and principles introduced by Mr. Frank Crean, former Federal Australian Treasurer and which we continue to incorporate into MiCare today. The New Hope Foundation had its origins in the Migrant Resource Centre Prahran, which was established in 1981. Over the years services grew across the Southern suburbs of Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula, and across the western suburbs’ growth corridor.
By 1990 it had started its first Home and Community Care (HACC) project and in 1995, commenced the Assistance with Care and Housing program and aged care social support programs. Within its first decade, the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) had responded to significant settlement needs of clients and had commenced work in program development for services in culturally relevant aged care. The MRC successfully collaborated with the Prahran Council to commence the Ethnic Meals Project for local migrant aged residents.
In 2001, the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC), which was by now known as the South Central Region Migrant Centre underwent its official name change to operate as the New Hope Foundation, under which it rolled out services to the growing numbers of African and Burmese arrivals settling in Melbourne’s western suburbs. From 2003 onwards, New Hope delivered new and innovative settlement programs to serve the needs of new arrivals from Footscray, Werribee and Sunshine office locations. At the same time, our growth in aged care services also strengthened our capacity to respond to the needs of increasing numbers of ethnic Elders who were once new arrivals during and after Australia’s post war immigration programs.
Netherlands Retirement Village Association Queensland (NRVAQ)
The Association was established as a not-for-profit organisation in the early 1990s to cater to the needs of older persons born in The Netherlands. A large parcel of land was purchased, and the plans began for a Dutch Village. The small independent units were built followed by an aged care facility. The need for aged residential services continued and further retirement homes and aged residential beds were built.
In 2012, the Association put in an application to expand its residential home and was successful in receiving a bed allocation through the Aged Care Approvals Round. The new building was designed with the whole village in mind and in 2016, was completed.
With the significant expansion, it doubled in size and the opportunity arose to provide services to older people from other cultures. The Association began discussions with the Hispanic Community of Queensland and in 2016 a formal Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Latin American Community Queensland (LACA).
While this was happening in the foreground, the Association was strengthening its relationship with DutchCare Victoria and shared some administrative functions such as quality systems, policies, and procedures. The relationship was further cemented by having DutchCare’s CEO, Petra Neeleman, on the Board. As the years progressed it became evident that the two organisations had many synergies and in April 2017 made the decision to merge.
We believe that people have a right to be respected and that differences should be celebrated. We love to hear the stories of our Elders & Clients, whatever their origins, and to honor their language, their foods, and their wider culture.
MiCare works with new migrants coming into Australia and aims to provide them with meaningful skills and connections.
To enable migrants to have comfortable, enjoyable, dignified and meaningful lives
Enabling you to live in your world, as we provide services that suit your culture, spirituality and language.
To continue leading aged care through:
- Providing quality services in your home or ours
- Planned growth coupled with sustained financial viability
- Nurturing our people through evolving our highly competent staff and volunteers
- Actively promoting diversity of cultures
- Informed advice and influence on industry direction and government policy
- Good governance
- Trust: We believe in the mutual expectation of acceptance, respect, and fair treatment.
- Empowerment: We will provide each other with the means and knowledge to make our own decisions and we will have confidence and trust in each other.
- Flexibility: We accept the need for change to adapt to different conditions and circumstances as they occur;
- Harmony: We encourage staff, Elders, and family to work together to build meaningful relationships.
- Empathy: We recognize the power of understanding, and imaginatively stepping into another person’s shoes; we acknowledge their feelings towards an object or person and in doing so share their happiness or sadness.