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Monday, 27 March 2023
Page: 61

Mr LITTLEPROUD (MaranoaLeader of the Nationals) (13:30): Bell is a tiny rural community in my electorate and, today, I rise to recognise the dedication and hard work of one of our local champions, Lesley Bryce, the founder of Bell Cares. We know that small rural towns do it tough when it comes to accessing aged care. With Lesley leading the way, this community united to address the lack of support their elderly residents were receiving from traditional home-care packages. With no local providers available and travel costs eating up their finances, Bell's most vulnerable seniors were facing big challenges. But in the spirit of resilience which defines rural Australia this community decided to take action.

Lesley Bryce had a solution to improve aged care in Bell, and that was to develop a place based model of support that would be ideal for such a tightknit rural community. This is a concept of self-managed home-care packages which tailor support to the unique needs of residents and employs local people they already know and trust as support workers.

On the ground in Bell, this approach has been a tremendous success. It's providing over 270 hours of dedicated care per month through 20 local support workers. In fact, it has been so successful that this model is expanding into other rural communities in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales. To Lesley and the entire community of Bell I say: congratulations on this incredible achievement and thank you for the wonderful difference you've made altogether.