History of the Project

Better Practice Project is in its’ 20th year. This is a significant achievement in the human service sector as an annually funded project. Due to the efforts of many people and under the guidance of Joyleen Thomas, the Better Practice Project is celebrating and working as hard as ever to meet the needs of the organisations and workers who are seeking to strengthen their work practices to result in better outcomes for the people they serve. There have been 5 stages to the Project’s evolution…

Stage 1

The Better Practice Project started in 1997 when ACH Group received Home and Community Care (then HACC) funding to develop and articulate a model of service that would enhance the citizenship and positive roles of older people. Stage 1 saw the development of our first resource “A Unique Life to Live” which identifies the values and assumptions that guided the project, and the key service principles and practices that increase the likelihood of older frail people participating in the community as valued citizens.

Stages 2 & 3

Recognising the value in our work, the State Government re-funded the Project which enabled us  encourage other agencies to consider the Project’s learning which has proved transferable to a broad range of agencies and to provide support and mentoring to implement the model.

Stage 4

The Better Practice Project became auspiced by Aged & Community Services SA & NT Inc  and allowed the Project to its accessibility and visibility.  Our goals at this stage included building a broader awareness of the Project, influencing new workers in the sector, “value-adding” to agencies as they work through the Home Care Standards, developing resources and building the capacity of people to understand and implement the ideas and theories underpinning the Project.

Stage 5

The BPP produced and successful trialled the training package “Living as an Older Person”. From this initiative a Train the Trainer package was developed to enable participants to deliver the training to their own staff.  The BPP fosters strong relationships with many organisations, including the Regional Collaboratives Projects, and independent contractors with unique expertise.  The Project went on to develop more handbooks “Valued Roles for All – Keys to living a good life” and Imagining Possibilities – A practical guide for working with people in the community”.


.Auspiced by Aged and Community Services Australia.


Funded by the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Supported by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion