Queen's Birthday honour fitting tribute for long-time aged care advocate

Catholic Health Australia Stewardship Board chair Rowena McNally has congratulated Richard Gray, one of the country's leading aged care advocates for more than 20 years, for his "very fitting" inclusion in the 2014 Queen's Birthday honours list.

Mr Gray, who joined Catholic Health Australia in 1996 as director of aged care services, was today named a member of the Order of Australia for "significant service to the community in the not-for-profit aged care and disability service sectors".

"Richard has been a familiar face around the halls of Parliament House for more than two decades and has been a very effective advocate for Catholic and not-for-profit aged care services under an astonishing 14 Commonwealth aged care ministers," Ms McNally said.

Mr Gray has served on countless advisory and consultative committees, including serving a full term as a board member of the Commonwealth Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, and served for many years on the Commonwealth Aged Care Minister's Aged Care Advisory Committee. Before joining CHA, Mr Gray was the inaugural executive director of what is today Aged and Community Services Australia, establishing its Canberra presence.

"Few people in aged care advocacy – if any – boast a résumé that would rival Richard's," Ms McNally said. "We in the Catholic health and aged care family are very grateful for the contribution Richard continues to make on behalf of our members, but his influence and his efforts have been more far-reaching than just the Catholic sector.

"The entire aged care sector has benefited from Richard's wisdom, passion and diligence over many years. An award of this import is very fitting recognition of that work."

Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said when he joined the organisation in 2008, Mr Gray was a great source of knowledge.

"As someone new to the aged care sector, Richard was invaluable in bringing me up to speed with the aged care landscape and helping guide CHA's thinking, and much of the sector's thinking, on the path forward," Mr Laverty said.

"Richard more than earned the right to taper back his work commitments last year, but his part-time work continues to be of great value to our national office and our members. I join Rowena in extending my congratulations to Richard at a very special time for him and his family."

Mr Gray currently serves as a board director of the Victorian disability and elder care provider Villa Maria. He is also a former board member of ACROD Ltd, Villaggio Sant'Antonio Ltd, Cerebral Palsy Overseas UK and also former chair of the Victorian Consultative Council on Rehabilitation. He served as CEO of the Spastic Society of Victoria.

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