Residential Aged Care Funding Reform Sector Reference Group

Page last updated: 30 July 2019


The RUCS Sector Reference Group (SRG) was established as a sector advisory body on the design and implementation of the RUCS, providing advice and monitoring progress throughout the study. The SRG met approximately bimonthly or as otherwise required throughout the RUCS, and a summary of matters discussed in each meeting has been published on this website. The first SRG meeting took place on 4 October 2017.

The Terms of Reference for the SRG outlines the purpose and membership of the group.

SRG meeting summaries:

Terms of reference

The purpose of the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study Sector Reference Group (the SRG) is to provide advice in relation to the design and implementation of the Resource Utilisation and Classification Study (RUCS)y. The SRG will also monitor the progress and provide advice on the findings from the study at milestone points. The RUCS was completed in 2018.

Role and function

The SRG is an advisory body and will provide advice to the Department of Health (the Department) and the Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong who have been procured to undertake the study, on study design and practical implementation issues as required. The SRG will also form a key part of the Department’s consultation with the aged care sector on the study. Possible areas for discussion include:

  • aspects of the study methodology
  • the framework for site selection
  • data collection processes
  • other matters relevant to the study.

The SRG will not act as a decision making body.

To support these functions, members of the SRG will act in a collegiate and collaborative manner when debating and resolving issues; and respect the confidentiality of the SRG’s proceedings.

Membership and quorum

The SRG will be chaired by the Assistant Secretary of the Funding Policy and Prudential Branch, Residential and Flexible Aged Care Division, Department of Health. Members have relevant expertise in clinical, accounting or operations management aspects of aged care, or experience in undertaking resource utilisation studies and development of casemix classification systems.

A quorum is not required as the SRG’s primary role is of an advisory nature only.

Members of this committee were selected based on their expertise, and are not representatives of their respective organisation. As such member proxies will not be permitted except in exceptional circumstances. Attendance by a proxy will be authorised by the Chairperson on a case by case basis.

The Department or the University of Wollongong may seek additional external expertise to provide advice to assist with the work of the SRG.

The SRG is comprised of the following members:

Joanne Fitzgerald

Member, Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

David Maher

Member, Catholic Healthcare

Julie Reeves

Member, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Louise Connelly

Member, Life Care

Dr Michelle Bennett

Member, Australian Catholic University

Matt Bevan

Member, UnitingCare Australia

Maureen Berry

Member, BUPA

Maureen Kennedy

Member, Bolton Clarke

Penni Roberts

Member, Kaloma Home for the Aged

Pauline Wardle

Member, Australian Rural and Remote Community Services

Karina Peace

Member, Japara Healthcare Limited

The Chairperson may choose to invite other individuals or groups to attend meetings as required. 

Timeframe and frequency of meetings

Meetings will occur on a bimonthly basis or as needed. The Chairperson will determine the format and/or location of the meetings as they occur.


The Chairperson will set the agenda. Members are required to submit proposed agenda items to the Chairperson at least seven days before the meeting.

Out-of-session papers

Urgent matters that cannot be deferred until the next meeting can be managed as an out–of-session paper, sent to members via email with a requested response date. 


The Department of Health will provide the secretariat support for the Chairperson and the SRG through the Funding Policy and Prudential Branch.

Confidentiality and transparency

The SRG considers and discusses material that should be considered to be of a sensitive or commercial nature. Members and attendees acknowledge their responsibility to maintain confidentiality of all information disseminated to members that is not in the public domain (unless otherwise advised).

Members or invited guests will be required to complete a Department of Health Deed of Confidentiality.