Head of care consultancy awarded Order of Australia medal

Peter Bewert, managing director of Meaningful Care Matters, has been awarded an Order of Australia medal.

The head of an international care consultancy has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to vulnerable older people.

As part of the Australia Day Honours List, Peter Bewert, managing director of Meaningful Care Matters, has been named as one of just over 350 people to receive an OAM, which in the country's honours system confers the highest recognition.

The accolade was awarded for ‘outstanding achievement and services’ to the improvement of care for older persons within the Commonwealth.

To receive the accolade, recipients must be nominated by their peers, considered by an independent process and recognised by the nation. 

Upon hearing he had been awarded an OAM, he said: “I am honoured that people have regarded the work I have achieved in social care over the years to be significant enough to nominate me for an OAM. I went into denial, initially. All I’ve ever seen myself doing is my job and trying to be the best I can be alongside the brilliant people I work with both in Australia and the UK.

“This award is one that recognises and represents the achievements of so many people, not just me. It’s not about me, it’s about us. Titles and accolades don’t mean anything without action and that action doesn’t just come from just one person.”

Registered nurse Bewert has worked in roles including acute care, gerontology and critical care, and has informed policy-making at the World Health Organisation.

He set up Meaningful Care Matters, which has its UK base in Hove, in 2019, and has been key in helping care homes across the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada adopt The Butterfly Approach, a dementia model creating a person-centred care culture.

Bewert says: “I’m a nurse at heart and always will be. I started nursing when I left school at the age of 15, fast-forward almost 30 years and have seen all different types of care – the good, the great, and the indifferent. You feel outstanding care before you see it. It’s a feeling of being loved, content, secure, safe, and free to be yourself. This is what the heart of care is about."

During the coronavirus pandemic, Bewert also launched the Meaningful Connections Community platform to help offer individuals and care providers an opportunity to share, collaborate and debate issues impacting person-centred care cultures. 

Looking to the future of the group, he says: “Our desire is to continue growing in 2022 and beyond. Following the events of the pandemic the message is very clear – people matter. Person-centred care is something that has been talked about for many years and we believe we have the tools to help people in a pragmatic, meaningful and engaging way. All we are doing is making sure we can create cultures where people can live life to the fullest regardless of age, cognitive status, disability or anything that might be considered a barrier.”

Meaningful Care Matters aims to improve quality of life and lived experience for all people in health and social care services.