Wednesday, 29 June 2022
    Aged Care

    From a hunch to a Royal Commission

    In this interview with ABC Backstory, ABC journalist, Anne Connolly says aged care is an issue that’s been neglected in media coverage but she sensed there was widespread suffering that needed to be exposed.

    How did your long-running investigation into aged care come about?

    When I joined the ABC Investigations unit in early 2018, I suggested the idea of a crowdsourced investigation to our editor, Jo Puccini, because I was convinced — based on other stories I had done on aged care — that there were many people suffering, that they had nowhere to turn as the complaints agency and the regulator were ineffective, and that they were desperate to tell their stories.

    It was the first big, crowdsourced investigation for the unit and it turned out to be one of the most successful for the ABC and probably the country.
    Are you worried about aged care in Australia?

    I made a video for Facebook asking people to contact us and we distributed it through many channels and by the end of the week more than 4,000 people had responded, which was phenomenal.

    That’s when we realised how widespread the problem was, that it was not just a “rotten apple” here and there as the industry and government had always maintained.

    We still have a dedicated email address which appears with any online story on aged care and it still receives hundreds of emails every year which is why we’ve continued to report on the issues throughout the royal commission.

    It means I’ve been reporting on aged care for almost three years now and unfortunately there’s no shortage of issues to cover.

    It’s an area that has been largely ignored by other media because it’s not considered “sexy”.


    ABC Investigations journalist Anne Connolly on her crowdsourced probe into aged care and the shocking stories it uncovered (ABC News)


    Journalist Anne Connolly at the Prime Minister’s media conference on the day the Aged Care Royal Commission report was released.(ABC 7.30)