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McLean Care Wins Prestigious Innovation of the Year for Asia Pacific region

McLean Care has taken out two of the three award categories in which they were shortlisted at the 7th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards held recently in Singapore, including the prestigious Innovation of the Year, for their ground-breaking mixed reality driving simulator for older drivers.

92 organisations from 17 countries were represented at the event, which focuses on harnessing innovation to improve the quality of life for older people across the Asia Pacific region.

As a regional and rural service delivery specialist, McLean Care recognised the significant challenges faced by ageing drivers, particularly in rural communities with no transport alternatives. Loss of a licence signifies loss of independence for many older people and has been shown to negatively impact mental health, physical wellbeing, sense of control, community connection and social participation. Utilising grant funding from the Department of Health, McLean Care partnered with a team from the CADET Virtual Reality Laboratory at Deakin University to develop a mixed reality driving simulator, officially known as “Hector VR.”

Over 12 months in the making, the simulator pairs the shell of a real vehicle with VR simulation and enables older drivers to practice a range of essential driving skills in a completely safe environment. The simulator monitors and records data on driver competencies such as reaction speed and observance of common road rules. This information is provided to the user to support dignified decision making about ongoing driving competence. The simulator is also suitable for supporting older people to practice driving and retain their skills for as long as possible.

The project was a finalist in three categories at the 7th Asia Pacific Eldercare Awards, where qualifying entries were reviewed by a panel of global industry experts from Australia, Hong Kong Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

McLean Care won Best Solution to Support Ageing in Place – Wellness for a solution that demonstrates ease-of-use, elderly friendly, affordability and improves quality of life for older adults.

McLean Care also took out the ultimate award of Innovation of the Year – Technology, for the best technological implementation that demonstrates improvement in quality of life for older adults.

"It was an honour to receive both awards amongst a field of outstanding international candidates, all of whom are working towards making the lives of older people the best they can be. Most significantly, these awards are the result of a wonderful group of more than 60 older people – ranging in age from 64 - 92 years of age, who so generously gave their time, feedback and suggestions for improvement. This project, the first of its kind in the world, would not have been possible without them" - Sue Thomson, CEO of McLean Care

A special mention

Thanks to those instrumental in making the project possible:
  • Australian Government Department of Health for the seed funding
  • All Trial participants
  • John Baker and Mal Regan from Hot Rod lane Inverell for the vehicle modification
  • Alicia Eugene – Project Manager, from Harvest Community Consultants
  • The team at McLean Care
  • The Deakin University team
  • Inverell Police and ambulance for providing feedback
  • Local community for their ongoing support


Check out some demonstration videos, all of the action that has happened across our technology experience days, and our main trial program.

Hector VR Demonstration Videos > Technology Experience Days > Trial Program - Day 1 > Trial Program - Day 2 > Hector VR Launch Day > Hector VR Awards >


> Initial Media Release 

> Launch Media Release   

> Fact Sheet     

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Inverell Residential Care - Ph: 6721 7300
67 Killean St, Inverell NSW 2360
Inverell Community Care - Ph: 1300 791 660
94‐100 Byron St, Inverell NSW 2360
Kolora - Ph: 6779 1922
8 Prisk St, Guyra NSW 2365
Tamworth Community Care - Ph: 1300 791 660
Suite 1, 11‐15 Dowe St, Tamworth NSW 2340
CWA House - Ph: 4691 1130
21 Cherry Street, Oakey, QLD 4401
We recognise The Gomeroi People [custodians of the land around Gunnedah, Tamworth, Inverell, Tingha and Ashford]; and The Giabal and Jarowair Peoples [custodians of the land around Toowoomba and the Darling Downs].

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