Barbara Spriggs, the woman who lifted the lid on the Oakden story last year, has been named South Australia’s Senior Australian of the Year.

Mrs Sprigg’s husband, Bob, had been a resident at Oakden prior to his death last year. Following signs of abuse, Mrs Sprigg’s had begun to demand answers which eventually led to the formal inquiry and the facility’s closure.

When her initial requests for information about Bob’s treatment went ignored, Mrs Spriggs obtained his medical records through a Freedom of Information request and discovered damning evidence of systematic failures and shocking practices.

In her Honour Roll description, Mrs Spriggs is recognised as a “campaigner to prevent abuse of aged care patients”.

“Barb’s determination to seek answers and justice led to a formal inquiry, a damning report detailing a culture of cover up dating back 10 years, and an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry.”

“Barb’s husband has since died, but her sustained efforts saw other patients transferred to a new facility with hand-picked staff offering high-quality care. Barb’s persistence at a time of great personal grief honours her beloved husband with a legacy of better care and respect for older people in aged care facilities around Australia.”