The Acorn Network was founded in 2014 by Samantha Bowen.

When starting her journey as a young leader in the ageing and caring industry, Samantha saw limited young employees in the workforce and heard excuses, such as young people don’t want to work in here or it’s too 'unsexy' ... 

Through the Acorn Network, Samantha has worked to establish partnerships and advocate for youth in this industry. Her personal experience as a carer for her mother (read more here) has embedded a firm passion to ensure we build a better future for us all. Samantha is researching, speaking at conferences, and writing for industry websites to raise the understanding that youth must be involved in our care conversations if we are to have a workforce of passionate leaders caring for our Parents and Grandparents now and into the future.

We can’t leave young people out of this equation with the excuses that ageing and caring industry is unsexy or uninteresting. Now is the time to create our future champions. If you can help grow Acorn Network through funding, partnerships, or are inspired to support in other ways, please contact Samantha today.

Samantha has been awarded the influential Layne Beachley 2016 Aim For the Stars scholarship for business and leadership, is a non-executive board member for Women Health and Wellbeing Services, co-founded Women in Social Enterprise, and sits on a variety of health and aged care committees across Australia.


Samantha regularly draws on her core mentors for support, advice, and inspiration. Thank you to Amanda Terranova (Aged Care Channel), Stephen Kobelke (past ACSWA CEO), Alicia Curtis and Dr Nicky Howe (Young Leaders in Governance Program), and Alison Flemming (Scentre Group [Westfield]), plus the many many informal mentors that have helped Acorn Network grow and build towards becoming a strong base of support for all leaders in the Australian (and global) care community.