LUNCHEON - 5TH FEBRUARY 2014
Speaker: Seniors Awards - Gerard Mansour, Victorian Commissioner for Senior Victorians
Topic: Seniors Count - Strengthening our age friendly communities
Chairperson: Sandra Hills
Gerard Mansour is a highly respected and passionate advocate for the needs of older people. With over 25 years of leadership experience within the aged and wider community services sectors, Mr Mansour contributed significantly to industry capacity building, policy development and enhancement of services for older Australians.
In 2012, Mr Mansour became the inaugural national CEO of Leading Age Services Australia, the peak national body representing the aged and community care industry across Australia.
Prior to this, Mr Mansour was the CEO of Aged and Community Care Victoria for six years. Mr Mansour says a priority is the focus on quality of life, workforce participation and access to services for senior Victorians. This means maximizing opportunities for all, including those who are marginalised or disadvantaged.
Synopsis of the presentation:
Gerard Mansour, Victorian Commissioner for Senior Victorians delivered a thought provoking address entitled , “Seniors Count – Strengthening our Age Friendly Communities” challenging us to start planning now for the retirement we want, along with what we want an ‘ Aged friendly’ community to look like. Gerard emphasised the important partnership that state and local governments have in ensuring the establishment of ‘age friendly’ communities such as accessible footpaths and easy to read signage.
Gerard outlined the challenges and opportunities that longevity and technological advances have brought and proposed that there is a need to reconceptualise the definition of retirement, including a shift in public and employer attitudes towards ageing.
Finally, Gerard shared with us the importance of getting the right balance in the Seniors’ Participation Action which has been commissioned by the state government. The age mix was right as were the targeted questions from a number of our sprightly mature members. It was a great address received by the many focused attendees who were seeking answers to the questions they know will be looming in the future.