Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Launch of foundation to fund research into all aspects of ageing

    1/10/1999 10:02 AM

      A foundation to fund research into all aspects of ageing to improve the quality of life for seniors has been launched today by Seniors’ Minister Rhonda Parker.

      The Positive Ageing Foundation and Centre, a State Government initiative, will focus on everything that can positively impact on the physical, mental and spiritual health and well being of seniors and the ageing population.

      “It will be a centre of excellence for whole-of-ageing issues,” Mrs Parker said.

      “We need to research all factors that impact on positive and active ageing, so we can produce the necessary programs and policies.

      “The centre will facilitate the development of partnerships with practitioners working with seniors and the private sector. This will help identify priority areas needing attention and open up new sources of funding.”

      The foundation received a cheque for $3.6 million from Mrs Parker, as an initial contribution from the State and Federal Governments.

      Lotteries Commission chairman Lloyd Stewart handed over a cheque for $296,000 for the refurbishment of the Cloisters Building in St. George’s Terrace, which will house the Positive Ageing Centre to be opened by Premier Richard Court during Seniors’ Week next month.

      “The centre will play an important role in helping us achieve long-term positive change for seniors and respond to the biggest demographic change our society has ever faced - the ageing of our population” Mrs Parker said.

      “Currently 14 per cent of our population are seniors - those aged 60 or more. That will increase to 22 per cent by 2021 and by 2025, for the first time, there will be more seniors than children and young people under the age of 18.

      “This will have a huge impact in terms of the demand for goods, transport, healthcare, leisure, homecare, financial services, housing and many other issues relevant to seniors.

      “To achieve our vision of positive and active ageing, we want to facilitate better planing for seniors across all levels of Government, business, the community and by individuals themselves.

      “Quality planning requires quality information and while there has been an increase in research on the health issues surrounding old age, there has been little research into other factors associated with quality of life in later years.

      “All five Western Australian universities are committed to supporting the centre and we will build on existing national, regional and international networks to carry out practical research on factors that will contribute to positive ageing.

      “The centre will focus on the seniors of today, but also on those of the future.

      “It will not only be researching quality of life issues for older persons, but also factors that will contribute to well ageing.”

      Mrs Parker said the distinguished board of the foundation would help ensure its success. It was chaired by Dr Eric Tan and includes Sir James Cruthers, Mr David Johnston, Mr Harry Sorensen, Dr Penny Flett, Dr John Hewson, Hon Kay Hallahan and Professor Charles Watson.

      “The opening of the centre will fulfil a 1996 election commitment and is part of Time on Our Side - the Government’s Five Year Plan for Western Australia’s Maturing Population, which was launched during Seniors’ Week last year.”

      Donations to the foundation are tax deductible.

      Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810