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Opening of centre to conduct research into all aspects of ageing
4/11/1999 11:38 AM
A centre to conduct research into all aspects of ageing, as part of moves to improve the quality of life for seniors, has today been officially opened by Premier Richard Court.
Mr Court said the Positive Ageing Centre, which was the first of its kind in Australia, would be a centre of excellence for a whole range of ageing issues.
The opening of the centre honours a 1996 election commitment by the Coalition Government to establish a centre to focus on ageing issues.
“Research at the centre will focus on the social, economic, technological, and environmental issues affecting the health and well-being of seniors and our ageing population,” he said.
“To date, there has been little practical research into the factors associated with quality of life in later years and those that contribute to a happy and fulfilling old age.”
Seniors Minister Rhonda Parker said that research and quality information on such factors was needed to assist in the development of the necessary programs and policies.
“We want to facilitate better planning for seniors across all levels of Government, business, the community and by individuals themselves,” Mrs Parker said.
“The Positive Ageing Centre is part of our vision for a society where age is no barrier, where seniors are valued and where ageing is a positive and rewarding stage of life.
“The centre will play an important role in helping us to achieve long-term positive change for seniors and respond to the biggest demographic change our society has ever faced - the ageing of our population.”
Currently 14 per cent of our population are 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.
Mr Court said this would have a huge impact on the demand for goods, transport, healthcare, leisure, homecare, financial services, housing and many other issues of importance to seniors.
Mrs Parker said that the centre, which would work in co-operation with the State’s five universities, would research ageing issues in Australia as well as the Asian region.
“There will be 500 million seniors in Asia in the foreseeable future, so our research into ageing issues and the expertise developed in the State in this area will open up commercial opportunities,” she said.
The Positive Ageing Centre has already secured a $155,000 contract to conduct research for the International Federation of Ageing in the lead-up to the Sixth Global Conference on Ageing, which will be held in Perth in 2002.
Mrs Parker said that the activities of the centre would be supported by the Positive Ageing Foundation, a charitable body which had been established for that purpose.
The State and Federal Governments have made a $3.6 million contribution to the foundation and the Lotteries Commission provided $296,000 to refurbish the Cloisters building housing the centre.
The foundation board is chaired by Dr Eric Tan and includes:
Sir James Cruthers, Mr David Johnston, Mr Harry Sorenson, Dr Penny Flett,
Dr John Hewson, Hon Kay Hallahan and Professor Charles Watson.
Casey Cahill (Premier’s office) 9222 9475
Owen Cole (Mrs Parker’s office ) 9481 7810