Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (17 September) . .
There are more than 332,000 Australians living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 400,000 in less than 10 years. Dementia is a term that is described as symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person's functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. Dementia is most common after the age of 65, but there are over 24,000 people in Australia who have young onset dementia, including some people as young as 30. It has been estimated that 1.2 million people in Australia are involved in caring for a person with dementia. There is currently no cure for dementia, and there is a significant shortage of carers for people with dementia.
This Sunday, Alzheimer's ACT is holding its second Memory Walk & Jog. The aim of the Memory Walk & Jog is to raise funds and awareness for dementia. The event will involve a five-kilometre walk and a five-kilometre run, starting at 9 am in Lennox Gardens. Some 250 people took part in last year's walk, and they raised over $5,000. This year they would like to at least double that. The funds raised will help provide services and education for people with dementia, carers and health professionals, and members of the aged care and disability sector. Members may well see or become aware of this walk through the promotion of Alzheimer's ACT shoelaces, which are being handed out to boost awareness of the event.
I would like to congratulate all those involved with Alzheimer's ACT on their excellent work. I encourage members to take part in the Memory Walk & Jog on Sunday. For more information about dementia and the work of Alzheimer's Australia ACT, I recommend you visit their website at www.act.fightdementia.org.au.
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (7.07): Tonight I pay tribute to the Lions clubs of Canberra, quiet achievers of the Canberra community, living up to their motto "We serve". They do this through a wide range of projects to make our communities better. I recently had a fascinating visit to the Lions' youth haven Westwood lodge with a guided tour by Lions, Bruce May, Bob Crawshaw, Bill Dunn and, from the Canberra Belconnen Lions Club covering my electorate, Beverly von Stein. Westwood lodge off Kambah Pool Road is a working farm with a herd of red Angus cattle, an aquaponics facility and horses on agistment.
The youth haven lodge sleeps over 50 visitors downstairs, with catering facilities on the ground floor. It has separate rooms upstairs for teachers and drivers. It gives visiting school groups, junior choirs and sports teams et cetera touring Canberra a chance to sample the rural life in the beautiful setting of the Tuggeranong valley, with the Brindabellas looming in the west. The lodge is a joint initiative of the various Canberra and Queanbeyan Lions clubs. Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr opened it in May and the lodge already has solid bookings for the rest of the year.
The youth haven has a history going back over 25 years to when Sel Westwood suggested to the ACT government that the Lions organisation could use the abandoned farm to work with youth. Westwood lodge is the latest addition to the property that also hosts a range of services helping at-risk kids. It is just one initiative of Canberra Lions clubs.
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