Page 1075 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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The following actions under focus area 2 are progressing. Significant interjurisdictional work is underway to harmonise enduring power of attorney laws in order to establish a national register of EPoAs. Data has been collected on the attitudes and perceptions of older Canberrans, particularly in relation to COVID-19, to inform work across the ACT government. And materials to enhance the awareness of ageism within the ACT public service are under development and due for release this year.

The third focus area of the plan—Information, Services and Supports which Embrace Diversity—sees efforts to ensure that older Canberrans have access to information and supports to promote wellbeing, active participation and independence. This also recognises the need for supports to be responsive to individual circumstances and affirming of older Canberrans’ equal right to choice and control over their lives. Achievements in this focus area include people with dementia and their carers benefiting from enhanced dementia-friendly design principles and access at the Belconnen Access Canberra service centre and the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

The new Belconnen service centre was opened to the public on 17 January 2022. This centre was designed using feedback from the community, including Dementia Australia. I am pleased to advise that Dementia Australia reviewed the centre and praised the design of the new centre, providing the following feedback:

I greatly commend Access Canberra on designing a well-considered centre with many features to ensure it is dementia friendly.

Access Canberra have begun a training program for all service centre staff working on the front line, in partnership with Dementia Australia.

Canberra Museum and Gallery is upgrading the access ramp leading to its open collections gallery, due for completion in 2022. I would particularly like to acknowledge and thank Ms Lawder for bringing a motion to this Assembly last April to ensure close tracking of this action in the Age-Friendly City Plan.

The Re-envisioning Older Persons Mental Health and Wellbeing in the ACT Strategy 2022-26 has been drafted through consultation with the community and via a working group. And the older persons mental health community team model has undergone an extensive review to ensure that mental health services are meeting the needs of older people experiencing mental illness.

The Home Library Service has continued to ensure access to our crucial library services for people who face additional challenges in getting to libraries, particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19. It is something that I had a lot of feedback about from our community throughout last year.

The Mystery Box initiative, which started as a trial in 2020, continued with gusto in 2021, serving 1,700 people. Libraries ACT pivoted their bilingual story times, which have an intergenerational component, to move online as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. May I also congratulate COTA ACT and Libraries ACT on their joint online event in recognition of Grandparents Day last year.

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