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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1413 ..

These two local dads have done a lot of initial research on the ways this site could be used. It is so impressive to see this kind of grassroots initiative coming out of Ginninderra. As I said at the gathering on Saturday, our democracy works best when the community speaks to government; so a big shout-out, especially to Melba IGA, which provided sponsorship to the SMILE event by donating bread, sausages and onions for the sausage sizzle. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow MLAs at the event, Mrs Kikkert, Ms Clay, and Ms Cheyne.

Tim and Hector have started an e-petition to the Assembly. I would strongly encourage all Ginninderra residents, and of course any other Canberrans who would like to see this initiative receive ACT government funding, to support it.

Seniors—Silver is Gold Festival

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (5.16): I rise this afternoon to talk about the Silver is Gold Festival. This is the newly branded Seniors Week, which has been reconfigured to provide events throughout the year rather than all the events occurring in one week. This presents more opportunities for community members to celebrate older people. It is especially important given that last year’s Seniors Week events were all cancelled due to COVID-19. This festival is being wonderfully managed by the Council on the Ageing ACT, also known as COTA ACT.

While the Canberra community is still cautious about conditions around COVID-19, Jenny Mobbs, the CEO of COTA ACT, aims to encourage community connection. She says, “There are two very important messages for everyone living in Canberra regarding this new brand. The first is connection. We are keen to see the whole community take responsibility in reaching out and building a cooperative spirit, particularly with our older folk. The second is re-imagining ageing. Many people in our society have a negative opinion of older people, ageing and the aged. We are all living longer, seniors are active, and they contribute hugely to society, be this through volunteering, looking after grandchildren or being in the work force. It is time for everyone to re-imagine older people and ageing. Contributing to a community that welcomes and nurtures our seniors is a far better place for everyone to live.”

The range of events for Silver is Gold will encourage our community to do just that. They focus both on how we would like to age and how we would like to be treated as we mature. The Silver is Gold Festival was launched on 28 April, when I had the privilege of issuing awards for the community art and photographic competition. There was a terrific array of entries and winners, ranging from children as young as three to those who were in their 70s.

All of the artwork and photography depicted positive visions of ageing. One of the winning entries was a series of stunning photographs of Jill diving from the top tower at civic pool. Jill resumed diving after 50 years, at the age of 65. There was such joy in those images, particularly for those of us who are younger and perhaps not as fit. The photos were taken by Paul Durack, who, as I subsequently learnt, is the kayak

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