Page 3230 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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level and a facility-by-facility level what is able to be accessed by the community. I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing this motion to the Assembly.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Alzheimer’s Australia

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (4.23): I rise this evening to talk about Alzheimer’s Australia and dementia awareness. September is dementia awareness month, and Alzheimer’s Australia ACT is hosting a number of events to support the important fundraising. Dementia is increasing in the ACT and across the country. Without important research and hopefully a medical breakthrough, the number of Australians living with Alzheimer’s will reach 900,000 by 2050. Here in Canberra that number will rise from the current 4,500 who are living with dementia to 15,000 by 2050. Dementia was made a national health priority in 2012 in recognition of the impacts on governments, health systems and our community. It is essential that our governments and communities support people of all ages with dementia to live productive and meaningful lives.

Alzheimer’s Australia ACT is the peak charity in the ACT that represents people who live with dementia. It provides a number of essential services such as information and advice, counselling, advocacy support groups and, importantly, education to raise awareness of dementia. Alzheimer’s ACT was founded in 1997 by a group of dedicated professional and volunteers working in the community and aged care sectors. This group of dedicated people worried about what more they could be doing to help those with dementia and their families and carers.

They set up a committee to help them carry forward their important work. Their only source of funding was voluntary donations. A public forum in 1997 for carers of people with dementia helped develop an understanding of the kind of support that was needed. Today their Kaleen premises are headquarters for 22 professional staff and 20 volunteers. Together they provide support services for people with dementia and their families and carers.

I do not know all of the 22 professional staff and 20 volunteers at Alzheimer’s ACT but I have worked very closely with ACT President Greg Fraser, CEO Jane Allen, Eileen McEntee and Michael Wootton, a very dedicated group whom I had the pleasure of working with during my annual charity trivia fundraising night which was in May this year. It was in support of Alzheimer’s ACT. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication of the ACT team then. So it was good to catch up with them all late this morning as we promoted their Alzheimer’s walk and jog—the race against dementia—just outside the Assembly.

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