- Six metropolitan and regional seniors nominated for Juniper WA Lifetime Achievement Awards
- Local governments and businesses nominated for their commitment to building age-friendly communities
- Minister for Seniors and Ageing set to announce winners on November 17
Renowned Perth butcher and Lifeline WA ambassador Vince Garreffa, a Belmont-based diversity advocate and an Aboriginal Elder who works to improve the lives of dementia sufferers are among the finalists for the 2018 WA Seniors Awards.
Mr Garreffa is nominated alongside a long-time champion of culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Nilda Eisen and Royal Australian Air Force veteran Graeme Bland in the metropolitan category of the Juniper WA Lifetime Achievement Award.
The regional finalists for the Lifetime Achievement Award include Dementia Partnership Project member Faye Dean from Karajarri, Albany men’s health and wellbeing advocate Grant Westthorp, and Denmark-based cancer fundraiser Mary Elizabeth Williams.
The 2018 WA Seniors Awards sees the reintroduction of categories recognising local governments and businesses for their commitment to age-friendly outcomes.
In the Age Friendly Local Government category, the City of Joondalup and the City of Fremantle are each nominated for their commitment to age-friendly initiatives.
In the Age Friendly Business category, Kings Tours and Travel, Mandurah Taxis, and Coffea Fine Espresso Café are all nominated for their exceptional commitment to providing a quality service to older Western Australians.
The winners will be announced at an event hosted by Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray at the close of Seniors Week on November 17, 2018. Seniors Week begins on Sunday, November 11.
The WA Seniors Awards 2018 are presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the McGowan Government.
As stated by Acting Seniors and Ageing Minister David Templeman:
“This year’s finalists for the WA Seniors Awards prove yet again how older Western Australians are so often the unsung heroes of our communities.
“The work they do to support their peers, promote healthy and active ageing and give back to the wider community is remarkable.
“Importantly, the awards help seniors from all walks of life understand that age is no barrier when it comes to achieving great things.
“This year’s awards will once again acknowledge businesses and local governments who focus on making older people’s lives better. This commitment runs in line with the McGowan Government’s strong support for the age-friendly communities movement.
“I congratulate all the finalists for their incredible work in support of their communities and wish them well for the awards ceremony on November 17.”
Juniper WA Lifetime Achievement Award Metropolitan finalists
Graeme Bland (City of Melville)
Graeme Bland has provided a lifetime of service. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1957 and served in Malaya, Thailand and Australia. After retirement, Mr Bland joined the RAAF Association (WA Division) in 1991 and has contributed greatly to the Association, particularly to the Aviation Heritage Museum. He has been an active volunteer and fundraiser for the museum over many years. Mr Bland also works as a pension officer assisting veterans to access their full entitlements. He was awarded Life Membership of the Air Force Association for his extensive work in the WA division.
Nilda Eisen (City of Belmont)
Since settling in Perth in 1972 from Argentina, Nilda Eisen has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities. Ms Eisen has been a member of the Board of Umbrella Multicultural Community Care Services for 14 years and president since 2009. Ms Eisen has initiated programs, including raising awareness of elder abuse and encouraging breast screening services for CaLD communities. She volunteers for Books on Wheels, Stirling Silver Program and is a Justice of the Peace for the City of Stirling and the State Library.
Vincenzo Garreffa (City of Stirling)
Vincenzo Garreffa has a passion for food and giving. At age 67, he devotes more than half his time to raising money and offering his services for charity events to raise funds for Lifeline. For 21 years, Mr Garreffa has held an annual brunch in his backyard and has raised more than $3 million for the charity. This year the event raised more than $400,000. Mr Garreffa believes if you are going to donate then you donate everything. His catch cry is: there is nothing better than food, hospitality and generosity.
Juniper WA Lifetime Achievement Award Regional finalists
Faye Dean (Shire of Broome)
Karajarri Elder Faye Dean lives in the Bidyadanga Community in the north-west. Since 2014, she has been working with the Dementia Partnership Project for the Bidyadanga community in conjunction with Alzheimer’s WA. Ms Dean is the community care team leader and has driven the project through its two-year implementation period. The project assists stakeholders to interact with people living with dementia and better understand their needs to reduce negative stereotyping. This increased understanding has encouraged people in remote communities to age in place on their traditional country.
Grant Westthorp (Shire of Denmark; City of Albany)
For more than 10 years, Grant Westthorp has contributed significantly to the health and wellbeing of men in the Great Southern region. Mr Westthorp, now a senior himself, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Men’s Resource Centre in Albany. His aim is to help men develop personal resilience. He identified the need for a men’s survival handbook after fielding questions during 8,000 wellness checks conducted by the Centre. The first book was released in 2013 and more than 18,000 copies have been distributed. Through the McCusker Citizenship Internship Program, Mr Westthorp developed the book into an app that has had 2,000 downloads across Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.
Mary Elizabeth Williams (Shire of Denmark; City of Albany)
About five years ago, Mary Williams instigated the Stepping Out 2 Program in Denmark to connect community members who were isolated and lonely. Through the program, she became aware of the impact of cancer treatment on people in regional areas. With the help of volunteers, Ms Williams has lobbied local, State and Federal governments, clocked up 75,000 kilometres and raised more than $25,000 to establish a radiation facility in Albany. The Federal Government has announced it will fund up to $6.6 million towards the facility. Ms Williams is a wonderful example of what can be done to change and enhance rural communities.
Age Friendly Local Government finalists
The City of Joondalup
The City of Joondalup offers a comprehensive program to promote a positive view of seniors and ageing. It contributes significantly to the lives of older residents through programs such as the Community Transport Program, the Platinum 50+ adventure program, Duncraig Seniors Centre, Books on Wheels and the Get on Board program which encourages and assists seniors to use public transport. The City has a draft Age Friendly Community Plan and offers age-friendly training for businesses in the area. More than 32 per cent of the City’s population is made up of people aged 50 and over.
The City of Fremantle
The City of Fremantle is committed to assisting people to age positively and actively. Its dedicated Positive Ageing Officer collaborates with many providers about seniors’ activities. The City is recognised by the World Health Organisation and is a member of the Global Network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities. The City runs a broad range of programs, including recreational, wellbeing and learning opportunities, to maintain and increase social participation of older people. It has a focus on ensuring older people have an equal opportunity to access the City’s facilities and that housing is designed to meet the needs of older people now and in the future.
Age Friendly Business Award finalists
Kings Tours and Travel (Town of Cambridge)
Kings Tours and Travel is a family business established more than 30 years ago to provide tours for older people. Now owned by second generation Jenny Franceschi, Kings is an age-friendly business with team members aged from 25 to 75. Kings offers specialised travel services for older people and has many touch points with their clients. Recently Kings established a social club for solo travellers purely to allow single people to connect and make friends, with no promotion of holidays at events.
Mandurah Taxis Pty Ltd (City of Mandurah)
Operating in the Peel region since 1959, Mandurah Taxis takes a two-pronged approach to being age-friendly. Firstly, they provide 24/7 demand, door to door, capped price personalised transport including wheelchair access vehicles. The option of pink taxis with female-only drivers has also proven popular with their older passengers. Secondly, Mandurah Taxis assists older people with employment with a team of experienced drivers aged 70 and over who work part time and stay connected with their community.
Coffea Fine Espresso Café (City of Melville)
Located in the AMP Garden City Age Friendly Shopping Centre, Coffea Fine Espresso Café was one of the first businesses to join the Melville Age Friendly Accessible Business network established in 2016. After consultation with management and feedback from people in the area, owner Euro Lumb began a monthly memory café where people with dementia and their carers could come to a welcoming and safe space. More than 1,000 people have attended the memory café. People who live with dementia and their families also visit the café more regularly as they feel safe, respected and well served by the trained staff.