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Victorian Senior of the year announced for 2018.

The 2018 Victorian of the Year was today announced at 10.30am along with four other awards for outstanding public and community services, during the Victoria Day Council Awards ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall. Victoria Day 2018 marks the 167th anniversary of the official separation of Victoria from New South Wales and the formal proclamation as an independent State by Governor La Trobe.

The momentous occasion was re-enacted outside the Melbourne Town Hall today; giving award winners, dignitaries and passers-by a unique experience of Governor La Trobe’s Proclamation of Separation and a traditional flag-raising ceremony to mark the occasion. Later, at a formal awards ceremony in Swanston Hall, the Victorian of the Year and other award recipients were presented their awards by representatives of the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries.

Awards were presented to the following individuals and groups in the following categories:

Victorian of the Year: Dr Susan Alberti AC
Young Victorian of the Year: Daniel Poole
Victoria Day Award for the Arts: Victorian Opera
Good Corporate Citizen: John Holland Group
Organisation: Cathy Freeman Foundation


The selection of the award recipients was made by the Trustees of the Victorian Day Council after careful deliberation of many worthy nominations, all of whom have made significant and valuable contributions to the Victorian community. The Trustees of the Victoria Day Council is made up of previous Victorian of the Year Award recipients.

The Chairman of the Victoria Day Council, Mr Tony Cree was delighted with the selection of the award recipients, stating that, “The Victoria Day Council each year is honoured to introduce this year’s winners. The Victoria Day Council recognises people in the community that have gone above and beyond their contribution to the community within Victoria. On behalf of the Victoria Day Council, I thank them and congratulate them on their truly outstanding achievements and the great work they have done, I am thrilled they have been recognised in this way.”

Victoria Day celebrates Victoria’s independence and the rich history it has enjoyed since separation from New South Wales on 1st July 1851, 167 years later; Victorians are still enjoying the benefits of this occasion.

Victoria Day awards those individuals and groups who have made significant and valuable contributions to Victorian communities. The Victoria Day Council has the acknowledgement and encouragement of the Victorian Government and the Governor of Victoria.

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Seniors told they don't need to vote in Batman bi-election

The by-election for the federal seat of Batman was marred by a last-minute scandal on Saturday, with reports elderly voters received phone calls telling them they did not have to vote.

In response, Labor launched a phone call and SMS blitz urging senior voters to attend polling centres.

A campaign spokesman decried the move.

"Lying to elderly people is as low as it gets," he said.

"We're encouraging all Batman residents to ignore these dirty tricks and exercise their right to vote."

The electorate has a high proportion of elderly voters, who are traditionally more supportive of Labor.

Labor has declared victory in the Batman by-election, upsetting the Greens who were the favourites to win the inner-Melbourne seat and have now conceded defeat.

Former ACTU president Ged Kearney was on track to defeat the Greens' Alex Bhathal, with the ALP winning back voters from the Greens in the southern part of the electorate.

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of David Feeney, who was unable to find documents proving he was not a foreign citizen.

The seat in Melbourne's inner-north takes in trendy suburbs such as Northcote and Clifton Hill, and stretches to Preston and Reservoir further north.

It was once a Labor heartland, but gentrification has changed the demographics of the area.

The Greens campaign focused on Queensland's Adani coal mine project and Australia's refugee policies, however Ms Bhathal told ABC radio housing was the number one concern of voters across the electorate.

Her campaign had been marred by internal party leaks, alleging bullying.

The Australian Electoral Commission says more than 16,500 people cast an early vote, with another 14,500 registering for a postal vote.

Source: ABC

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Gold Coast seniors to enjoy free dog registration

Gold Coast seniors can cross off having to pay a registration fee for their pup every year, with Mayor Tom Tate today announcing free dog registration for pensioners.

Mayor Tate said the annual dog registration fee has been a concern for a number of seniors.

“My annual City Budget survey is underway and I’ve heard from many seniors that their annual dog registration fee is an issue they’d like to have reconsidered from 2018-19,’’ he said.

“Today, I announce an end to dog registration fees for seniors, from the next financial year onwards.

“Our seniors deserve some financial assistance and I’m sure all Councillors will join me in formalising this arrangement during the upcoming 2018-19 budget discussions.’’

It’s understood the initiative will cost the annual City budget around $225,000 with 10,256 dogs registered across the city to owners that hold a pensioner concession card.

A typical dog registration is $29.50 annually per pet* (*Applies to Senior Card Holders and Disability Card holders).

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Social Services discussed in WA for Seniors

More than 250 seniors from across Rockingham attended a forum and afternoon tea hosted by Brand MHR Madeleine King at the Gary Holland Community Centre last Tuesday.

Also in attendance at the seniors’ forum was Shadow Human Services Minister Linda Burney and representatives from Centrelink.

Ms Burney spoke about how long waiting times were a cause of frustration for many pensioners and said the agency was understaffed and under-resourced because of government cuts.

Ms King said she was happy to host the event, which included a presentation about ways seniors could engage with Centrelink.

“There was a fantastic turnout... and I am very happy so many seniors could come along to this forum,” she said. “People had an opportunity to raise issues that are of concern to them as well as hear directly from Ms Burney and Centrelink.”

 

source: West Australian

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Aged-care watchdog sacked in abuse scandal fallout

The national aged-care watchdog will be shutdown and replaced after it failed to detect and act on shocking cases of inadequate care, abuse and neglect.

The decision to establish a new aged-care watchdog was made by the federal government, following the release this week of a scathing report that found older people were at continued risk of harm because the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency could not be trusted to act.

The catalyst for change was a series of harrowing inquiries, including one by the federal government, into the Oakden home in South Australia, which investigated both the accreditation and complaints systems after a decade of mistreatment and mis-medication of residents at the home, as well as a sexual assault by a carer and a murder by a resident.

An interim senate inquiry report this week revealed the committee was concerned about the watchdog's “repeated refusal to take responsibility for what occurred at Oakden”.

Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt commissioned an independent review of the nation’s aged-care audit system by former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell last year following the revelations about treatment at Oakden.

It's understood the new watchdog will mirror recommendations made by Ms Carnell for an independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission with centralised accreditation, compliance and complaints handling.

Lynda Saltarelli, from advocacy group Aged Care Crisis, welcomed the decision to dismantle the Quality Agency, but said any new model must be underpinned by transparency.

"We urge government to include a local and empowered oversight component closely tied to the community, which would identify and address problems much sooner," she said.

"Aged Care is one of the most vulnerable of all markets and residents must be protected. This cannot be managed via occasional visits."

The Age also reported allegations of misconduct in Victorian aged care facilities last year.

The Allambee Nursing Home in the Melbourne suburb of Cheltenham was accused of mistreatment and abuse and likened to "Guantanamo bay" by a family member of a former patient.

Mr Wyatt said the decision was part of an overhaul to ensure the abuse and neglect that occurred in South Australia never happened again.

He said the government was pushing ahead with a key recommendation to establish the commission amid fears the conditions found at Oakden were widespread.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of senior Australians in aged care is non-negotiable," he told Adelaide's The Advertiser on Wednesday.

“What happened inside Oakden was shocking and I am doing everything in my power to ensure the situation is never repeated.”

Mr Wyatt acknowledged last year that the Australian aged care system lacked transparency.

Unlike in the US, where a nursing home's failings, complaints and negative findings are published and searchable online, Australian consumers must rely on advertising and bureaucratic government reporting.

The fallout has also prompted a House of Representatives committee to open a national inquiry into aged-care homes across the country. Submissions for the inquiry are now open.

 

 

source: The Age

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New report outlines residential aged care funding reform options

The release of a new report into aged care funding highlights a range of options to modify Australia’s residential care funding instrument.   
 
Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the Review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) would inform the Turnbull Government’s continuing aged care reforms.
 
“We are determined to put residential care funding on a more consistent, sustainable and equitable footing,” said Minister Wyatt.
 
“The Commonwealth currently contributes a record $18.6 billion per year to aged care and by 2020-21 this is expected to reach more than $22 billion.
 
“We are committed to a system centred on safe, quality care for our older Australians, while ensuring expenditure is affordable for consumers and sustainable for taxpayers.” 
 
The report, prepared by Applied Aged Care Solutions, undertook a comprehensive review of ACFI, focusing on ways to improve the current tool, including adapting it for external assessments of funding needs and updating it to bring it into line with current care practices.
 
“We welcome the new report on residential aged care funding reform, which adds to the options provided in a recent University of Wollongong report,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
The Government-commissioned study was released in April this year, outlining a variety of potential new funding models and tools for the aged care sector. 
 
Minister Wyatt said no decisions had been made, with the next step in the long-term reform process a Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, now underway at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute.
 
This study is investigating the drivers of residential care costs, according to location and the varying needs of individuals in care.
 
“We will continue to monitor use of the existing Aged Care Funding Instrument to ensure expenditure remains under control, while maintaining quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We are equally committed to continue working with the community and the aged care sector to get these reforms right.”
 
The report is available on the Department of Health’s website.
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Victorian seniors to travel free during seniors week

Victorian Seniors Card holders can enjoy complimentary travel from October 8 to 15 as part of the 35th Victorian Seniors Festival.

This is the first year where the eight days of free public transport has been extended to V/Line travel, in addition to all other metropolitan and regional services.

The free travel applies to Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses and regional trains, coaches and buses.

Seniors will need to carry their Seniors myki and Victorian Seniors Card with them and touch on and off as usual.

Seniors will not be charged during the eight days of free public transport.

About 140000 older Victorians are expected to attend the 1500 events and activities, which will be statewide for seniors to enjoy with family and friends.

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Thousands of seniors get back pension card in Federal backflip.

About 92,000 part-rate pensioners lost access to the card in January, which helps with some living costs, as the Federal Government slashed pensions for moderately well-heeled retirees.

But those who were booted off the age pension on January 1 will get a new Pension Concession Card in the next two weeks.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the change would hand back access to a range of State, local government and private sector discounts.

“The January reforms to the assets test were a crucial step in ensuring that our pension system remains sustainable and affordable for future generations,” Mr Porter said.
“In reinstating the PCC, the Turnbull Government is ensuring that these 90,000 former part-pensioners will be able to access those benefits again.”

Part-pensioners were the biggest losers from the assets test changes, which some labelled a “wealth tax” on ordinary retirees.

The decision in the May Budget to reinstate the Pension Concession Card goes a small way to compensating them.

At the time, shadow social services minister Jenny Macklin called the $3 million move an “embarrassing backflip”.

The Department of Human Services will automatically reissue the new cards, meaning those who lost access in January do not need to act to receive theirs.

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As Australia heads to a survey on Equality...

The marriage Equality debate has ignited in Australia as the country lags behind the rest of the western world in making equality happen. The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The debate and so called discussion has brought out some interesting reactions. 

The normally flamboyant and over the top LGBTQI community (think glitter and marching groups) are being incredibly more sophisticated and grown up than the so called "Australian Christian Lobby" who are acting NOTHING like Christians.

It gives you hope that a cohesive and united Australia is how we work best.

When fringe elements from any side get a hold of an issue - it always turns ridiculous and turns people off... so why bring it up? Because it takes the middle folk - us - so called "normal" people to want to make the difference. We can't rely on politicians to do the job (thus the postal "survey") and these ads are just highlighting the ridiculousness of the argument that some are putting forward. It's hard to believe an ad from the ACL that includes "actors" - sorry - talking heads, that are paid employees of the company that produced the advert. We - the masses - need to actually stand up and say something - it may not affect us directly, but somewhere down the line it does. We can't be complacent. We can't think our elected officials would do it anymore - we need to actually get up and go and help someone who needs our help.

A large group of conservative politicians are voting Yes, and have formed a "group" to show their support of equality. Lead by the president of the Federal Liberal party no less. The Prime Minister is in favour, the only hold out is EX Prime Minister and the member for Warringah, Tony Abbott - who's personal views outshine his constituents. So he is going to vote against the wishes of his electorate.... that's just what you need in a politician - a self-serving, self-appointed, view in the parliament. 

You might think us biased... well, kinda - we do think ALL Australians should be treated equally. So yes, in that way we are...  as the anthem says - For we are young and free...

We also take issue with the fact we are spending a HUGE amount of money on a survey, when it was Prime Minister John Howard's government that actually changed the Marriage Act to EXCLUDE same sex couples only a few years ago...  and they did it without an expensive survey or asking fellow Australians to judge other Australians... 

It's time to just get on with it, change it BACK and make ALL Australian's equal. It's not going to hurt anyone - it's not going to impede on religious freedom and all it will do is strengthen our democracy.

We - along with 89% of our readers (from a recent survey) - will be voting YES to equality.

 

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$3.7m in additional support to improve indigenous aged care services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in aged care in regional, rural and remote communities will benefit from more than $3.7 million in one-off grants. 
 
The grants, in response to funding applications, are provided to aged care services across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  
 
Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt said the grants, under the Australian Government’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP), were in addition to the $33.5 million the program provides annually for service delivery.
 
“The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program is designed specifically to improve services to elderly indigenous people, mainly in remote locations,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“These grants will provide practical assistance to 18 aged care providers to improve the lives of their elderly care residents.
 
“They will ensure that buildings are appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural activities, customs, ceremonies and family visits.” 
 
The grants also give providers an opportunity to refurbish or upgrade living spaces for clients or staff, buy a range of necessary equipment for kitchens or laundries, and to fulfil medical or security requirements.
 
“The Government’s reform vision is to deliver integrated aged care services not only to major centres, but also to small regional and remote communities,” Minister Wyatt said.
 
“We want aged care that is flexible, non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate, no matter where people live, and inclusive of elderly Indigenous Australians who are among our most vulnerable citizens.” 
 
Recipients of NATSIFACP funding include:
  • Wami Kata Old Folks Home Inc. Port Augusta
  • Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Ngaanyatjarra Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
  • Pintupi Homelands 2016-17
  • Calvary Community Care, Bathurst Island
  • Palm Island Aboriginal Council
  • Injilinji Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corp for Children & Youth Aboriginal Community Elders Service Inc. Brunswick
  • Uniting Church Homes Guwardi Ngadu Frail Aged Hostel Fitzroy Crossing Mabuji Aboriginal Resource Aboriginal Corporation Borroloola
  • Tullawon Health Service Inc Yalata.
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