Creating an ‘age-friendly’ Geelong


Greater Geelong will become an “age-friendly city” following the adoption of a strategy to guide support and advocacy for older residents, according to City Hall.

Council endorsed its Respected, connected and thriving – Positive Ageing Strategy 2021-47 earlier this week, committing to a number of priorities that support healthy and happy ageing for people over 55 years of age.

The strategy also addresses the need to plan for, and respond to, the predicted growth of this demographic, City Hall said.

The Geelong region’s population is ageing, with the number of community members aged 55 years and over expected to increase from 72,000 to 120,000 over the next 20 years, according to council.

The draft strategy was released for public comment for four weeks from May to June.

Public feedback supported the three themes, which focus on improving outcomes for people as they age including:

* living in safe, welcoming and strongly connected communities;

* being respected, supported and encouraged to participate as active citizens; and

* having equitable access to places, spaces and services.

Deputy mayor Trent Sullivan thanked residents for helping to shape the strategy.

“Ageing impacts everyone and this new strategy will help ensure Greater Geelong is an age-friendly city where residents of all ages can benefit from and participate in the community,” Cr Sullivan said.

“Much like our Clever and Creative community-led vision, this strategy looks to the future and encourages innovation as we extend beyond a ‘business as usual’ way of providing services to our older community members.

“Older residents are a vital and important part of our community, with a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience.”

Cr Sarah Mansfield, community health and aged care portfolio chair, said ageing is everyone’s business.

“It’s vital that everyone in Greater Geelong, regardless of their age, feels welcomed, supported and that they have the opportunity to thrive in our community,” Cr Mansfield said.

“The community’s feedback to the strategy highlights that the definition of ageing and its impacts are just as diverse as the population it affects, and this diversity of need is often missed by service providers.

“I look forward to seeing the next steps of this strategy and further involvement from community members in co-designing the action plan that will help drive meaningful action.”