The Council has released its draft policy on positive ageing for comment. You can have your say on the draft ‘No Barrier’ Positive Ageing Strategy through the Participate Hepburn website.

Around 16,000 people live in the Hepburn Shire. Like many rural communities, Hepburn Shire has an older population. Thirty five percent are aged over 60 compared to around 20 percent for Victoria as a whole. As the figure shows, the Shire loses people in their 20s. Many leave to study or work in regional cities and Melbourne.

With a local older population it is important to have a focus on positive ageing. At one level positive ageing is is the personal process of maintaining a positive attitude, feeling good about yourself, keeping fit and healthy, and fully engaging in life as you age.

But it is much more than that. Positive ageing is about creating opportunities for older people to participate in social life, community activities, employment and recreation. That means providing facilities, supporting community organisations, eliminating discrimination and making sure that older people have a voice in decision making.

The Council strategy is a good start. It has been developed using extensive research, including local data and information received from community and stakeholder engagement. It includes 8 ‘focus areas’ with a number of aspirational ‘objectives’.

The focus areas align with key topics in ageing well identified by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians and the World Health Organization.

But the  proof of the pudding will be the action that Council takes to make its policy live. For example, in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs only limited purpose built facilities are available for recreation, socialisation and rehabilitation for older people.

As well, Council has recently signaled that it is moving out of providing aged care services.

Hepburn Shire welcomes your feedback on the ‘No Barrier’ Positive Ageing Strategy via the survey or by sending a completed hard copy via mail. Your feedback will help Council to finalise the draft Strategy.

For more information and to have your say

Feedback closes 5pm on Wednesday 15 June 2022.