Home' Intouch : In Touch Summer 2017 Contents 4 IN TOUCH SUMMER 2017
SHORTEN COMMITS TO
MAKING AUSTRALIA A
Dementia Australia has welcomed the declaration and
commitment by Federal Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill
Shorten MP, to making Australia a world leader in the
way our country cares for people living with dementia,
and for Australia to lead the world in finding a cure.
In a speech in Sydney on 21 November, he said
dementia was a challenge that “demands the full reach
of our resources”
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says Mr
Shorten has committed to elevating dementia to the
health policy priority that is needed to best support the
413,000 people currently living with dementia, and to
plan for the future, as this figure is projected to grow to
more than one million Australians by 2056.
“Dementia is already a National Health Priority Area,
but not priority enough; the time to act for dementia is
now,” Maree says.
“As the second leading cause of death of Australians,
and the leading cause of death of women in Australia, it
is essential that dementia becomes a serious focus of
In his speech, Mr Shorten challenged Australians to
ask themselves, “Will we leave this place better than we
“In response, Dementia Australia is committed to
making ‘this place’ better for people of all ages, living
with all forms of dementia, their families and carers,”
“The people living with dementia we are caring for
today have made their contribution to Australia being a
better place. They have worked, paid taxes, brought up
families, served in positions all over Australia, created,
invented and already made a difference in so many ways.
“It is our responsibility now to show them the dignity
and care they deserve so we can work towards building
on the better place they have created for us and make
Australia even better for future generations.”
Dementia Australia welcomed the focus on developing
world-leading care, training, research, services and
programs as an imperative.
“Raising awareness and increasing the understanding
in the community about dementia is vital,” she says.
“We invite all states and territories, all governments,
industry leaders and the health and aged-care sectors
to join us in acting now because dementia really is
World-leading experts on dementia assembled at the Melbourne
Convention and Exhibition Centre in October for the 17th
Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference.
They were joined by more than 700 delegates who were
encouraged to ‘Be the Change’ in improving the lives of people
affected by dementia. It was also an important moment in the
organisation’s history with the official announcement and launch
of Dementia Australia, the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia.
The impressive line-up of speakers included Dr Sam Gandy
from the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York, who presented
the keynote address, ‘What Would It Take to Get an Effective
He was joined by Naomi Feil, pioneer of the world-renowned
Validation method, who gave a presentation on how to apply
these techniques to people living with dementia who exhibit
behaviours of unmet need.
The conference was officially opened by Dementia Advocate
Christine Bryden, who was diagnosed with dementia in 1996 at
the age of 46, and 2017 South Australian of the Year Kate Swaffer,
who was diagnosed with dementia in 2008 at the age of 49.
The exciting program featured five keynote presentations and
10 concurrent sessions from people living with dementia and their
care partners, with other speakers ranging from researchers and
medics, to health care professionals and academics.
The conference also incorporated the impressive Feed Your
Senses space, which showcased a dementia-friendly garden and
cutting-edge technology designed to enhance the lives of people
living with dementia.
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe says the conference
provided delegates with a unique opportunity to explore leading
approaches from across the globe that support people with
dementia to live engaging and rewarding lives.
“It was so exciting to welcome such an eclectic and
respected range of leading experts from around the world to
Melbourne,” she says.
“I have no doubt that attendees from the sector and
community came away feeling energised and inspired to
implement their learnings and to continue making a difference
to the lives of people living with dementia.
“I would like to thank all speakers and delegates for joining us
and showing their commitment to being the change.”
7/12/17 4:58 pm
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