It is with pleasure that on behalf of the BACA Committee I present a summary of the major activities undertaken over the past year.
As is customary in this report I mention that BACA evolved from the North Bellarine Hostel for the Aged…Ann Nichol House Inc. BACA was formally established on 31 July 2015.
The loss of Ann Nichol House as an accessible community based facility has been well documented and has shaped the advocacy activities of BACA over the past 3 years.
BACA has continued it’s efforts to advocate for the Ageing population on the Bellarine Peninsula and raise issues which impact on the Health and Well being of the Community ,particularly the elderly.
A key focus this past year has been the development of an” Age Friendly “ Strategy for the Bellarine. BACA became a signatory to the Age Friendly Declaration.
BACA, in particular Peter Coghlan and Jane Morgan have put in a lot of time and energy developing positive working relationships with the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff, Bellarine Community Health, Elder Rights Advocacy [ERA] Department of Health and Community Services, Staying in Portarlington [SiP] and interested individuals.
This has lead to the setting up of a Steering Committee for planning and implementing Age Friendly initiatives.
A commitment has been made to share information relating to Municipal/Shire plans, research , survey results regarding needs of the Aged so we can work together on addressing emerging needs of the elderly population. It is far better to co-operate than compete and duplicate efforts.
The 8 pillars of building an Age Friendly society as adopted by The World Health
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Social Participation
- Communication and Information
- Civic Participation and Employment Opportunities
- Community Support and Health Services.
This comprehensive list helps provide BACA and other collaborative organisations with a clear context in which to work together to address identified needs.
Peter and Jane have also developed positive working relationships with Senior Staff at Bellarine Community Health and with Pat Crotty Convenor of the BCH Community Advisory Committee.
Whilst there is still much to do BACA is heartened by the positive approach by BCH, particularly by the cessation of the Health and Wellbeing Fund and the decision to refurbish the Eric Tolliday Units.
BACA wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Dr Bruce Watson who continues to monitor the BACA website and posts matters of relevance and importance to our work.
The Committee acknowledge the continued support of Hon Lisa Neville.
Our Committee was pleased to meet with Cr Jim Mason .BACA has enjoyed a positive working relationship with Cr Mason and CoGG staff.
I mentioned the efforts of Peter Coghlan and Jane Morgan in leading the Age Friendly initiative. As Chair of BACA I also pay tribute to the great contribution of Kate Jackson for her efforts around Palliative Care and bringing her immense knowledge to our Committee. Lindsay Noss continues to provide excellent skills as Secretary/Treasurer. Lindsay ensures BACA meets all legal and financial obligations.
On behalf of BACA I also wish to acknowledge the support of Anne Brackley as both a member of our Committee and as Co-ordinator of Springdale Centre . When the Bendigo Bank meeting room became unavailable Anne welcomed us to this Centre. It has also opened opportunities to link with many groups in the Drysdale community.
BACA Committee is a small, dedicated and hard working group of people. We can hopefully reach out and recruit more participants during next year.
It has been a pleasure to work with the Committee and the broader Community in continuing our efforts to create a Healthy and Supportive environment for the Ageing population on the Bellarine.
We know there is much more to achieve and with energy, commitment and collaboration BACA will continue to be a voice for the Ageing population on the Bellarine.
Finally I wish to thank those who attended this meeting and who have rejoined BACA for 2019.
Tim Walsh President BACA