Age-Friendly Communities Project

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The East Gippsland Age-friendly Communities Strategy 2017-2030 identifies a set of strategic directions that can make our region even more age-friendly.

Following months of community consultation and careful review of feedback, the strategy was unanimously adopted by Council at the December 2017 meeting.

Next steps will be to develop the Age-friendly Network and work with successful demonstration projects to complete activities.

If you want to know more about the project, sign up to receive updates by email.


The Age-friendly Communities Project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.



The East Gippsland Age-friendly Communities Strategy 2017-2030 identifies a set of strategic directions that can make our region even more age-friendly.

Following months of community consultation and careful review of feedback, the strategy was unanimously adopted by Council at the December 2017 meeting.

Next steps will be to develop the Age-friendly Network and work with successful demonstration projects to complete activities.

If you want to know more about the project, sign up to receive updates by email.


The Age-friendly Communities Project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.



  • Ageing Well in East Gippsland adopted by Council

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    over 2 years ago

    Ageing Well in East Gippsland: Age-friendly Communities Strategy 2017-2030 was unanimously adopted by Council at the December 2017 meeting.

    View the final strategy here.

  • Consultation has closed

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    almost 3 years ago

    Consultation for the final draft Age-friendly Communities Strategy closed October 23.

    Thank you to the community members who took the time to complete a survey or participate in one of the many focus groups we held since May 2017.

    The final draft strategy will be presented for adoption at the November 21 council meeting.

  • Help us make East Gippsland age-friendly!

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    almost 3 years ago

    Almost 40 per cent of East Gippsland residents will be over 60 years by 2020. We need to embrace the future and become an ‘age-friendly’ community.

    East Gippsland Shire Council has developed an Age-friendly Communities Strategy, which looks at all aspects of ageing. This document sets out a range of directions and aspirations to assist our community become even more age-friendly.

    When developing the strategy, consultation was held across the region to gain a variety of perspectives on what it’s like to grow older in East Gippsland and what some of the initiatives could be to make ageing here even better.

    A survey conducted in May 2017 was helped us understand the age-friendly attributes of East Gippsland. Within this survey there was also the opportunity for residents to suggest their ideas and views on how to make ageing in East Gippsland even better.

    A reference group was established to guide the development of the strategy, with people over the age of 65 joining forces with representatives from the business community, service sectors, health agencies and education providers to develop the strategy.

    The age-friendly approach is recognised globally as a useful and effective way to improve the lives of older people.

    With such a high proportion of East Gippslanders being over 65 it is important to focus on making our region age-friendly. We see many opportunities for new businesses to embrace and service this growing market, and for us all to ensure that our ageing population is well understood and supported.

    We want East Gippsland to be recognised as a region that not only has an ageing community, but also embraces this community and plans to ensure there is a great quality of life for our older residents.

    Following months of community consultation and careful review of feedback, the draft strategy is now available for review and public comment.

    Council is looking for feedback on the draft strategy and assistance to ‘get it right’.

    You can make your submission by answering a short survey online at Your Say East Gippsland or at any of council’s customer service centres.

    Feedback closes 5pm, Monday October 23 2017.


    The Age-friendly Communities Project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Age-friendly East Gippsland: Have your say

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    over 3 years ago

    East Gippsland is one of Victoria’s highest per capita populations of ageing people, with almost forty percent of the population being over sixty years by 2020.

    Through the East Gippsland Age-friendly Reference Group, East Gippsland Shire Council is working with a range of service organisations and older community members to develop the East Gippsland Age-friendly Communities Strategy 2030.

    The strategy will innovatively guide our planning by looking at the challenges and opportunities of our fast ageing population. Council will also fund a small number of projects that come out of the strategy.

    The Reference Group has designed a series of age-related questions, which will guide the development of the draft strategy.

    As a part of the consultation process, we are asking older persons in the community how we can make East Gippsland more age-friendly. There are a number of ways you can get involved.

    A short postcard questionnaire will be available in a number of venues and organisations where older citizens gather.

    We also have an online survey available to complete here.

    Focus groups will be held at local senior citizens, U3A and aged care services across the shire.

    Anyone wanting to receive updates on the project can register for the Age-friendly Communities e-newsletter.

    This round of consultation closes 5pm, Monday 22 May 2017.

    The Age-friendly Communities Project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.


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  • Silver economy - feature article LG Focus 13 March 2017

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    over 3 years ago

    As Australia’s population continues to age – particularly in regional areas – local governments are identifying the economic advantages that can coincide with the trend.

    East Gippsland Shire in Victoria covers a huge geographical area, spanning from popular family holiday destination Lakes Entrance, to remote Mallacoota, up along the New South Wales border and into Snowy River territory.

    Renowned for these pristine surrounds, the Shire has a large number of holiday homeowners and attracts its fair share of tree and sea changers looking to escape the city for quieter living.

    Over the past few decades, the region has been undergoing a demographic trend common to many regional municipalities: it is experiencing a rapid rate of aging.

    Home to 18,000 older residents, the Shire can be described as “super-aged”, meaning more than 21 per cent of residents are over the age of 65.

    An aging population is a defining feature of twenty-first century Australia and is a trend echoed worldwide; it is projected that by 2050, for the first time in history, there will be more people in the world over 60 than under the age of 15.

    From East Gippsland’s perspective, an older population could have been seen as a potential burden on resources and services, but instead, the Shire is identifying unique economic opportunities that can spring from the demographic shift.

    “Our proportion of older residents is growing at a slightly faster rate than other municipalities; rather than look at that as a problem, the best thing to do is to flip it and say, ‘Well, what are the
    opportunities there?’” said Paul Holton, Council’s Director Development.

    A particular town in the region, Orbost, has been identified as an ideal location to become known as an “age-friendly” town.

    Formerly reliant on the forestry industry, the town of two and a half thousand people has gone through an economic transition over recent years as demand for native timber has slowed.

    Council worked with the community to identify potential strategies to shore up the local economy, and it was established that creating an industry around the town’s older population could prove an economic boon.

    “When we did the numbers it gave the best employment outcomes,” said Fiona Weigall, Council’s Manager Strategic Planning. “It actually generated more jobs and more money in the local economy than the other [potential industries] we looked at.”

    Council projections show that for every additional fifty older residents attracted to the town, an additional 6.8 jobs (primarily in personal services, health and retail) would be generated, which is equivalent to $932,000 of additional Gross Regional Product (GRP).

    Ms Weigall said the Council plans to work with the existing character and infrastructure of the town to both assist older residents already living there, and eventually encourage an influx of new residents.
    “One of the real strengths of Orbost is that it’s got a strong hospital and health service, it’s got housing supply, and it’s an established town with established infrastructure.”

    From the outset, the project has been very community-driven, and several community committees have been established across areas of marketing, leisure, housing and transport.

    Council is following World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for creating age friendly towns, and also working with Council on the Ageing (COTA).

    A project currently underway in Orbost is the redesign of public spaces and streetscapes to be more amenable for older residents, which includes increasing seating, eliminating trip hazards and choosing tree species that don’t drop much foliage.

    Increasing housing supply and diversity is also a priority and Council is in the process of rezoning land for more residential development.

    Since the economic opportunities were initially identified in Orbost, the age-friendly focus has now been expanded across the entire Shire.

    A recent Council-commissioned report into relevant business opportunities identified residential retirement villages, health and fitness, financial services, and legal services as areas worth pursuing.
    A residential estate in the regional centre of Bairnsdale has already proved a successful economic driver, allowing people to comfortably “age in place”.

    Mr Holton said Council recently approved another $45 million retirement village in nearby Paynesville.

    “Over time that will develop and it will bring a lot of people from outside the municipality into the region in search of a better lifestyle,” he said.

    Updating local aquatic centres to be designed for universal-access is also a priority, as is advocating for improved transport across the Shire.

    Going forward, the municipality is looking to facilitate more private sector investment, said Mr Holton.

    “The private sector is seeing the opportunities and local government’s role is to try and develop the facts and figures that would try to generate some excitement around investment in that particular sector.”

    Ms Weigall said the Shire is taking a holistic view: “It’s about us working together and looking at the business opportunities, the physical space and the programs and social support, so we’re not just focusing on one component.”

    Silver economy was originally featured by LG Focus on 13 March 2017.

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