The importance of connection was a strong theme at this year’s COTA Victoria Annual General Meeting and the accompanying Delys Sargeant Memorial Lecture.
More than 90 people attended the joint event, held at Melbourne Town Hall on Wednesday 27 November.
Keynote speaker the Reverend Tim Costello AO spoke of his time as Mayor of St Kilda Council where he unsuccessfully opposed the outsourcing of the Meals on Wheels service from council employees to private contractors.
Mr Costello said that demand for the service dropped after the move, as a significant part of its appeal was the chance it gave recipients to engage with someone face-to-face.
Clinical neuropsychologist Dr Anne Unkenstein delivered the Delys Sargeant Memorial Lecture on the topic ‘Becoming memory wise’.
Dr Unkenstein, a close friend of the late Delys Sargeant AM, said that social engagement was one of the key activities that contributed to memory health. The other factors are heart health, physical exercise and engaging in mentally-stimulating activities.
Delys Sargeant, who passed away in 2017, was a pioneering community health educator and former COTA Victoria chair.
COTA Victoria CEO Tina Hogarth-Clarke introduced the proceedings and COTA Victoria Board President Mike Lescai recounted the events of the 2018-19 year.
Seniors Rights Victoria staff members Mandy Walmsley and Melanie Perkins spoke about their project working with Dementia Australia. Seniors Rights Victoria is a COTA Victoria program. The project will continue in 2020, focusing on people from culturally and linguistically-diverse backgrounds.
COTA Victoria Manager Policy and Communications Alexia Huxley told of our community consultations about the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and COTA Victoria Program Manager Nicky Barry spoke about our Aged Care Navigators project.
We would like to thank everyone who attended the AGM and Delys Sargeant Memorial Lecture, including COTA Victoria Board Members, the speakers and the staff who worked hard to make the event successful.