The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards acknowledge older Victorians who volunteer to assist, support and encourage others in their communities. The Awards also recognise community organisations or businesses that create age-friendly communities through inclusion and active ageing. The Awards are a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services and COTA Victoria.
There are six award categories:
- Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year – Outstanding contribution to local community and Victoria
- Promotion of Multiculturalism Award – Significant contribution to promoting the benefits of cultural diversity
- Healthy and Active Living Award – Helping to create active and healthy communities
- Veteran Community Award – Exceptional contribution to the veteran community
- COTA Victoria Senior Achiever Awards – Significant contribution to local communities
- Age-Friendly Victoria Award – Organisation that has promoted active ageing
Nominations for the 2021 awards
Nominations open each year in May, with nomination forms made available on the Seniors Online website.
Ms Margaret Young, 80, Premiers Award for Victorian Senior of the Year
Ms Young has volunteered for the past 11 years for the Eastern Palliative Care Association, a specialist community based palliative care service that supports people in the community with a terminal or life limiting illness.
As Coordinator of the Ambassador program, Ms Young was responsible for promoting and presenting the program to many organisations who may otherwise not have had awareness of palliative care and what it can offer. Ms Young is also involved in the Home Support Program, visiting clients in their own home, and taking them to medical appointments or on outings as part of providing personalised support.
Ms Young’s approach to grief counselling is described as a source of great strength and dignity, working tirelessly with older members of the community to ensure people are cared for – especially those who may be living alone or living with a disability.
Recently Ms Young was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and has volunteered to be the subject of an Eastern Palliative Care project documenting her struggles, emotions, feelings and health on film on the way to her own death.
Ms Young is also an active volunteer for organisations including Vision Australia transcribing for the vision impaired, and for the Smith Family as a community presenter in their Student 2 Student program which aims to improve the literacy skills of participants.
One of Ms Young’s associates from Eastern Palliative Care said Margaret is a truly inspiring woman, who approaches every situation with compassion and empathy – an immeasurable gift to people in the last stages of their lives. Read Margaret’s acceptance speech from the award ceremony.
Other COTA Senior Achiever Award winners
All 2019 Award winners
All 2019 Award winners are profiled on Seniors Online.