Age-friendly North East Victoria logoNews

We are pleased to announce two recent appointments to our Age-friendly North East Victoria team at UHPCP:

  • Dr Kathleen Brasher has commenced working as Manager of the Age-friendly North East Victoria initiative while also continuing as UHPCP Executive Officer. Kathleen is a social gerontologist with a long involvement in the health and community sectors as clinician, academic, advocate and in policy and program development and evaluation.
  • James Dunne has recently relocated from Melbourne to join UHPCP as Senior Officer on the Age-friendly North East Victoria initiative. He joins us from Hobsons Bay City Council, where he worked as a Social Planning and Policy Officer.

To read their bios, please visit our Our Staff page.

Recent events

Physically distant, socially connected online event

To celebrate the the International Day of Older Persons 2021, Age-friendly North East Victoria and Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership (UHPCP) hosted an online conversation, ‘Physically distant, socially connected: Navigating real-world and online social connection’, on 30 September 2021. Facilitated by Dr Kathleen Brasher, the event was a great success with more than 60 people participating on the day from across Victoria.

This year’s UN International Day of Older Persons focused on digital equity. Australians of all ages are increasingly interacting online as a source of entertainment and social connection, to work or find work, shop, access health care, and seek out information and services—a process accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emerging from this is the concept of a “digital divide”, where groups of people, such as older Australians and those in rural areas, may have difficulty accessing these digital experiences due to a range of factors including skill level, confidence and motivation as well as affordability, accessibility and quality of internet connections.

Event participantsAge-friendly North East Victoria and UHPCP hosted an online forum to consider how older people navigate both an online and physical world. The forum celebrated ageing, placing the voices of older people in the North East at its centre with a panel reflecting the diversity of older people in the region and their experiences.

Opening remarks were provided by Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary General of The International Federation on Ageing. The panel featured local community members including Coral Love, Mudgegonga resident with experience working with communities across Australia; Jenny Steer, volunteer at the Wangaratta Digital Hub; and Rod Farr, President of U3A Albury Wodonga.

A brief report on the event provides a discussion of key themes, tips for building digital skills and confidence, and links to additional resources on the topics. 

An audio recording is available above, or you can access a video recording on YouTube.

We look forward to holding regular online conversations about things that matter so that we can all grow up and grow old in a world that is age friendly.

Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria Alliance

The Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria Alliance was established in 2018 as a collaborative partnership to provide a shared strategic agenda for action across the Ovens and Murray area. The role of the alliance is to guide the regional vision, to support collaborative partnerships and to advocate for improvements in the lives of older people. The alliance is currently supported by the Central Hume Primary Care Partnership.

The Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria Alliance is now based at UHPCP. If you have any queries about the alliance, please contact Dr Kathleen Brasher, Manager of Age-friendly North East Victoria, via email: kathleen.brasher@gatewayhealth.org.au

Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria Alliance resources

While the Age-Friendly Northeast Victoria Alliance hasn’t met during 2020—the focus has been on responding to COVID-19—it has still managed to produce a number of key documents including:

Understanding Your Community: An age-friendly checklist

  • Brasher, K & Winterton, R. (2020). ‘Understanding your community: An age-friendly checklist’. Central Hume Primary Care Partnership: Benalla.
    • ‘Understanding your community: An age-friendly checklist’ is a way for communities to come together to see themselves from the perspective of older people. It provides an opportunity to identify and understand what’s working well, and areas that could be improved to become more age friendly.
    • The Age Friendly Rural Victoria Checklist is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities (2007) and Public Health Agency of Canada’s Age Friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Checklist (2007).
    • The guide was developed by Dr Kathleen Brasher, Principal Strategic Advisor – Age-Friendly Communities, and Dr Rachel Winterton, Senior Research Fellow, John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research, La Trobe University.
    • This checklist was launched on 4 December 2020 by Dr Alana Hulme from the Department of Health and Human Services, Ovens Murray. Kate Biglin (Manager, Community Development, Indigo Shire) facilitated the launch, Dr Kathleen Brasher provided background to the checklist, and reflections were made by local government representatives from Benalla Rural City, Indigo Shire Council and Mansfield Shire Council, all of whom contributed to the development of the checklist.

 

  • Brasher, K. (2020). An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery. Central Hume Primary Care Partnership: Benalla. An Age-Friendly Approach to Disaster Recovery
    • Drawing on national and international research and policy to describe the strengths and vulnerabilities older people bring to their communities in disaster recovery, this report proposes actions that can be incorporated into recovery plans and actionswith the potential for these actions to mitigate the negative individual health and wellbeing impacts and deepen community resilience.
    • This report was launched on 22 April 2020 by Dr Helen Haines MP, Member for Indi, who stated in her address that ‘this report is timely, it couldn’t be more timely… this report is steeped in society, it’s person centric, it’s place based and it’s values driven’—view recording.
  • An Age Friendly Health System: the Indigo 4Ms Framework
    • The 4Ms Framework underpinned the Building an Age Friendly Indigo Health System project.
    • Dr Kathleen Brasher’s presentation, ‘Utilising the 4Ms framework to influence Demand Management: Using the Age-Friendly Indigo Health System as an approach to Demand Management’, looks at the 4Ms Framework, and how it influences Demand Management at a systems level. To view a recording of this 13-minute presentation, click here (MP4 file).
  • Brasher, K & Archbold, T. (2020). Is your health service age-friendly? A guide to assess the age-friendliness of a health service. Central Hume Primary Care Partnership: Benalla. This guide was developed to help health service boards, clinicians, executive teams, staff and community members assess, plan and contribute to the establishment of an age-friendly health service.

    Is your health service age-friendly? cover

    The guide is designed to be used by a team of clinicians, non-clinical staff, and older people in a health service setting, whether an acute hospital, sub-acute, residential aged care, primary health, or a community health service.

Other Age-friendly resources

  • Davern M, Winterton R, Brasher K, & Woolcock G. How Can the Lived Environment Support Healthy Ageing? A Spatial Indicators Framework for the Assessment of Age-Friendly Communities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(20):7685.
    • This paper had its genesis in the workshop UHPCP convened in November 2017 in Tallangatta, Victoria, to discuss liveability through an age-friendly lens.
  • Brasher, K. (2020). Building an age-friendly Indigo health system. Beechworth Health Service.
    • The Indigo Consortium focuses on two areas: providing collective governance for health and wellbeing initiatives within the Indigo Shire (in north-east Victoria), and identifying and supporting enterprises which contribute to an ‘Age Friendly Indigo’. In collaboration with its partner agencies, the Indigo Consortium has developed an approach to make health and social care age-friendly. This report documents that journey.

      Building an age-friendly Indigo health system

    • This work was funded through the Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund, and this is the Final Report to Better Care Victoria.
  • Davern, M & Brasher, K. (2017).  Liveability with an Age-Friendly Lens in rural Victoria: Linking Liveability Indicators and Age Friendly principles across the Shires of Indigo and Towong. RMIT University: Melbourne.
    • This report describes a rural case study example that was developed to explore the linkage between liveability domains and Age Friendly Rural Communities in the rural Shires of Indigo and Towong in north-eastern Victoria. The project was developed in response to the needs of the UHPCP and in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services Eastern Division and Northeast Health Wangaratta.

Media coverage

Webinars

  • ‘Disaster Recovery Conversation’ series: Older people and disasters—In March 2021 Dr Kathleen Brasher took part in this Victorian Council of Social Service’s (VCOSS) webinar, speaking on the critical role older people play in disasters based on the international evidence review published in 2020. This webinar is available to view on YouTube.
  • 2020 John Richards Centre Oration: ‘Equitable access for rural ageing populations: international perspectives’ (60 minutes, features closed captions). Presented by La Trobe University’s John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research on 29 October 2020, speakers included Professor Mark Skinner (Trent University, Canada), Professor Kieran Walsh (NUI Galway, Ireland) and Dr Rachel Winterton (facilitator, La Trobe University). A major focus of the current Australian Royal Commission for Aged Care Quality and Safety has been the provision of equitable access to health and aged care services for rural older people. Drawing on perspectives from leading international rural gerontologists, this webinar discussion considered the dynamics that facilitate inequities for older people both across, and within ageing rural communities. In doing so, it critically interrogated contemporary strategies for targeting access and equity among diverse rural older people.