In a city as large and diverse as Brisbane, it is a challenge to be able to balance the different priorities and requirements of residents. We are very lucky to have a city leader in the form of Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, who is committed to providing a seniors-friendly city.
According to the Lord Mayor, “We need to celebrate the vital contribution that seniors have made and continue to make to life in our city. Our senior population is growing and we need to do everything we can to support the senior community.”
“Council recognized this several years ago, and developed a Seniors Strategy that was released in 2012 with a forward vision to 2017. This Strategy provides the foundations for our plan to ensure our city is safe, accessible, and inclusive for our seniors.”
Mr Quirk said ensuring Brisbane had the infrastructure and facilities in place to cater to the senior community were a key part of the strategy. “Brisbane is blessed to have marvelous parklands and a transport system that provides efficient access to these facilities. This is vital, as it encourages seniors to take part in a range of social activities, as well as simply getting out and about to be a part of the vibrant society we have here in Brisbane.
“Council is also proud to operate its Council Cabs program, which offers subsidized and point-to-point travel for seniors who may find it difficult to get to their local shops, doctors’ appointments, and other important engagements.” While it’s important to ensure Brisbane has the infrastructure and facilities in place to support our seniors, it’s equally important the older population is supported when it comes to cost of living pressures as well, and Brisbane City Council has various programs in place to make financial management easier. According to the Lord Mayor, “Brisbane has one of the most generous rates rebates programs in place for pensioners, as we want to play our part in assisting our seniors with the cost of modern day living.”
“Council is also committed to ensuring our seniors are involved in their local communities, and we have initiated a number of programs aimed at inclusivity for all age groups. For seniors, our Growing Older and Living Dangerously (GOLD) program is at the forefront. This is an Active and Healthy Lifestyle program run by Brisbane City Council, which provides free or low-cost activities for residents 50 years and over, and includes a range of activities including yoga, orienteering, and putt putt golf.”
The City does indeed have a whole host of programs it delivers through the Active & Healthy platform. These include things such as Pilates, painting, Tai Chi for healthy aging and even a Zumba Gold program – all designed to promote healthy, active, and social lifestyles in the senior community.
The city’s highpoint of seniors’ celebration is the Lord Mayor’s annual Seniors Gala Cabaret. This gives our seniors the opportunity to express themselves, and participate in a creative environment.
This year it was themed, “Will you still love me when I’m 64 – A tribute to the 1960s” and featured many seniors musicians. In many ways, this is so reflective of the Lord Mayor’s opening line when he talks about seniors: “We need to celebrate the achievements and contributions of our seniors.”