There are more than 58 Retirement Villages in the Moreton Bay Region. Retirement living is therefore a significant part of the community, both from an economic point of view and also the social impact that older residents make. We asked Mayor Allan Sutherland how Moreton Bay Regional Council looks after the interests of the region’s older population.
“You can tell the quality of a community by the way its council delivers services. One thing Moreton Bay Regional Council strives to achieve is inclusivity. We have a range of initiatives that keep the older population involved in the community”
A number of the initiatives that Councillor Sutherland refers to involve sport and keeping the region’s older residents active and healthy.
We have a number of sporting facilities that offer the types of activities that older members of our community enjoy, such as bowls clubs, golf clubs and aquatic centers and we have a very popular ‘Older & Bolder’ initiative. This is a program of activities running from September until the end of November, for residents aged 50 and over. Older & Bolder gives individuals looking to stay active and healthy an opportunity to experience adventurous, cultural, recreational and healthy activities in a social environment.”
Another programme is the Heart Foundation Walking Groups. This is a network of free community based walking groups led by volunteer walk organisers. The aim is to make regular physical activity enjoyable, accessible and easy.
“We also support individual groups that promote healthy living and mental well-being for this age group. For instance, we have just recently assisted the University of the 3rd Age with finding permanent premises.
Whilst inclusivity and community engagement can be difficult things to measure, Cr Sutherland does have a good rule of thumb measurement.
“I believe we have one of the largest volunteer groups in Queensland, measured on the basis of the number of volunteers per head of population. We have around 1500 volunteers in Moreton Bay and we host an annual dinner for them as a small ‘thank you gesture’. If we had to choose one thing that makes us stand out from the crowd in terms of service to the o
lder residents, it would be our success in keeping them involved with the larger community and this is vital in assuring a great quality of life.”