ACT Active Ageing Framework 2015-2018
Progress on 2017-18 Actions
1) CIVIC PARTICIPATION AND EMPLOYMENT
Support older workers with skills development and career advice that enables pathways to workforce participation. Work towards finding innovative solutions, practices and programs to address the issues of mature age employment for seniors.
25. Provide access to ongoing education and training opportunities for sustainable, alternative employment options for seniors.
ACT Government’s Skills Canberra has increased the number of education and training opportunities offered to seniors for employment.
On 1 April 2017, Skills Canberra removed the limit on the number of subsidised Australian Apprenticeships a Canberran can access over their lifetime. This initiative improved access to traineeships and apprenticeships for older Canberrans, effectively increasing access to hundreds of alternative employment options for seniors.
As a result, in 2017-18, Skills Canberra made approximately $0.6m in extra training subsidy payments for Canberrans aged 45 years and above to upskill or reskill via an apprenticeship or traineeship. Australian Apprenticeship commencements of Canberrans aged 45 and above over this period has increased by more than two hundred per cent compared with 2014-15 commencement numbers.
On 1 January 2015, Skills Canberra launched the Skilled Capital Program to provide increased access to training designed to increase the likelihood of improved employment outcomes. Between the launch and 17 August 2018, Skilled Capital has provided an additional 2,571 training opportunities for Canberrans aged 45 years and above (including 666 for those aged 55 years or above; and 299 for those aged 60 or above).
Skills Canberra's Mature Workers Grants Program was launched on 30 August 2018. Through this grant program Skills Canberra will fund activities that address barriers to participation in work-related training and support services.
This program will target services well placed to cater for mature workers from groups who can experience disadvantage such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; carers; workers made redundant; people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people living with disability; people without post-school qualifications; people working in an industry sector affected by structural readjustment; veterans; volunteers; and women returning to work after an extended absence.
The Mature Workers Grants Program will also provide information to businesses about available support for recruiting and retaining skilled, experienced workers to deliver the services, infrastructure and other major projects our city needs now and in the years ahead.
The Justice and Community Safety Directorate (JACS) continued to provide staff access to the Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Awareness and development programs. Along with this, the directorate is exploring all mechanisms to transition and retain an ageing workforce.
2) COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION & SOCIAL PARTICIPATION
Enhance seniors access to ACT government services.
26. Build social and community connectedness including funding to Community Centres, Men’s Sheds, seniors clubs and support for volunteering and community events and festivals.
In 2017-2018, the ACT Participation (Veterans and Seniors) Grants Program provided $80,000 for projects in the ACT to build social and community connectedness and to enhance the safety and wellbeing of ACT Seniors. Through this grant program:
On 15 March 2018, during Seniors Week, the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs worked with ACT Council of Social Service to hold a Seniors Week lunch for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, held at the Cultural Centre, Yarramundi Reach. The lunch was well received with 54 elders attending the event.
During 2017-18, planning commenced to include recognition for older Canberrans as part of ACT Children’s Week celebrations. This planning has resulted in the inclusion of the Exceptional Older Person Award at the 2018 ACT Children’s Week Awards. The Exceptional Older Person Award will recognise older people who have made an outstanding contribution to the wellbeing of children and young people.
In 2018 the Multicultural Seniors Sanctuary was renamed the Sanctuary to ensure visitors of all ages, including parents with babies and young children, people with disability and people with medical conditions, had access to a safe and comfortable place to recharge while attending the many events of the festival.
27. Encourage access to and training in computers and the internet with affordable online and other technology driven skills training
CIT offers courses to all Canberrans, whether flexible learning or class-based, and many students are mature-aged. Flexible learning options appear to suit older students, allowing them to balance study with other commitments. The Return to Work for Women course which includes an IT component as well as skills for work-readiness is specifically aimed at mature-aged female students. Many of CIT's courses are run under Government-subsidised schemes, enabling fees to be set at affordable levels, and CIT also offers a number of additional financial support options to students who may require them.
The ACT Adult Community Education (ACE) Grants Program supports Canberrans experiencing barriers to further education and /or training and provides pathways to improved labour force participation. Seniors are an important target group in the ACE Grants Program and between 2015 and 2018, the ACE Grants Program has funded a range of projects that provide support to mature-age and senior jobseekers.
In 2017-2018, the ACT Participation (Veterans and Seniors) Grants Program funded projects to build older Canberrans’ digital literacy. Through the grant program:
Over 2017-18, 268 technology training sessions were provided by Libraries ACT.
28. Feasibility study into the extension of the Digital Hub (ACT Libraries) to include a location in Tuggeranong with a focus on training, support and information technology.
Libraries ACT offers services and opportunities through all its library locations, including Tuggeranong, akin to a digital hub, to develop digital skills and provide electronic access. This includes providing free access to computers, the internet and Wi-Fi and providing technology training sessions.
3) RESPECT AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
Develop strategies to support participation of seniors in the planning process to plan, develop and deliver projects.
29. Ensure meaningful consultation with seniors in service planning through best practice approaches e.g. Meet the Planners sessions.
Age Friendly City Survey
The Age Friendly City Survey, which ran from 12 March 2018 to 12 April 2018, generated seven hundred and sixty eight responses to the survey were received. Eighty percent of those who responded were over the age of 60, and 47 percent were over the age of 70.
Three thousand printed surveys were distributed during Seniors Week events from 12 March to 18 March, and were delivered to various community locations, including ACT Public Libraries, community centres and seniors’ centres. The survey was also available and promoted online through the YourSay website.
The results of the survey will inform the development of the next stages of work to support the continued development of Canberra as an Age Friendly City, including the development of an Age Friendly Statement of Commitment to be released in early 2019.
ACT Housing and Homelessness Summit
A strong theme throughout the ACT Housing and Homelessness Summit consultations in 2017 was the housing and support needs of Canberra’s ageing population, particularly older women. What we heard was people want greater choice to allow for ageing in place and to remain in their homes, should they wish to do so; access to affordable and secure housing which suits the needs of older people through investment in a broad range of housing models; incentives for co-housing and group share models, and more affordable rental models.
Age Friendly Suburbs Project
Community consultation on age friendly active travel upgrades in Page and Hughes took place over a six week period from 7 December 2017 to 11 January 2018. Residents and business owners of Page and Hughes received a survey in their letterbox in early December. The survey was also available online for Canberrans to have their say.
A public workshop was held in Hughes on Friday 15 December 2017 at the Hughes Community Centre and in Page on Monday 18 December 2017 at the Ridgecrest Village. Information and consultation stalls were held at the Hughes shops on Wednesday 10 January 2018 and in Page on Thursday 11 January 2018.
The community’s feedback from the project consultation was used to determine the priority upgrades in each suburb.
Better Suburbs Community Engagement
In 2017-18, the Better Suburbs community engagement process commenced. This first phase of the community consultation involved a comprehensive survey. The second phase included ‘kitchen table conversations’ that were specifically designed to enable increased numbers of seniors to participate. The third phase included hosting of a Citizen’s summit where community representatives drafted a Better Suburbs Statement for the Minister to guide the provision of city services. The forum participants were drawn from all demographics including seniors.
4) COMMUNITY AND HEALTH
Seniors have personal safety and freedom from abuse, neglect, and exploitation
30. Partner initiatives that build individual and community resilience.
In 2017-18, the Community Services Directorate continued to provide the Older Persons Abuse Prevention and Information Line (APRIL) to provide information and advice on available supports to callers on matters relating to elder abuse. Eighty one calls were received by the service in 2017-18.
The 2018-19 Budget includes funding for Legal Aid ACT to establish the Older Persons ACT Legal Service (OPALS) as a specialist legal service for older people in the ACT who are experiencing, or vulnerable to, elder abuse. The service commenced operations on 1 July 2018.
In 2017-18, ACT Health provided funding of $177,311 to the Council on the Ageing (ACT) for the provision of information, advice and referral for older persons in the ACT community including elder abuse.
In 2017-18, the Public Trustee and Guardian (PTG) undertook the following activities with the stated aims and outcomes:
PTG prepared and published a newsletter titled Elder Abuse both in hard copy and via PTG’s website.
In 2017-2018, the ACT Participation (Veterans and Seniors) Grants Program provided grant funding to community organisations to address elder abuse:
5) HOUSING & OUTDOOR SPACES AND BUILDINGS
Improve seniors access and mobility around the community
31. ACT Government to conduct a feasibility study into the viability of extending the Age-friendly suburbs program.
The Age-friendly suburbs program, already rolled out in Ainslie, Weston, Kaleen and Monash, brings improved footpaths, additional ramps and upgraded lighting. In 2017-18 the program was delivered in Page and Hughes, with the following improvements made:
Transport Canberra and City Services will continue support the Age-friendly suburbs program in identifying improvements to active travel infrastructure and facilities to make it easier for older residents to get around.
Moving forward, supporting healthy and active ageing will be part of developing a Healthy and Active Living Strategy for all Canberrans, to create environments that promote and protect health and wellbeing and make healthy and active living our way of life. This includes partnering with the CBR Innovation Network to drive business innovation across all demographics and working with the education and research sector, including in the development of the University of Canberra healthy and active living precinct.
Provide public transport and infrastructure that is safe, maintained and secure for seniors.
June 2017 Reported Progress
32. Ensure bus stops and stations are conveniently located, accessible, safe, clean, well-lit and well-marked, with adequate seating and shelter.
In 2017-18 bus stops improvement work had been carried out for 68 per cent of Canberra’s bus stops. Priority bus stop infrastructure upgrades across the ACT to facilitate the expansion of rapid bus services across Canberra are planned for 2018-19.
33. Ensure safer roads for seniors and our community. Creation of the new pedestrian or ‘refuge islands’.
During 2017-18 there were six refuge islands installed in Hughes, Charnwood, Barton, Gungahlin and Deakin.
Planned for 2018-19:
The Active Travel Facilities Design to be released at the end of the year, will include updated guidance on approaches to planning and design of crossings, which include refuge islands.
34. Ensure safer pedestrian crossing by limiting left turn lanes prior to intersections so that cars stop at signalised left turns.
Roads ACT routinely reviews road safety arrangements within the Territory, and will implement measures as appropriate to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users especially in light of introduction of the new 40 kilometre per hour zones.
New guidance on active travel infrastructure design will be released at the end of the year in the new document Active Travel Facilities Design.