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Monday, November 29, 2021

Trailblazers dashing towards a dementia-friendly Brisbane 2032

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Dementia Australia has acknowledged Brisbane City Council; Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art; University of Queensland’s Healthy Living Centre, and Art Museum; along with Iona College for their combined commitment to creating a dementia-friendly Brisbane as a strategic element of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

These organisations were officially recognised by Dementia Australia’s Dementia-Friendly Communities program at an event hosted by the Brisbane South-East Dementia Alliance Dementia-Friendly Communities Forum and supported by QLD Parliamentary Friends of Dementia Co-convenor Joan Pease MP, Member for Lytton. 

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe said everyone involved was to be commended for their leadership in working towards a dementia-friendly city and for the visionary commitment to creating a dementia-friendly Brisbane 2032.   

“It is alliances like the Brisbane South-East Dementia Alliance that are the catalysts for change,” McCabe said. 

The Alliance, led by Dementia Advocates John Quinn and Glenys Petrie, has been working with Brisbane City Council and the other organisations over the past few years to inspire them to commit to becoming more dementia-friendly and inclusive of people living with dementia, their families and carers. 

Quinn who is living with dementia, said it has been a privilege to work so closely with all of the organisations and he’s excited to see how this will evolve as all work together towards Brisbane 2032. 

“I thank the Federal Government for continuing to fund the Dementia-Friendly Communities program that has enabled our alliance to engage across so many sectors to bring about this milestone achievement today,” Quinn said.  

The Brisbane South-East Dementia Alliance is one of 30-40 grassroots groups around the country run by volunteers who work together to empower individuals, including people living with dementia, groups and businesses to come together to inspire change in their community. 

Through the Dementia-Friendly Communities program the groups are given access to Dementia Australia support, guides and resources.  

The unique and flexible nature of the program allows each community to develop tailored plans specific to what dementia-friendly means to them. 

The overarching essential element is for people living with dementia and care partners to be meaningful participants from inception to implementation. 

“With 70 per cent or more of people with dementia living in the community it is our responsibility to be inclusive of people with dementia, to value their contributions and to respect their rights to access the services and activities we all expect to enjoy,” McCabe said. 

“The program has the power to change the way we think about dementia and enable and empower people to live well with dementia. 

“I am thrilled with today’s announcement and look forward to following the progress as a dementia-friendly Brisbane 2032 becomes a reality.” 

The event on Tuesday (October 5) was attended by representatives of all the inductee organisations, people living with dementia, their families and carers, researchers, healthcare professionals, parliamentarians, and councillors and staff from Brisbane and neighbouring Local Government Areas. 

For more information about the Dementia Australia Dementia-Friendly Communities program visit dementiafriendly.org.au.  

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