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International Day of Older Persons

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank Ms Lawder for bringing this motion before the Assembly.

I wish to speak in support of Ms Lawder’s motion and highlight an organisation that has both taken it on themselves to recognise the International Day of Older Persons and would also greatly benefit from the accelerated replacement and repair of footpaths.

To recognise the International Day of Older Persons, the organisers of the Umbagong Parkrun dedicated the first event of the month to older persons and went to great efforts to emphasise that people of all ages were welcome and though the event may be called Parkrun, anyone attending was welcome to “Parkwalk” and set their own pace.

This sort of inclusivity should be applauded, and I thank the volunteers who take the time out of their weekends to facilitate it. I have been touched by the stories I have heard of older persons who have found great meaning and social value from attending this Parkrun.

Attendance at the Parkwalk on the 1 October was over 130 people, one of their highest attendances since they started in July this year. I imagine their efforts to promote the Parkwalk to older persons had something to do with the spike in attendance that week.

Unfortunately, this group has to deal with the marred and broken areas of footpath that are all through the park. They and all other users of the park such as Ginninderra Water Watch, The Ginninderra Catchment Group and Friends of Umbagong and surrounding residents would greatly benefit from Ms Lawder’s motion to accelerate the replacement and repair of footpaths.

Another group I would like to give a shout-out to is the Belconnen Community Men’s Shed. I have previously spoken about this group and praised the part they play in providing social connections and meaningful activities to men of all ages, but particularly to older persons and retirees who may otherwise lack a social outlet.

I echo Ms Lawder’s call for the Assembly to write to the Federal Government in support of a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Such a convention could only serve to strengthen the rights, protections and freedoms of older people of whom we owe so much of our current rights, protections and freedoms.

I commend Ms Lawder’s motion to the Assembly.


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