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we are capable of doing amazing things

Reimagine ageing attendee, Gayle

On 27 September, more than 180 South Australians aged 50+ came together for COTA SA’s Reimagine Ageing event to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. It was an opportunity to celebrate the important and valuable contributions that older people make in our community, as well as highlighting the importance of challenging the prejudices and stereotypes that underpin ageism.

Click Play on image to the right to watch video highlights from the event.

Our keynote speaker, adventurer and environmental scientist, Tim Jarvis AM, set the scene by retelling his historically authentic recreations of the Antarctic survival journeys of heroic-era explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Tim drew on this experience to share his key insights for ageing well with purpose. His inspirational presentation allowed our guests to reflect on and appreciate their own unique contributions. Tim encouraged everyone to continue discovering the world and emphasised the power of saying yes to new opportunities and experiences. With a clear purpose, he reinforced the endless possibilities available regardless of age.

Also providing insights on the importance of ageing well with purpose, drawn for their personal experiences, was our diverse mix of panel speakers, including the Executive Director of the Office for Ageing Well in SA Health, Cassie Mason, President of the Turkish Association of South Australia, Tanya Kaplan OAM, Community Advocate, Mary Safe, and LGBTIQ+ Activist and Historian, Will Sergeant OAM. This conversation explored the importance of courage and the evolution of purpose, which shifts and evolves through all stages of life.

This celebration also provided the forum to bring together diverse voices that drove conversations on reimagining the way we think about, act on, and embrace getting older. Guests had the chance to interact with each other, sparking conversations about reimagining ageing and what can be achieved regardless of age.

Our incredible guests shared with us that:

Regardless of age….

  • “anything is possible. Begin with the end in mind. You can do it.” – Bob
  • “we never stop striving – ‘it’ is never finished until that last breath. Stay positive!” – Maria
  • “we should listen to what people enjoy, what they experience, what they suffer and to grow and flourish into this precious life” – Vicky
  • “love and trust - diversify, look around and reach out to what interests you and put a smile on your face” – Andrew
  • “we are capable of doing amazing things, including physical feats. Don’t see ourselves as an age. This limits people’s view of themselves” – Gayle
  • “we have a lot to contribute. We are always learning” – Olwin

From this event we will be developing a comprehensive report and campaign to further share the meaningful insights we gained from all our speakers and guests.

We would also like to extend a huge thank you to our Principal Partner: Kalyra, Supporting Partners: ECH & Resthaven, Event Sponsors: Caring Futures Institute - Flinders University, Hender Consulting, Office for Ageing Well and Seniors Card, without their support this event would not have been possible!

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