Around 300 seniors representing an array of cultural communities turned out for the 2016 Seniors’ Forum at the Aotea Centre yesterday - the first of its kind for Auckland Council.
An initiative of the council’s Seniors Advisory Panel, the forum focused on bringing older Aucklanders together to learn about seniors’ activity groups across the region. It also gives the council and Local Boards a wide range of community groups to talk to in the future about issues facing older Aucklanders.
Margaret Devlin, Chair of the Seniors Advisory Panel says she is thrilled with the success of the event.
“The Forum was all about acknowledging that for many seniors, feeling actively connected to the community is vital for quality of life, for remaining socially engaged and staying healthy in body and mind. I think that message came through loud and clear.”
Groups including the Ngati Whatua Kaumatua Group, Grey Power, Age Concern, Born Again Bodies, the Auckland Deaf Society, Silver Rainbow, Chinese Positive Ageing, Korean Positive Ageing, Japanese Society and the Shanti Niwas spoke. In between was entertainment from a variety of seniors dance and singing groups representing many cultures.
“Perhaps the thing that pleased me most of all was that older Aucklanders from a great many cultural communities came along to network and share information about their groups. Everyone interacted and I think a lot of people left feeling invigorated and much the wiser on the broad range of activity groups out there for seniors across the region,” says Margaret.
Peter Carter (72), Milford Residents Association member and founder of the Milford Village Forum said it was great to see older people feeling valued and listened to at the event.
“It’s so important that older people aren’t seen as being retroactive, but that they can and do still play a big part in shaping the future for younger generations. There’s so much expertise and knowledge in older communities. We had an insight into that at this event.”
Sue (65) of Grey Lynn says the forum was a wonderful experience.
“I was really impressed to see the forum including some great insights and teachings for people at the younger end of ‘senior’. I’ve learnt things I didn’t know before, I’ve learnt a few really good tips and tricks for staying active, and I’ve discovered some community groups for older Aucklanders I never knew existed. I’m looking forward to joining ‘Born Again Bodies’!”
“The big learning from today? It’s all about attitude. Age is just a number.”
If you’re an older Aucklander looking for activities to do this winter, here’s a few ideas to get you started: '5 ways to stay active this winter'.