Morning Tea in support of Queensland Seniors Month
Deputy Director-General of the Department of Seniors and Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mr Max Wise; Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland Chair, Ms Jean McRuvie, the Board of Directors, and CEO, Mr Darren Young; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders, past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
It is a pleasure to welcome you to Government House for this morning tea in support of Queensland Seniors Month. Graeme and I acknowledge the importance of this annual celebration that highlights the contribution of senior Queenslanders to our State.
As Patron of Council on the Ageing Queensland, I support their vision of building an age-friendly Queensland which aims to improve the lives of all Queenslanders. This inclusivity enables community involvement, which in turn provides a sense of belonging and social connectedness for all.
The Seniors Month theme for this year of Social Connections, encourages Queenslanders of all generations to connect, and we know that being part of a community has a positive effect on our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Graeme and I also understand from a medical perspective that social connection can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems.
I congratulate COTA on organising this month-long celebration that is an opportunity for people of all ages, cultures, and abilities to come together, with festivities including everything from Spring Fairs to Fitness Classes, Concerts to Painting Tutorials, and Happy Hours, which seem to be particularly popular!
Having the opportunity to communicate and build connections with people regardless of age, through opportunities to socialise, involvement in new educational experiences or through accessing online forums, supports people to have a healthier mindset, improved self-worth, and ultimately a greater enjoyment of life.
COTA’s philosophy of enabling ‘older Queenslanders to live active and healthy lives with improved physical and mental wellbeing’, is evidenced not only during Queensland Seniors Month but is an admirable focus of the organisation year-round.
Thank you, COTA Queensland, for your wonderful work in providing life-changing services that value the contribution senior people have in our wider community and highlight ageing as a time of possibility, opportunity and influence.
Thanks also to the many aged care leaders, staff, volunteers, carers, and advocates in the room today who play an essential role in promoting positive views of ageing in our State.
It is our pleasure to host you here today and recognise your contributions. Please do come back and visit us next year for a guided tour to explore more of this wonderful historic Estate.
To conclude, I am now proud to present a Certificate of Patronage to COTA Queensland.