John Beard, Welcome from the WHO – Australian Age-friendly Cities and Communities Conference

By | September 19, 2019

Thank you very much Minister for your encouraging
words and for your continuing support for the older people in the ACT. It’s now my pleasure
to introduce a short presentation of one of the world’s leading lights in the Age Friendly
movement and that’s Doctor John Beard who’s the current Director of the World Health Organisation
department of Ageing and Life Course which is based in Geneva. He’s currently involved
in an international federation of Ageing Conference in Istanbul, so he has sent us a video message
which we will now screen. Greetings Canberra I’d like to welcome you all to what I’d like
to think is the first Australian conference on Age Friendly Cities and Communities, I
think it’s particularly important that this is being held in Canberra because the city
is a member of our global network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. This network was formed
only two and a half years ago and in that time it has gone from just being an idea to
being a vibrant global network that links 150 cities from around the world in 22 countries.
Cities like New York in the United States, Manchester in the UK, Seoul in Korea and La
Plata in Argintina. All of these cities have the opportunity to share their experience
and to learn from each other and I know that what has been happening in Canberra and other
places in Australia has been followed very closely by other cities around the world.
I’d like to encourage other cities to join in the network and to take Age Friendly initiatives
forward in Australia and I really welcome the discussion that’s been held looking to
the formation of an Australian network, which itself could also become a member. I’d like
to congratulate the work that’s already been done, congratulate the organisers of this
conference, which follows really nicely from the global conference we held a few weeks
ago in Quebec and I’d like to welcome you all to the meeting and I hope you have a very
warm and useful discussion. A couple of years ago, 2010, he was out here for a conference
in Melbourne and he came up and saw Minister Joy Burch who had worked with him before and
as a result of that discussion, Canberra signed up to be an Age Friendly City and the ministerial
advisory council got behind it with the Directorate of Community Services, so, great to hear from
him and his support.

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