2022 – Australian Refugee Association
Office for Ageing Well presented its third Tackling Ageism Award to the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) for its Zimala Project.
‘Zimala’ means ‘fellowship’ in Arabic, and the project supported more than 100 men aged 50 and over with Syrian, Afghani, Hazara, Pashtun, and African refugee and migrant backgrounds to stay active and engaged in the community through cultural and social experiences and support.
It promoted inclusion by connecting the men with health and government services information and offering social opportunities such as trips to parks, community gardens, and excursions to the beach and fishing.
This helped to overcome loneliness and tackle ageism head-on by linking the men to the wider community and empowering them to share their wisdom, knowledge, and experiences despite varying cultural, social and economic backgrounds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ARA adapted the project to include digital communications such as WhatsApp and worked to turn around attitudes to vaccines by presenting facts to replace hearsay and opinions spread through social media.
Ms Cassie Mason, Acting Executive Director of Office for Ageing Well, presented the 2022 Tackling Ageism Award to the ARA at the South Australian Community Achievement Awards on 2 December 2022.
2021 - Unyime Jasper
Office for Ageing Well presented its second Tackling Ageism Award as part of the South Australian Community Achievement Awards on Saturday 20 November 2021.
Adelaide researcher and clinician Unyime Jasper won the award ahead of Dr Helen Barrie and My Care Solution, with a total of 22 entries received.
Office for Ageing Well Director, Cassie Mason, said the award recognised Unyime’s understanding of the pervasive nature of ageism through his efforts to overcome the disempowerment of older people in hospital.
“Uniyime used research to validate his observations that older people were inactive in hospital then worked to change the perceptions of clinicians that it is normal for older patients to sit and lie down there,” Ms Mason said.
“He endeavoured to modify the views of older people themselves through education and helping them set daily activity goals, monitoring them through watches and other technology, which also helped reduce depression.
“Unyime helped educate clinicians, hospital staff and carers on the subtle nature of ageism, along with older people’s wishes to stay active in hospital and provided simple tips that could be integrated into daily routines.
“And he reached out beyond the clinical community, sharing his findings with community groups like Probus and University of the Third Age,” Ms Mason said.
Unyime continues to work for system and culture change, to overcome barriers such as time constraints, and is seeking to enlist champions to trial activity goals charts with the eventual aim of having patient activity adopted as a sixth 'vital sign'.
“It is heartening to see that so many people around our state are working to confront and overcome discrimination against older South Australians, Ms Mason said.
In 2020, Adelaide finalist Kerry Jones won the inaugural Office for Ageing Well Tackling Ageism Award, with ACH Group and COTA SA also finalists.
The award aims to promote an inclusive society, moving beyond ageism, under South Australia’s Plan for Ageing Well 2020-2025.
2020 - Kerry Jones
In 2020, Adelaide finalist Kerry Jones won the inaugural Office for Ageing Well Tackling Ageism Award.
Office for Ageing Well Director, Cassie Mason, said Kerry received the honour along with $2,000 in prizes for her relentless work to transform Australia's experience of ageing.
“Kerry demonstrated her superior understanding of the pervasive nature of ageism and how she is taking action, both professionally and personally, to challenge it and better promote the value of older people and ageing well,” Ms Mason said.
“Ageism works against inclusion, ultimately creating a society that does not value the input of its older members.
“By tackling ageism, we can break down those barriers and bust the myths and stereotypes so South Australians, no matter their age, can live well.”
Kerry is an ongoing member of the EveryAGE Counts Coalition Steering Committee and is a panel member of the Governor’s Leaders Fellowship Program.
She has worked with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation for more than seven years, playing a key role in developing programs designed to reimagine the future of ageing well.
Ms Mason said the award was open to individuals, community groups and non-profit organisations actively working to challenge ageism and highlight the value of older people and ageing well.
“This award aims to promote an inclusive society, moving beyond ageism, under South Australia’s Plan for Ageing Well 2020-2025,” Ms Mason said.
“I congratulate all of our 19 entrants, particularly our other finalists ACH Group and COTA SA.
“We are extremely proud to see so many great initiatives underway across the state working to confront and overcome discrimination against older South Australians.”
The Office for Ageing Well Tackling Ageism Award was presented online as part of the South Australian Community Achievement Awards 2020.