Dear reader

Welcome to our February newsletter 

What an exciting year 2016 has been. Our Chairman Andrew Larpent officially 'retired' having completed his five year contract as CEO of Southern Cross Care in Adelaide Australia. Since relocating back to the UK, he has continued to grow our networks. 

Also in 2016, our ambassador for Cameroon, Francis Njuakom Nchii – CEO of CDVTA Cameroon was elected to the board of the IFA and honoured with the award of Knight of the Cameroon National Order of Valour, and our ambassador for Uganda, Richard Semanda – Executive Director of the Geriatric Respite Care Foundation of Uganda was elected to the board of The Global Ageing Network.

Thanks to the generous support of Curaviva and international aged care providers and supporters, we are delighted to announce we have developed a scholarship fund for delegates from Commonwealth countries to be a part of the Global Ageing Network/Curaviva Global Ageing Conference, 18-21 September 2017, Montreux, Switzerland. Details of how to apply can be found in this newsletter. Please note the closing date for applications is 28 February 2017.

CommonAge was strongly represented by board members and supporters at the EAHSA Conference in September 2016, and you can read more about our presence at the 2nd Africa Region Conference of the International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG) in Nairobi, Kenya in this newsletter.  

Our Founding Members continue to grow and we've included some of their achievements in this newsletter. These organisations recognise the vision, mission and objectives of CommonAge by their willing commitment to at least three years membership. 

Their support and their generous fee contribution is allowing us to develop its strength and capacity, and we are naturally keen to bring other organisations into membership, to recognise and celebrate their participation, and to invite them to get involved in the future development of CommonAge. Our first group of Founding Members are all organisations based in Australia and we are currently reaching out to encourage organisations in the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Malta, Africa and New Zealand to join us. The support and assistance of all readers of the newsletter is requested in helping us in building our membership base.


Invitation to apply for CommonAge Scholarship

Applicants from developing Commonwealth countries are invited to apply for CommonAge's scholarship to attend the Global Ageing Network/Curaviva Global Ageing Conference, 18-21 September 2017, Montreux, Switzerland.

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CommonAge at the IAGG conference, Nairobi, Kenya

CommonAge was warmly welcomed at the 2nd Africa Region Conference of the International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Read more.

Zimbabwe orphans. Image from FreeImages.com/FileID#1254814

One year on: how our scholarship helped older people in Zimbabwe

Our ambassador for Zimbabwe Ruth Mazarura explains some of the work been carried out by her organisation to help older people support young children affected by HIV.

Read more.

Francis N. Njuakom in Cameroon

One year on: how our scholarship helped older people in Cameroon

Our ambassador for Cameroon Francis Njuakom explains how our our scholarship to the ACSA/IAHSA conference has helped his organisation Community Development Volunteers for Technical Assistance (CDVTA).

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Aged Care and Service Centre helps Daviness Namusukuma who lives with dementia and her family.

Growing old in Zambia part 2

In the second part of this two-part series, CommonAge ambassador for Zambia Anderson Simfukwe shares some of the work his organisation, Aged Care and Service Centre, carries out.

Read more.

From left, Phil (USA), Paula (USA), Wendy (Mexico) Mick (Australia)

Innovative online groups support people living with dementia across the Commonwealth

The Dementia Alliance International (DAI) is providing online support to people living in Commonwealth countries such as Australia, UK, Nigeria and New Zealand as well as other countries across the world including Iran, Japan, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

Read more.

Dates for your 2017 diary and beyond from our partner SAGE Study Tours

Practices are constantly developing and evolving and our partner SAGE Study Tours takes you straight to the source. Check out what it has on offer for 2017 and beyond.

Read more.


Founding member takes out top spot in the global elderly living sector

Congratulations to our Founding Member ThomsonAdsett for taking out the top spot in the global elderly living sector in Building Design Magazine’s renowned World Architecture 100.

Read more.

Mercy Health CEO Stephen Cornelissen named CEO of the year.

Founding member named as Australian CEO of the year

We are delighted to hear Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen, group CEO of our Founding Member Mercy Health has been named CEO of the year in Australia's CEO Magazine’s 2016 Executive of the Year Awards.

Read more.


What’s next for CommonAge?

CHOGM 2018

In 2015 three CommonAge Board members attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) associated meetings in Malta. In 2018 the next CHOGM meetings will take place in the UK, and at this time there will be a major celebration of longevity in the person of the Head of the Commonwealth, HM Queen Elizabeth II. 

On 2 June 2018 the Queen will mark the 65th Anniversary of her coronation. This will be an extraordinary, historic and inspirational achievement. Who else do you know who has held one job for 65+ years?!  

Working in close collaboration with the National Care Forum, Care England, Age International and the International Longevity Federation, we are planning a major initiative to hold the first ever ‘Commonwealth Elders’ Forum’ in the UK linked to the 2018 CHOGM. This will take the form of a two day conference for professional leaders and older people themselves from across the Commonwealth.  Dates and venue will be announced in the next few weeks. 

Meanwhile we are asking all CommonAge supporters across the Commonwealth to spread the word, to SAVE THE MONTH of May 2018 and to start making plans to attend this important event. 

The intention thereafter will be to hold further ‘Forums’ linked to future biennial CHOGMs - the next one is planned to take place in Malaysia, 2020. 

In 2020 the CHOGM is planned to take place in Malaysia 

CommonAge Research Project

We continue to build a strong relationship with many international organisations, and among these is the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. The Oxford team led by Professor Sarah Harper (UK) and Professor Jaco Hoffman (S Africa) has developed a proposal to work in partnership with us on a research project on ‘Ageing in the Commonwealth’.

The outcome of the research report will be prepared in time to be presented at the time of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018. It is intended this report will provide a baseline assessment of the status of older people and the support currently available to them from governments and non state organisations across all 52 countries of the Commonwealth; a baseline against which future progress and development can be measured and regularly reported. 

We are continuing to look for partners to assist us in funding this important and expensive project. If you are interested in supporting us or know someone who does please contact our CEO Klaus Zimmermann on Klaus.zimmermann@commage.org  / +61 418897576

Keeping connected

Our discussion group on LinkedIn  is the ideal channel to ask questions and share your ideas, views and news, and we encourage you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CommonAgeAssoc.

We hope you enjoyed this newsletter and we would very much welcome your feedback, as well as hear your news and stories which we can share on the news section of our website, www.commonage.org and across our social media networks.

Please get in touch either through our social media, via the ‘contact us’ on our website or send an email to coord@commage.org.

We’d love to hear from you!

And to end, here are a few facts and figures about the Commonwealth and a proverb from Uganda.

• The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion citizens. 

• Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday of March every year. The next Commonwealth Day will be held on Monday, 13 March 2017.

• The next Commonwealth Games will be held in Gold Coast City, Queensland, Australia between 4 to 15 April 2018.


CommonAge needs your support to achieve its objectives. While CommonAge has an extensive and growing network of professional contacts in Commonwealth countries, as a young organisation we have energy and commitment but very limited resources. All directors and supporters are working pro bono, giving freely of their time and resources. If you would like to join us on this exciting journey by becoming a Founding Member, please contact our Chief Executive, Klaus Zimmermann at klaus.zimmermann@commage.org and we thank you in advance for your generous support.

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