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Dear reader

Welcome to our December newsletter 

This year has been a tremendous year for CommonAge.

Since its formation back in July 2013 by a group of dedicated individuals with a shared vision, CommonAge is now an internationally recognised organisation looking to make a change by connecting ageing services across the Commonwealth.

And this is the year in which it happened. Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, we launched a scholarship fund to enable our professional colleagues from developing countries of the Commonwealth to join us in Perth at the IAHSA/ACSA conference, 30 August – 3 September.

As a result, many connections were made, information shared, and exciting opportunities have arisen.

In November, three of our Board members, our Chairman Andrew Larpent and board members Sharon Blackburn and Judy Martin (pictured) joined the 80 plus nations represented at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta. Their main aim was to get to a better understanding how the institutions of this huge organisation of 53 states work. In this newsletter, you can read how they achieved much more than expected. 

But there is still much to be done and we look forward to 2016 with great enthusiasm.

We hope you enjoy reading about the latest developments in CommonAge and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year as we work together to advance the interests of older people across the Commonwealth.

Hilary, Jesca, Richard, and Jane at the arrivals hall Perth Airport

Commonage delegate receives innovative dementia care education thanks to Dementia Care Australia

A meeting at the recent international conference has led to an invaluable opportunity for our scholarship delegate Richard Semanda, Founder and Executive Director, Geriatric Respite Care Foundation-Uganda and his colleague Jesca Nakibirango to receive essential dementia care training.

Read more.

Anderson with Carole Baine General Manager, Country Services, Silver Chain

CommonAge delegate plans innovative program to improve the lives of older people in Zambia

Plans to enhance positive ageing and help older people in Zambia sustain their livelihood are underway thanks to Anderson Simfukwe, CommonAge scholarship delegate and Director of Aged Care and Service Centre, Zambia.

Read more.

CommonAge in Malta

The achievements of our three board members at CHOGM People's Forum and Business Forum exceeded expectations. Our Chairman Andrew Larpent had the opportunity to present CommonAge to attendees, and our board members met many interesting people and organisations. In all their discussions, they were listened to with interest and respect for what we are seeking to do.  A highlight was the ministerial meeting with Dr Justyne Caruana, the Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing, (pictured here with Andrew and Sharon).

At CHOGM Dr Justyne spoke about her Parliamentary Secretariat's contribution to making Malta a showcase for enabling resilient ageing, highlighting Malta’s National Strategic Policy for Active Ageing, a National Strategy on Dementia, and National Minimum Standards for Care Homes for Older Persons.

Until now there has been no voice for older people in the deliberations of the Commonwealth, and Dr Justyne is very supportive of our objective of launching an Ageing Forum at the next Head of States of the Commonwealth Meeting in 2017.

In addition, we have been encouraged to apply for formal Commonwealth accreditation in as soon as we can.  The Commonwealth will shortly have a new Secretary General who will have the task of modernising the institutions and the secretariat, and this will be a great opportunity for us as we continue to build our profile within the organisation.

There is no doubt that CommonAge has made its presence felt and is being warmly welcomed into the Commonwealth.  

You can see more pictures of our board members in Malta on our Facebook page.

What’s next for CommonAge?

2016 is set to be an exciting year as we apply for formal accreditation with the Commonwealth.

We have already established Ambassadors for CommonAge in Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Ghana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and our aim is to achieve at least one Ambassador in each Commonwealth country by the end of 2016.

As we continue to build our presence at a global level, we are planning support for the IFA 13th Global Conference on Ageing,  21-23 June 2016, Brisbane, Australia.

To give more people the opportunity to learn about ageing services in other countries, we have partnered with the Australian based Sage Study ToursSage invites delegates from all over the world to join its educative, professional and culturally appropriate study experience in another country looking at Seniors Living Models and delivery of care.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming delegates on our CommonAge/Sage Study Tour to South Australia in June 2016 and to India in September 2016.

Learn more with the SAGE Study Tour 2016 program

From India and South Africa to Australia and New Zealand, learn more about ageing around the world with these unique and exciting study tours from SAGE - Studying and Advancing Global Eldercare.

Read more.

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!

PS Hear are a few facts and figures about the Commonwealth and a proverb from Ghana.

• Commonwealth countries make up 26% of the world’s population and account for 15% of global Gross National Income

• The largest country by population is India, with more than 1.2 billion. The smallest is Nauru, population less than 10,000

• Canada is the biggest country by area. Nauru again the smallest

 

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CommonAge needs your support to achieve its objectives. While we had some seeding money to get us started, at present we have no ongoing revenue stream. All directors and supporters are working pro bono, giving freely of their time and resources. If you would like to make a donation, 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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