“Think global, act local”, the saying goes. And that’s what members of the Hastings Elder Abuse Prevention Network did to recognise the International Day of Older Persons in October.
The 2018 theme for the global United Nations event was “celebrating older human rights champions” – recognising older people around the world who dedicate their lives to championing human rights.
At a local level, the network wanted to recognise older people in the Hastings area and celebrate respect for their life experiences, skills and wisdom.
There were three activities:
A local Seniors Healthy Walking Group worked with artist Lucy Pascale to create a sand art design at Shelly Beach. The group met early in the morning to sculpt the mandala and the message of “respect for older people”in the sand.
Residents from Regis Aged Care Port Macquarie Art Group, and students from Charles Sturt University created doily art containing messages about respect for seniors. The art was featured in murals and displayed on the walls outside the Country Women’s Assocation Tea Rooms.
Inside, everyone shared morning tea. Residents from Garden Village Port Macquarie came along for morning tea and have also created their own mural.
Outside the Tea Rooms, Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre solicitor Melanie Kallmier set up a pop-up “Lawyers on the Lounge” in the shade under the trees and invited conversations and questions focusing on legal issues for older people. Staff members from NSW Trustee and Guardian were also on hand to answer questions.
While the International Day of Older Persons is officially October 1, the occasion was marked in Port Macquarie the following day, as October 1 was a public holiday in NSW.