Jeanette Lane: Advocate, Gardener, Confidant, Survivor, Firebrand, Connector, Social Butterfly, Award winner.

Jeanette Lane is an incredibly active and energetic advocate for older people living on the Mornington Peninsula, which has the second highest older population in Victoria.

Jeanette is a founding member and current past Chair of the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Advisory Committee for Elders (PACE), where she helps to address a range of issues affecting older people, including housing, volunteer resourcing and in the past, Indigenous issues.

She’s particularly proud that PACE is starting to be recognised in other councils and shires as a role model for engaging and working with older people. Jeanette is also very active in raising awareness about elder abuse, a form of family violence. She represents Seniors Rights Victoria on the Victim Survivors Advisory Council.

We help to make people aware of the issue, and where they can go to get help if they’re affected, she says, and she believes there has been an increase in reporting of elder abuse in her community as a result of their work. Jeanette had a long working career spanning 46 years, starting out as a librarian and ending up as the Manager of Equity in the Victorian Justice Department. This commitment to equity and social justice is a theme that ties all her work together. She’s also a great-grandmother and an enthusiastic gardener. I’m just interested in doing things for the community, and I enjoy my garden and my family. I like to stay active and involved, so I hear about things that are on. There’s a lot happening on the peninsula to get involved in.

When asked about the secret of living a good life, she says, Mix with the community. Join a group, even if it’s small. It’s important to get out. You go to things, and you find out about other things to do.