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Celebrating older Victorians this October

International Day of Older Persons on 1 October is an annual opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of older people

Gerard Mansour
Crowd shot Celebration Day

International Day of Older Persons on 1 October is an annual opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contributions of older people and what better way to mark the occasion than with the return of the Victorian Seniors Festival.

The Victorian Seniors Festival is a true highlight for me in my role as Commissioner. Like many, I’m thrilled to see it return this October and celebrating 40 remarkable years. After two years of online and radio entertainment, this year’s Festival program is designed to provide accessible and welcoming spaces and activities for everyone to take part in locally, in the city and from home.

Getting involved in the Victorian Seniors Festival is a wonderful way to connect with others, pursue your interests and try something new – all for free or a low cost.

Socialise and have fun

After the challenges of the past few years, it’s fair to say we all have a new appreciation for the importance of meaningful social interactions and relationships. Participating in activities that bring us joy and meeting friends new and old brings many benefits for our mental and emotional wellbeing.

I’m looking forward to attending the official launch of the Festival, Celebration Day at Fed Square on Sunday 2 October, and enjoying free musical performances, entertainment, information stands and displays in the heart of the city. If you live in regional Victoria and love live music, check out the Country Concert Series taking live entertainment to 26 country towns across October.

At every age, it can be challenging and a bit intimidating to form new friendships. Beyond the Victorian Seniors Festival, perhaps consider volunteering in your local community. Volunteering is a great way to stay active, share your skills and meet new people. Check out local and virtual volunteering opportunities on the GoVolunteer websiteExternal Link , or contact your local council.

Get active

Healthy movement boosts every aspect of our wellbeing – I know I always feel better after a walk, especially if the sun is shining and with the company of my little friend Louis the King Charles Spaniel. Being active regularly can help us feel energised, enhance our mood, relieve stress, and help to manage pain and illness. Finding motivation to get up and moving can be the hardest step, which is why it is important to find an activity that you enjoy and can continue over time.

During the Victorian Seniors Festival, there are many opportunities to try new activities and find out what you like. From guided walks through Melbourne’s marvellous parks and at various Parks Victoria locations, through to line dancing, Zumba - and even abseiling - there’s something for everyone.

Learn something new

Keeping our minds curious and active protects our cognitive health and can be a great way to reignite interests and passions. Challenging yourself to learn something new can be rewarding in itself, but it can also have other benefits as well. For example, developing your digital literacy skills can help you feel more connected to friends and family in an increasingly digital world.

There are lots of great workshops on during the Victorian Seniors Festival where you can learn how to get more out of your phone, use online banking and scan old photos. For those with a creative streak, why not join a Kintsugi golden pottery joinery workshop, make special occasion cards or try out printmaking. The Festival also the perfect time to visit or try out a class with your local University of the Third Age (U3A).External Link

More information

I hope I’ve inspired you to make the most of this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival. To plan your Festival, pick up a program from any Coles store or your local council, library or neighbourhood house, or explore the online events calendar.

Reviewed 01 March 2023