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Wrapping up 2022

Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour, reflects on the highs and lows of 2022, and what he has his sights on next.

Gerard Mansour
Gerard Mansour with City of Maribyrnong residents participating in the Ageing Well consultation session.
Commissioner for Senior Victorian, at an Ageing Well consultation with residents of City of Maribyrnong

As 2022 draws to a close, it has been another eventful year as Commissioner for Senior Victorians, representing your experiences and opinions as we make this state a better place to grow older.

But before we reflect on the year that was, I want to acknowledge that this festive season may not be a happy time for everyone. I recognise that many people across our state have been impacted by recent floods, and my thoughts are with you and your loved ones during this really difficult time.

If you have been impacted by flooding, please remember that support is available. You can call the Flood Recovery HotlineExternal Link on 1800 560 760 for help with clean-up services and accommodation, as well as financial, mental health and other support. Emergency payments are also available, detailed on the Victorian Government’s Personal Hardship Assistance Program websiteExternal Link . Lifeline also offers crisis support any time of day or night on 13 11 14.

Stay safe as COVID-19 continues

Unfortunately, flooding isn’t the only challenge we have faced throughout 2022. It has been our third year living with COVID-19 pandemic and its various impacts on ourselves, our families and our communities. This experience has really demonstrated the resilience of older Victorians as we’ve seen many people learn new skills, adopt healthy habits and look out for each other.

With COVID-19 still in our community, please remember to take care of yourself and your loved ones'. There are some easy steps you can take to stay ahead of COVID on the Coronavirus websiteExternal Link . If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to chat with your GP and have a plan in place if you get COVID-19.

We know that staying connected is important to your overall wellbeing, so if you do get sick and cannot see friends and family in person, try talking on the phone, via video or online. You can also call the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1800 512 348 for support.

Ageing Well Survey

One of the highlights of 2022 has been hearing from so many older Victorians through my Ageing Well survey and consultations. It was wonderful meeting and talking with many people, both in-person and online, as part of consultations across the state.

Thank you to every person who took the time to share their experiences of ageing and the support they need to age well. The Ageing Well Report will be published in 2023.

Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour, with Mallee District Aboriginal Services staff in Mildura, participating in an Ageing Well consultation
Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Gerard Mansour, with Mallee District Aboriginal Services staff in Mildura, participating in an Ageing Well consultation

Victorian Seniors Festival

Another great highlight of this year was celebrating the 40th annual Victorian Seniors Festival, especially after in-person events weren’t possible the past couple years. It was a thrill to participate and to see Celebration Day up and running again at Federation Square.

Extending on these festivities, it was fantastic recognising the efforts of many older Victorians contributing so much to our communities at the Victorian Senior of the Year Awards at Government House. I was struck by the diverse ways nominees had been making a real difference in their communities – a timely reminder of the unique and important impact that older Victorians can have.

Care and Ageing Well Expo

As I turn my sights to 2023, I am thrilled to share that I will be presenting on Saturday 11 February at the Care and Ageing Well Expo (11-12 February 2023). This event is open to everyone, showcasing how the aged and community care industry can support Victorians to better plan for growing older.
For more information or to book tickets, visit Link .

Thank you again to every person who has given their time this year to meet, talk or contribute to my work as Commissioner.

However you celebrate the festive season, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy time and a happy New Year. I look forward to seeing more of you and achieving even more for senior Victorians in 2023.

Reviewed 19 May 2023