When working so much in new residential developments, one’s programming lens can become narrow in terms of what comprises the functional parts of a community. First and second home buyers tend to fall within the 30’s and 40’s age-range; all eager to create realise upon their lifestyle dream. The initial demographic mix largely excludes those in their middle years and beyond, unless in a live-in support role for their adult children.
Occasionally though, I cross community paths with people in their more mature years who are continuing their stand-alone life journey in a fresh, new place and who can’t wait to make a contribution to shaping it. They are enlivened by the opportunity to live amongst younger people and to give freely of their wisdom, perspective and energy to enhance the lives of those around them. Significantly, that input is absolutely welcomed by young families. A warm embrace that helps to fill the physical distance from extended family.
Which gets me to thinking about the potential untapped contribution that older adults can make to the quality of community life and – for those that seek to do so – workplaces across this nation and beyond. Globally, between 2015 and 2050 the worlds population of people over 60 years is predicted to nearly double, to 22%. So from both a qualitative and economic qualitative perspective, embracing the opportunities born of unprecedented human longevity makes darn good sense.
To this end, I am so proud to see My Neighbourhood listed amongst the Essential Partners of the Longevity Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) bid, that has now entered Stage 2 of its assessment process.
As these bid partners have been progressively unveiled, it has become apparent that the shared challenge of how to maximise the potential social and economic benefits born of human longevity has been conceptually embraced by all tiers of industry and private/public sector agencies. We get it, and can’t wait to take a lead in this space in partnership with the Australian government.
Looking around the metaphorical room, I see some of the greatest minds in the land collectively engaged in this bid. Chair Kathryn Greiner AO leads a team of Australian luminaries including Deputy Chair Greg Vickery AO, Advisory Panel Chair Everald Compton AM CPA CPM, the Hon Phillip Ruddock and Prof. Vicki Sara AO. Bid Leader Prof. Laurie Buys and Bid Manager Dr.Nicole Walker drive the operational aspects. There are eight outstanding Australian Universities collaborating on this bid.
This team continues to collaborate with industry partners extensively, with a view to knitting this work into the fabric of Australian commerce. I am humbled to have had my little company afforded a voice in this narrative.