MEDIA RELEASE: ACSA And COTA Australia Welcome The Launch Of Parliamentary Friends Of Ageing And Aged Care – And Maggie Beer

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing) welcome the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Ageing and Aged Care as a forum for forward-thinking discussion on the future of aged care and the policy challenges and opportunities of a rapidly ageing population.

The inaugural Parliamentary Friends event “Loving Food at Any Age” will be held on Valentine’s Day (February 14) next year and will feature a presentation by renowned cook Maggie Beer – a passionate advocate for the importance of food excellence in aged care.

Ms Beer will speak about the importance of eating well at any age and her work engaging chefs and cooks in aged care to deliver flavoursome meals using fresh, healthy ingredients.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with parliamentarians about an issue very dear to me,” Ms Beer said.

“I’m passionate about working with cooks and chefs and sharing ways to think creatively about how aged care food budgets can be used to provide cuisine full of flavour using fresh seasonal produce. All the fresh thinking we can muster on this important topic, we should!”

ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said she hoped the event would be the first of many Parliamentary Friends meetings to be held throughout the sitting year designed to facilitate bipartisan discussion around aged care policy and Australia’s ageing population.

“This is an exciting way to kick off what I’m sure will be an informative series of meetings on one of the biggest issues the country faces: how best to care for our rapidly ageing population,” said Ms Sparrow said.

“I’d like to commend the commitment of Co-Chairs Senator Dean Smith and the Hon Julie Collins MP to this important bipartisan engagement around the future of aged care.”

COTA CEO Ian Yates also expressed appreciation for the initiative of Senator Smith and Ms Collins and welcomed the interest of parliamentarians in the many facets of an ageing Australia and the opportunities this presented.

“This is a time of major demographic change in Australia and we can either reframe our approach to ageing and develop policies to take economic and social advantage of this, rather than seeing older Australians as a burden,” Mr Yates said.

Media contacts:

ACSA – Emily Parkinson, Media Manager: 0420 390 031

COTA – Bronte Kerr, Essential Media 0411 676 269

The Maggie Beer Foundation (MBF) was borne out of the passion of Maggie Beer to transform the food experience of older people. The MBF will challenge community attitudes, change institutional food preparation practice and raise the awareness of the link between emotional wellbeing and food for older people. More information here