The City of Cockburn was a finalist at the Palliative Care in WA Awards for 2021, in recognition of its ongoing efforts to provide a compassionate community for people of all ages.
Cockburn, along with the City of Melville, was a finalist in a category that recognises outstanding Local Government authorities that support a compassionate community approach. The City of Albany took out the award announced on 4 November.
City of Cockburn Seniors and Childcare Manager Jill Zumach said the City was led by a Strategic Community Plan that aimed to foster a vibrant, healthy, safe, inclusive and connected community.
“The City’s Age-Friendly Strategy and an Age-Friendly Reference Group also support our community members to live well and age in place,” Ms Zumach said.
“Since 1988, Cockburn Care has been helping elderly people and those with disability stay independent, for longer.
“Its Clinical Governance Framework supports individuals’ journeys with palliative care, voluntary assisted dying and advance care planning, with our staff educated to help navigate and guide the community in these difficult but necessary conversations.”
The City has an active Aboriginal Reference Group, and in 2011, was the first Perth metropolitan Local Government to produce a Reconciliation Action Plan.
The City also adopted its first Cultural Diversity Strategy in 2016, with around 21 per cent of residents speaking a language other than English at home.
“Our proposed Aboriginal Cultural and Visitors Centre is progressing, with Lotterywest providing a $1.5m grant to help fund this unique centre which will be located on the western side of Walliabup-Bibra Lake in coming years,” Ms Zumach said.
“Events for Aboriginal and culturally diverse people are held throughout the year and include NAIDOC and Reconciliation Week, an annual Cultural Fair, English language classes and Nyungar language classes at local libraries.
“The arrival of COVID-19 was the catalyst for the City’s establishment of a community helpline and online help form which, along with regular calls and enewsletters to Seniors Centre members, was well received by the community which valued opportunities to stay connected during an unprecedented time of change and worry.
“Based on the Active Ageing model, our Seniors Centre remains a vibrant place for people aged 50-plus to make friends and get involved in a variety of activities, including a popular new friendship group.
“Monthly information sessions at the centre have included visits from the Office of the Public Advocate which provides information to help families, friends and carers meet the needs of adults with decision-making disabilities.
“With our neighbouring Cities of Fremantle and Melville, Cockburn hosts regular Seniors Community Expos featuring information stalls from local community organisations and businesses to empower local seniors to actively age in place.”