The Wheatbelt is a world leader in Aged Care

August 02, 2016 at 10:22 AM


The Wheatbelt Development Commission’s dedication to enabling older people to remain in their communities as they age has been recognised by the International Federation on Ageing.

The International Federation on Ageing has General Consultative Status at the United Nations and its agencies including the World Health Organisation. 

Dr Jane Barrett, the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing, has commended the Wheatbelt Development Commission on its innovative approach to aged care. 

“Nowhere in the world have I seen aged care being addressed on the scale that it is in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia," she said. 

In 2012, the Commission asked its 43 local government authorities to identify priorities for their communities and aged care was top of the list. Wide-ranging research in aged care was conducted to publish the Wheatbelt Aged Support and Care Solutions (WASCS) report, including 31 community forums, attended by over 560 community members. 

As a result of the WASCS report, the Wheatbelt Development Commission is working with local governments and other stakeholders to implement the report recommendations via the Creating Age-Friendly Communities in Small Towns Project. This Project is delivering over 120 age friendly projects into communities enabling an easier life for senior residents and includes trials of new bus services that allow older residents to access key services/ infrastructure for health, medical, recreation and social opportunities. 

The Commission has been successful in facilitating the development of well-aged housing by supporting groups of local governments to work together to build comprehensive business cases to raise funding for infrastructure. The single largest ever investment into aged housing in Western Australia has just been secured by the Central East Aged Care Alliance, a partnership of 11 Wheatbelt local governments. $23.3M Royalties for Regions investment will build 75 independent living units across the region. 

The Commission is also co-ordinating the State Wide Ageing in the Bush project on behalf of the Regional Development Council. This project aims to identify aged care models for regional WA that will enable residents to ‘age in place’ and continue to live in their community. 

In recognition of the innovative work the Wheatbelt Development Commission has been doing in the field of aged care over the past four years, Wendy Newman, CEO has been invited to join a panel with the International Federation on Ageing. 

Tim Shackleton, Chair of the Wheatbelt Development Commission, said that this opportunity recognises the important work that the Commission and its key stakeholders have undertaken since 2012. 

For further information on aged care in the Wheatbelt please contact Lauren Clarke on 08 9881 5888 or


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