Thursday, November 30, 2023

Big wave surfer makes big splash with Dementia Australia

Dementia Australia has announced professional big wave surfer and Australian Survivor TV show contestant, Felicity ‘Flick’ Palmateer, as its newest Ambassador. 

Ms Palmateer (pictured with mother, Pauline) says she was inspired to support Dementia Australia after her mother passed away from younger onset frontotemporal dementia at the age of 52. 

Frontotemporal dementia is a disease that is caused by progressive damage to the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain and impacts language, behaviour and mobility.

“My Mum, Pauline, was diagnosed at age 46 with frontotemporal dementia and over the next six years I watched her heath slowly deteriorate,” Ms Palmateer said.

“Mum passed away during the last week I was a competitor on Australian Survivor in 2021. 

“I made the extremely difficult choice to stay on the show because I realised I had a chance to live life in a way that my Mum never had.

“And I knew publicity through the TV show would be a unique way to raise awareness about younger onset frontotemporal dementia.

“I was so honoured to be offered the opportunity to become a Dementia Australia Ambassador. 

“I am proudly committed to being an Ambassador as an ongoing tribute to my Mum especially as few people my age are aware that it can happen to someone in their 40s or 50s.

“Sharing my story will help anyone impacted by dementia feel a little less alone and help families to recognise the signs of dementia and seek support.

“I am in awe of my fellow Ambassadors and look forward to meeting them and having a positive impact together.”

Dementia Australia CEO, Maree McCabe AM said she was delighted to welcome Ms Palmateer as a Dementia Australia Ambassador. 

“I warmly welcome Flick’s appointment as a Dementia Australia Ambassador and acknowledge her commitment to making a difference to the lives of people of all ages living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers,” Ms McCabe said.

“All of our extraordinary Patrons and Ambassadors are motivated by the impact dementia has had on their own lives and volunteer their time to generously support others. They are truly an inspiration.” 

More information about Dementia Australia Patrons and Ambassadors can be found here

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au.

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