A playwright, a Pilbara Aboriginal Elder and a champion for seniors from migrant backgrounds are among the winners of the 2023 Western Australian Seniors Awards.
WA Seniors and Ageing Minister, Don Punch has congratulated the winners and finalists at the annual awards ceremony, which celebrates and recognises the valued contributions of seniors, businesses and local governments in the community.
The WA Seniors Advocate of the Year is Marika Krstevska. Fluent in Polish, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and English, Marika is a huge asset to Western Australia’s migrant community for her work with Umbrella Multicultural Community Care advocating for seniors from diverse communities for more than a decade.
Roebourne’s David Walker (pictured with Minister Punch) is the recipient of the WA Senior of the Year: Regional Award. A senior Ngarluma Elder, Uncle David Walker was nominated by the Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation for his work over many decades advocating for Aboriginal people’s rights throughout the Pilbara and his determination to maintain his people’s connection to Country and culture.
The WA Senior of the Year: Metropolitan Award recipient is Benito Chan, who was nominated by the Philippine Educational Theatre Artists of WA Inc. As part of his work as an advocate for Dementia Australia, and while caring for his mother who had vascular dementia, Benito wrote an autobiographical play journey entitled The Dementia Carer Chronicles with the aim of spreading awareness and empathy to both the sufferer and the carer.
The Age-Friendly Business Award recipient is Connect Victoria Park, a registered community housing provider for people aged over 60. Revolving around a unique ‘village hub” model, this community driven social enterprise promotes active and healthy ageing in the community with weekly classes, workshops, information sessions and social gatherings for over 55s.
The Age-Friendly Local Government Award recipient is the City of Mandurah’s Dandjoo Kaadadjan Mia Mandurah Seniors Centre, which has proudly served the community since 1990. Catering for Mandurah’s significant seniors demographic, the centre offers an array of holistic essential services such as a hairdresser, podiatrist, massage therapist, reiki therapist and beautician as well as many social activities throughout the year.
The 2023 WA Seniors Awards were presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the Department of Communities and Lotterywest.
“Congratulations to all the outstanding individuals, local governments and businesses who contribute to an age-friendly Western Australia,” said Minister Punch.
“Marika Krstevska, David Walker and Benito Chan are thoroughly deserving winners in the individual categories this year.
“In the organisational categories, Connect Victoria Park is a great example of how social enterprises can promote active and healthy ageing.
“The City of Mandurah’s Dandjoo Kaadadjan Mia Mandurah Seniors Centre shows just how important local government can be in enabling seniors to live their best lives.
“Recognising and celebrating the great value older people bring to community life is so important and the WA Seniors Awards are a great way to celebrate older people’s contributions to the Western Australian community,” he said.