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Longevity: debits/credits

INDEX 3 Cover story - Australia’s newest PhD 9 British expats want pension upgrade 11 Flower with a magic opera 12 New true costs of ageing prisoners 14 Community group guide 16 What’s on 17 Wanderlust 27 Wellbeing 31 Living 34 Money 37 Classifieds 39 Puzzles


Good health & wellbeing at a price

17 Try travelling solo but not single

Gail Forrer Seniors Group Editor HELLO friends. This month I couldn’t resist celebrating Dr David Bottomley’s life-long learning journey. Regardless of age, his curiosity to know, learn and contribute to society seems unabated and they’re the qualities I’m sure we would all like to keep intact. But I do know that besides academic learning, we, as elders, have a good deal to share with other generations. Personally, I love a day at the river with my granddaughter just chatting about everything we see around us – there’s so much to explore, explain and enjoy as we share our lives together. As we know, one of the key factors changing the world today is increased longevity. The same as everything else, these extra years have their debits and credits. This month, our regular double-page feature investigates how authorities are dealing with ageing prisoners. For instance, people in wheelchairs need wider corridors, dementia patients require alternative caring and, ultimately, the big question: should the needs of ageing prisoners be facilitated

within the prison system or should they be settled in nursing homes? As we go to press with this story, the topic is emphasised with a physically ailing 77-year-old Cardinal George Pell being sentenced to prison. To give us a worldwide view on this particular issue, I have also written about the situation in Japan, which boasts the best longevity rates in the world. Our Wellbeing and Living pages have a wide range of tips on how to lead our best senior lives - including sunscreen in our morning routine to better sleep habits and, yes, if you have the space, how to grow grapes and, of course, we always end with our whopper puzzle. — Enjoy, Gail

CONTACT US General Manager Geoff Crockett – 07 5430 1006 Editor Gail Forrer – 07 5435 3203 Media Sales Executive Tracy O’Connor – 0438 478 204 Online Get your news online at Advertising, editorial and distribution enquiries Phone: 1300 880 265 or (07) 5435 3200 Email: or Location: 2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore 4558 Website: Subscriptions Only $39.90 for one year (12 editions) including GST and postage anywhere in Australia. Please call our circulations services on 1300 361 604 and quote “Sunshine Coast Seniors Newspaper”. The Seniors Newspaper is published monthly and distributed free in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales. The Seniors newspaper stable includes Toowoomba, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Northern NSW, Coffs and Clarence and Central Coast publications. Published by News Corp Australia. Printed by News Corp Australia, Yandina. Opinions expressed by contributors to Seniors Newspapers are not necessarily those of the editor or the owner/publisher and publication of advertisements implies no endorsement by the owner/publisher.

Roll up to world of bowls “Look at what we have today, and paid for.” Jim was a founding member of Robina Bowls Club and was present at the founding meeting in October 1985, attended by around 350 people including Ray Phillips, John Brokken and Jack Toohey. “I remember that day clearly when the majority of those present were signed up as members,” he said. “Up to this time I was

not a member of any club, had never played bowls and had only arrived on the Gold Coast from Canberra a few months before. “Jack Toohey, who lived opposite our house at Robina came over to see me and asked for $25 to which I replied: llÌgive ` you nothing and take you nowhere’. “Jack explained the $25 was for my founding membership of the bowls club. I told him I didn’t

Seniors Special




players badge for the third division Pennant; and the day I received my Patriarch badge,” Jim said. He was also successful in the B-grade singles in 1990. “Bowls is of great importance to me. It keeps me healthy and importantly, it provides interaction with other members. “I wish we could convince many more men and women to take up this wonderful game.”

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play bowls. And then I thought carefully – bowls club = watering hole. And here I am today!” Jim has just celebrated his 90th birthday, and as the latest to achieve a nonagenarian status at the Robina Bowls Club, is still a competitive bowler. “There were three events that made me proud. In 1990, when I won the B-grade Singles and saw my name up on the Honours board; when I was presented with my

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JIM Cameron remembers the day when a truck pulled up alongside Green 2 and started to unload a great stack of timber. Asking the driver what was going on he received a stern reply: “This is to build your club house mate”. That was more than 30 years ago. “Up to then we had been using a little old tin shed with room for a Rite Temp, a keg of beer and not much more,” Jim recalled.




Great Australian learner Dr David gives new life to old knowledge

Tracey Johnstone DAVID Bottomley AM is Australia’s newest and oldest PhD graduate after completing his study of ancient school education methods that he believes have relevance to today’s school teachers. The 94-year-old said his wife, Anne, joked with him that he was a bit slow in getting a PhD, but after seven years of study he finished one year ahead of schedule. Dr Bottomley finished his first degree in 1948, took up teaching science and maths before moving into working in and studying social and market research. In 2008, 60 years after his first degree, he completed a Masters in Education. His love of study and of stretching his mind beyond the norm is in his blood. His father was a minister who welcomed his children to his library. “I worked my way up from the lowest shelf that I could reach,” he said. That experience instilled in him an enthusiasm to question everything. “It’s just a normal process where whatever you are placed in, you want to understand it and question it,” the scholar said. He cited the Royal Society of London’s motto that a science person should question, never just accept, and look for correlation. His brother Bob, who has a PhD in enzymatic chemistry, worked with the local flour millers during WWII to transform

LIFELONG LEARNING: Australia’s oldest PhD graduate, Curtin University’s Dr David Bottomley AM with his wife, Anne. the protein level of Victorians. He has a daughter, aged in her 60s, studying for a PhD in music and a granddaughter finishing a degree in medicine. Dr Bottomley’s Doctor of Philosophy was achieved through West Australia’s Curtin University and under the guidance of Distinguished Professor David Treagust. “I took five headmasters of equal positions in the 19th century, who were quite well known in the field of history of science, and I looked for the similarities and differences within these five,” he said. Each teacher created within the school

curriculum situations which Dr Bottomley’s described as “leading to students fitting in and running within a stimulating environment to higher learning for themselves”. Not surprisingly, about half his small home in Melbourne is taken up with his study materials which have grown to almost 80 lever-arch files full of his research. “It’s a rather crowded one,” Dr Bottomley says with a chuckle. “I am now redistributing the files with ideas for the next step.” The idea of stopping vigorously exercising his mind is all but a brief lapse in this exceptional

man’s thinking. He jokes he is in “great need of a haircut”, and since finishing his PhD, feeling “bored stiff”. But that is doubtful. While he might, for a brief moment, have wondered what he would do with himself each day, it’s taken no time for his curiosity to reassert itself. While Dr Bottomley addresses his need to get more active by heading out the door, pushing his walker around and studying his world, his mind is actively considering his next intellectual challenge. He has already identified as an outcome of his PhD thesis the subject of his next area of

study; “exploring the concomitance of creativity in schools”. He wants to find some area of interest from this research that will be valuable to current school teachers. Also on the radar is the wellbeing of his wife of 68 years. Anne lives in an aged care facility close-by. Dr Bottomley visits her three or four times a week and has keenly observed the environment she is living in. “We can change our focus by changing one letter,” he said. Care to cure is what he is talking about. “The challenge today is cure. What I hope to explore is people with

Photo: Jaimi Joy

different skills, crossfertilising with each other,” he said. “I would love to be in the position to make a presentation to this Royal Commission about nursing homes because what I want to say is, ‘heaven’s sake, change the idea of care to cure and you change the whole axis of your thinking about one of the huge problems of today’. “There is an enormous amount here I don’t know, but I hope to explore. “I wonder how many vested interests are going to resist me?” The learning journey is ongoing for this scholar, who happily describes life as “really exciting”.




Coolangatta school

School’s history makes it more than just a set of classrooms Alison Houston QUEENSLAND Governor Paul de Jersey AC had the unusual honour of unveiling a plaque inscribed with his grandfather’s name as


the governor requested the Vice-Regal flag fly to mark this historic moment. Coolangatta State School celebrated its centenary last month. Claude de Jersey was the first principal (1920-29) of the school on Kirra Hill, which the governor’s father Ronald also attended.

Fittingly, the governor requested the Vice-Regal flag fly to mark this historic moment for a very unusual school. The school was established in 1919 in response to the closure of the Queensland/NSW border gates due to an outbreak of the deadly Spanish flu. It has called three different sites home, and celebrations were divided between the two major sites at Kirra Hill and the current school at Stapylton St. The original school ran for just a year out of Coolangatta Town Council’s Municipal Hall from February 1919-20 until the school on Kirra Hill – with the best view but the worst playground – was established. However, with no room to grow, by 1970 it was time to think about moving again, with the Stapylton St school opening on November 26, 1977, and Kirra Hill, with its undeniably

BEGINNINGS: Coolangatta State School opening, February 10, 1919. Queensland-inspired high-set structure and wide verandas to cope with the rain, becoming first a Special School and then (thanks to the protests of the Save Kirra Hill group in 2005) a community centre. That left the problem in


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2019 as to where to hold the centenary celebrations, with a “generational” decision made to hold a fete and reunion of hundreds of teachers and students, also commemorating the six former students killed in World War II and

Photos: Contributed

Vietnam, at the 42-year-old Stapylton St school on Saturday, February 9, and the formal centenary plaque unveiling on the hill the following day. The plaque was funded by the Past Pupils’ Group, representing students

from Grace Byrnes (nee Power) in 1936 to the last enrollees in 1977, and came with the blessing of another former student, Norma Packer (Adams), now 102, who Claude de Jersey enrolled in 1923. Organiser Allen Callaghan, a student from





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celebrates 100 years 1945-53 and former press secretary to the Queensland Premier, said the 150 chairs set out were all taken, with more attendees standing on the verandas to watch the ceremony. Proud of his family’s connection with Coolangatta State School and its educational record, the governor said the school served the community in a vital stage of life for young people. The centrepiece of the afternoon tea that followed the unveiling was a large cake featuring a photo of the school in icing. The commemorative plaque will be installed in the heritage classroom at the centre – the very room in which Claude de Jersey taught, and where the governor was able to stand and look out over the Pacific Ocean and a very much changed town from the one his grandfather knew.

1952, Grades 6 and 7.

Past students and staff get together for the Coolangatta State School centenary. Tweed Heads principal Peter Nicholl, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey and Coolangatta principal Sharyn Mahony.

Past students and staff catch up and exchange memories at the Coolangatta State School centenary.

Past students and staff at the Coolangatta State School centenary.

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Iconic Blenders honoured Alison Houston MOST Gold Coasters will have heard The Blenders male chorus at some point over the past 30-odd years, but few may have realised just how much this year’s winner of the City Council Community Service Award actually does. Referring to The Blenders as a Gold Coast icon, the award citation stated: “The Blenders have provided outstanding service to the community through mentoring young leaders, inter-generational outreach, establishing choruses and bringing cheer and celebration to the Gold Coast, Australia and internationally”. Whether speaking to an old hand like Barry Mallett (a member for at least 20 years), or a relative newcomer like Alan Martin (two years) it is clear that the group lives up to its simple claim of “a singing group for mates”. But the largest male chorus in Australia is also highly regarded for its talents, and puts in a lot of work to earn its reputation, which has led

to eight consecutive Australian National Chorus titles, two Pan Pacific Chorus Championship wins and representing Australia at international competitions. Crikey! They were even chosen (along with John Williamson) to perform at Steve Irwin’s 2006 memorial, beamed to millions around the world. They also make Gold Coast Citizenship ceremonies something special, play at Australia and Anzac Day events, Christmas carols, charity fundraisers and more. Barry, 72, a life member, member of the executive and past president, said the camaraderie, team spirit, challenges and competition were not unlike his old days playing rugby … but without the contact. “And when things aren’t so good in life, you have a community to talk to,” he said. “I’ve made lifetime friends within the group – it’s hard to explain how good that is.” Always interested in youth development, Barry

SONG IN THEIR HEARTS: Senior members of The Blenders chorus, headed by president Damon Newman, are urged into song as they accept the Gold Coast City Council Community Service Award. Photo: Contributed said The Blenders also gave youngsters a good foundation and taught them respect, with members varying in age from low teens to their 80s. “We really connect through the music and teamwork, and discuss how to sing a love song, how to treat a woman, and it’s a very powerful influence on young people,” Barry said.

Originally a Kiwi, Alan, 60, said he had always been involved in singing through choirs and musical theatre, but had never tried his hand at the four-part a cappella barbershop style of the Blenders. As a non-sportsman, he joined the chorus to feel part of the community again after moving to Australia five years previously.

“It was a really hard challenge for me, and pushed me in directions I hadn’t gone before – there is a lot of music and a lot to remember – but it was so easy to make friends,” Alan said. Like Barry, Alan said he enjoyed the multigenerational aspect of the choir, and the training, which includes breath and musical training, with support for beginner and

intermediate singers as well as the more confident, and no expectation of being able to read music. The chorus’ repertoire covers a variety of musical genres from Johnny O’Keefe to Gershwin, from classical to rock and roll to Australiana, and The Blenders also incorporate the smaller Youth Chorus, Postbusters, Benchmark, Blindside, Escapade and Upgrade groups. For anyone interested in giving a capella singing a go, Barry said the upcoming series of free SingGC Workshops at Griffith Uni over four weeks was ideal, offering expert coaching and culminating in a concert, starting May 13 for males and May 14 for females. “This program has been a roaring success since it started and we look forward to another fun time this year as well,” he said. Info: singgc., or info re joining The Blenders, visit the, watch a Monday night rehearsal, or phone Noel Grummitt on 0419 711 177.







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FEELING ripped off. That’s how Jim Tilley feels, but he’s not leaving it at that. He’s up and fighting to see that all British ex-pats living in Australia understand the legalities of the UK state age pension. As the spokesperson for British Pensions in Australia [BPiA], he wants every person who has paid into compulsory national insurance contributions when working in the UK, to have the same pension rights as any other British citizen – living in the country or not. He aims to change the laws that freeze the UK age pension payment to Australian ex-pats from their year of relocation. He believes that regardless of location, people who paid into the British system should be entitled to the same annual yearly increases as any other British citizens. The British overseas residents pension situation has anomalies,

pensions were first payable abroad. UK began negotiating reciprocal agreements on a country by country basis. 1980s: The government stopped signing new agreements and the situation has not changed since.


EQUAL RIGHTS: Jim Tilley believes Aussie ex-pat pensioners are suffering monetary discrimination. which BPiA are seriously challenging. Firstly, according to the BPiA, the UK pensions are up-rated annually for citizens living in the USA, Israel, the EU, the Philippines, Turkey, etc, but they are not uprated in 48 of the 53 Commonwealth nations. Indeed when Mr Tilley put pen to paper, he was scathing of the system that is allowing the current pension scheme to continue. “Freezing pensions of British ex-pats is an example of blatant miserly British Government discrimination from a

nation which believes in and promotes itself as being fair minded, respecting equality, sound ethics and moral behaviour,” he wrote. Mr Tilley said there were many reasons people leave their country, but it’s not usually for a grand holiday, moreover it’s often to support their family in other countries, and it is likely they have paid a lifetime of taxes into the British system. The BPiA has recently been supported by stage and screen actor Miriam Margolyes, who is no less scandalised and warns that the policy “plunges

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Friendly club hits 70 years Member recalls CBC’s history Alison Houston COOLANGATTA Bowls Club marked its 70th anniversary in style with a masquerade cocktail party which reinforced its claim as “the friendliest little club on the Coast”. Ray Meehan, 89, was among those celebrating. A member for 48 years, and proudly awarded Life Membership 15 years ago, Ray has lived on the Coast for 63 years, so is “almost a local”. Over the years he has held official club roles including president and competed at various levels, including playing with top names like Fred Lewis, Bob Purcell and Neil Crichton. He still tries to get a triples game in every

Thursday with a group including Charlie Mitchell, with whom he has played for about 30 years. “It’s such a wonderful game,” Ray said. “You get out there and you forget your worries and just have a lovely afternoon.” He also organises Thursday games and has run a singles competition every Saturday for 28 years. “I just love it … it’s a wonderful atmosphere here at Coolangatta,” he said. With green fees just $10 including tea and a biscuit, he reckons it’s a pretty cheap afternoon’s entertainment. The club currently has 160 male and 62 female members, including a number over 90 years old.

MASQUERADE: Ladies' president Pam Bews, barman John Forsythe and ladies' games co-ordinator Gail Rottier toast the 70th anniversary with margaritas. “We pride ourselves, being a small club, on looking after each other and we all enjoy the social side of bowls,” said Ladies’ Committee president Pam Bews. The club today boasts three greens, but started with just the one. In fact, its history dates back to a combined Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Bowling Club formed in 1921 on Crown land in Coral St, Tweed Heads. That club dissolved harmoniously to form two separate clubs and Coolangatta Bowls Club

opened its doors on New Year’s Day 1949 with 76 bowlers; the Ladies’ Club opening on April 20, 1950. The first green and clubhouse cost £1000, and comprised an ex-US Army hut delivered in two halves and joined and modified on site, around which today’s clubhouse is built. Pam said the club at one stage had so many national, state and district players that it could be rated as the world’s No. 1 bowling strength club. From 1975-1987

Coolangatta players Ray Lederhose, Fred Lewis, Neil Crichton and Ian Schubach won four state titles, and over the years the club has had 27 state and four Australian representatives, including Kelvin Kerkow starting his career there. But it’s not just the players that have made a name, with the club making history a couple of times, firstly as the first club to have grandstand seating around a green, and more prominently being the first club in history in 1985 to wear

coloured shirts with sponsors’ logos. Pam said Coolangatta always welcomed new members, with free coaching available every Tuesday 3-4pm and bowls provided so prospective players can “just turn up to have a try”. Her only warning: “It’s addictive”. Bring a water bottle and wear a hat and flat shoes (except on barefoot bowls days). Call the club on 07 5536 6677 or Pam on 0411 650 709.

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Flower with a magic opera CAST

Gail Forrer OPERA Queensland drapes the simplicity of an Indian folktale with the shimmering silk of a modern opera into a production of magical proportions. Queensland’s first 2019 opera, A Flowering Tree, presented by Opera Queensland’s Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan, takes you by the heart and with a delicate hand guides you through rich metaphors referencing climate change, sustainability and ecology culminating in vast alchemical compounds of great love, both lost and found. These themes and metaphors are energised through the tale of two sisters, who, from a poor family succeed in earning money by using an ancient water ritual to transform the youngest sister into a tree which blossoms with valuable flowers. A prince becomes infatuated with the girl’s transformational powers and marries her, within this scenario streams drench you with pools of

Kumudha: Eva Kong Prince: Adrian Dwyer Narrator: Craig Colclough, Opera Queensland Chorus Queensland Symphony Orchestra Pre-concert talk one hour prior to each performance except April 2. Audio descriptions available April 6. Sung in English and Spanish with English subtitles. About two hours, including interval.

BEAUTY AND DRAMA: Opera singer Eva Kong performs in A Flowering Tree. magic, healing and deep and selfless love. Nolan says A Flowering Tree – winner of the 2009 Helpmann Award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert – will showcase the vast capacity of opera to enliven, inspire and entertain. “A Flowering Tree is not only a beautiful opera, it is a relevant and relatable

story for our times. Audiences will be swept away by the imagery, the romance and the magic of this contemporary retelling of a timeless Indian folk tale.” It is more than ten years since Nolan drew an enthusiastic audience into A Flowering Tree at the West Australian Opera.

This time around Nolan immerses you into the creative spirit of the show utilising a 12m high video screen as the central design element, curated by video designer Mic Gruchy to create a visual world that evokes the wonder of the story combined with live images of the singers and orchestra.

A Flowering Tree is the first of three main stage operas at QPAC including Orpheus and Eurydice and Tosca. ●Pre-Show Talks Free pre-performance talks commence one hour before shows for about 25 minutes. Talks are inside the theatre on Thurs. 4 April, 6pm and Sat 6 April, 1pm.

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The new, true costs of Tracey Johnstone PHIL Goulding stopped talking. It was only for a few moments, but the silence was noticeable. Up until then our conversation had been flowing freely. You see, we were talking about the face of ageing prisoners in Australia and it was quickly evident there is a lot of sensitivity around the subject. Mr Goulding is the deputy general manager of operations at Melbourne’s Wintringham, a specialist aged care provider for the homeless and disadvantaged. He is a member of a growing cohort of professionals across Australia gradually peeling back the layers to reveal the challenges for ageing prisoners who are in custody, rehabilitation or on release from prison, and for the corrective and justice health care workers managing these people. The professionals are focused on people aged 50 and over; in the prison system they are considered ‘ageing’. Many of them have entered the system with chronic health issues brought on by drug and alcohol use, poor nutrition, lack of medical care and, for some, after spending a lot of their life in both prison and juvenile detention. All of this escalates age-related illnesses. Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) researcher Matthew Willis said these factors often resulted in high levels of physical, mental health and cognitive impairment, and higher vulnerability to victimisation within the general prison population. These ageing prisoners fall loosely into four categories – recidivists,

AGEING JUSTICE: A snapshot of life inside the NSW Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network at Long Bay Correctional Centre. Photo: NSW Justice Health first-time prisoners incarcerated at an older age, inmates who are growing old in prison due to long sentences, and those who commit crime as a result of cognitive damage or decline.


The number of senior prisioners is increasing and so too is the cost of providing appropriate aged care health support and facilities which they have a right to access as stipulated under the UN Human Rights Committee in its International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights . In particular, this states the right of a prisoner to be treated with humanity, dignity and respect while in detention. At June 30, 2018 there were 5,554 prisoners aged 50 years and over – 94.3 per cent male and 5.7 per cent female – adding to Australia’s burgeoning prison

population. This is an increase of 81.6 per cent between 2001 and 2010, and another increase of 67 per cent from 2010 to 2018. At the same June date there were 1,156 prisoners aged 65 years and over – 97.2 per cent male and 2.7 per cent female. Between 2001 and 2010 there was an increase of about 128 per cent, and a further increase of 119.4 per cent during the years to 2018. The ABS in its Prisoners in Australia Report 2018 noted 62 per cent of the prisoners aged 65 and over have a “serious offence/charge of sexual assault and related offences�. The increase in numbers isn’t due solely to an ageing Australian population. “Another part of it is some of the changes we have had to sentencing laws and parole laws,� Mr

Willis said. Parole is now harder to get, which can result in people staying in prison for longer. There has also been improvements in DNA technology, investigative techniques and information handling which have all impacted on prosecuting old offences, including sex offences which can carry long life sentences. The consequence of the growth in older prisoners is an increase in remand costs due to specialist service delivery and facilities, changes to prison activities and upskilling correction and health services staff to cater for this cohort. In 2013-14 it was costing about $292 per prisoner per day according to the Report on Government Services 2015. The 1999 AIC report Elderly inmates: issues for Australia calculated that cost increases

three-fold for ageing prisoners.


Currently eight jurisdictions look after prisoner welfare in Australia, each with its own ageing prisoner management approach. UNSW Kirby Institute researcher Dr Natasha Ginnivan suggests it’s time for a national policy approach to deal with accelerated ageing. “Because there isn’t a management plan in place for dementia, cognitive impairment or frailty, or pre-frailty which is a measure that has been used in population ageing, we don’t know the prevalence of some of the muscular-skeletal and mild cognitive concerns within this population,� Dr Ginnivan said. “We know that when they get to a certain stage it becomes very expensive to house them when they are frail, not withstanding the human rights issues

around providing appropriate care.� NSW, then Queensland and Victoria have the greatest number of ageing prisoners. In NSW, a Correction Services spokesperson reports most of the state’s older inmates are in mainstream facilities and their medical or disability concerns are considered, including placement in bottom bunks or ground floor placement. “The infrastructure at some facilities has also been modified with hand-rails above beds and in bathrooms, easy-to-use taps and ramps in yards,� the spokesperson said. Elderly and frail inmates are located in the Long Bay Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit and the Kevin Waller Unit. Old-age and neuro psychiatrist Dr Sharon Reutens said NSW had speciality psychiatrists and geriatricians, and speciality units to address the problems around dementia in ageing prisoners. Corrections Victoria (CV) developed a framework for 2015-2020 which identifies actions around designing and managing its correction services to meet the needs of its ageing prisoners. Subsequently, CV last month entered a contract with Wintringham. Mr Goulding said: “We’ve been asked to provide advice on older prisoners and assessing them for their care needs.� “It’s a really positive step. It’s the first time there is an acknowledgement that there is a gap.� Over the next three years they will look at two prisons to identify aged care needs, including where some prisoners

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ageing prisoners

won’t admit their needs as they don’t want to be transferred. “At the end of the project, then further planning will be done.” Many of Victoria’s ageing prisoners are in a handful of centres such as Port Phillip Prison and the Hopkins Correctional Centre, which has recently been refurbished specifically to cater for prisoners needing aged care support. The Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) spokesperson said “while prison can be a challenging environment for older prisoners, every reasonable effort is made to support them while in our custody”.


In most states correctional facilities are cognisant of, or acting on, providing some facilities for ageing prisoners. But Dr Reutens questions how will justice health not only identify, but also cater for the complexities of dementia. “We need a societal discussion about it,” she said. “I think it has to stem from what is the purpose of prison and does incarcerating cognitively impaired people fulfil the purpose of the prison which is to deter and rehabilitate. “Can that be adequately addressed by imprisonment in a culturally impaired population? “It’s really hard in prison because everything is done for you. “You don’t make your breakfast, you have no household chores; all your activities for living are taken over so it can be really hard to identify. Someone can slip under the radar until they are

A world grappling with longevity issues

Gail Forrer

Acacia Prison in West Australia which has speciality aged care facilities included its design. Photo: Russell Barton

Long Bay Correctional Centre staff help elderly inmates tend to their bonsai plants.

Photo: Corrective Services NSW

quite demented.” When it comes to leaving prison at the end of a sentence or when parole is available, the options are limited if the person has aged care needs. “Where do you put a sex offender?” Mr Goulding asked. “In a good world, once you have done your time, everything is fine.” Mr Willis said: “In the case of older people, you are potentially releasing people who have

completed their sentence at quite an advanced age and needing specialist care and specialist type of accommodation, and in a lot of cases not having family and people who can provide that kind of support for them.” Under 65 the choice is NDIS. Over 65, it’s My Aged Care. But the wait times can be up to two years. “There can be a hiatus on release for some older prisoners and then they will probably end up with a

GP or in a hospital and the system will pick them up,” Mr Willis said. The QCS said on release it connects eligible prisoners to the NDIS and aged care services. In Melbourne, Wintringham has an accommodation facility. In Sydney there is a new HammondCare venue. “HammondCare does not discriminate based on the criminal history of any potential residents,” residential care general manager Angela Raguz said. “When the Darlinghurst aged care venue for homelessness people is open, entry will be based on several factors including the physical, psychological and social needs of potential residents, as well as the safety of staff and other residents.” There is the opportunity for the issues around the health and wellbeing of ageing prisoners, which currently seems to be bubbling away under the surface of the community, to be addressed through the Aged Care Royal Commission. A spokesperson for the Commission said it may accept submissions on prison aged care and other services offered in prisons

FORETOLD forewarned: Increased longevity is a fact of life in many parts of the planet, but it is Japan that boasts the world’s best longevity rates, with 27.3 per cent of its citizens 65 years or older. However, on the flip side of the coin, complaints and arrests involving elderly Japanese people, and women in particular, are taking place at rates above those of any other demographic in the country. Almost one in five women in a Japanese prison is a senior. Their crimes are usually minor – nine in 10 senior women who’ve been convicted were


Almost one in five women in a Japanese prison is a senior. found guilty of shoplifting. As social policies are formed to serve increasing longevity in the Australian population, reasons behind the imprisonment rate of Japanese seniors for minor crimes is something that should be kept in mind. The minor nature of the crimes appears to be a cry for help in a

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world where the social position of a very old (in numbers), yet healthy and active person has not yet been established long enough to have attained associated community institutions, structures and societal relations. In some cases these seniors are the first of three or four generations of family but are unable to access help from busy younger family members, or perhaps they are coping as the first and only generation. While we live longer lives, adjustments need to be made to social, emotional and/or financial resources available. Japanese statistics show that from 1980 to 2015, the number of seniors living alone increased more than sixfold, to almost six million. And a 2017 survey by Tokyo’s government found that more than half of the seniors caught shoplifting lived alone, while 40 per cent either don’t have family or rarely speak with relatives. These people often say they have no one to turn to when they need help. Further research by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the International Women’s Media Foundation identified women as suffering not only financial strain, but loneliness and a lack of purpose. Sadly, prison was where they found a roof over their head and regular meals, along with companionship. Source: Various associated stories including Bloomberg Report

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Community notes

Community group guide TO ALLOW for readers’ requests for the publication of more neighbourhood news, please keep notices short and to the point (100 word maximum). If you would like to submit a photo, ensure it is at least 180dpi or 500kb to 1mb in size and of faces, in a nice bright setting. Email editor@seniors


Burleigh Heads Ladies WE MEET on the third Wednesday of the month at Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club. Morning tea is enjoyed at 10am, followed by a meeting at 10.30am, which includes an interesting speaker. Lunch can be ordered. A coach trip or social activity is held on the fourth Wednesday. Visitors welcome. Phone Helga on (07) 5520 2426 or Glenda (07) 5576 0303. Burleigh Waters WE HAD an interesting outing to the Ballina Maritime Museum and our club celebrated its 30th anniversary at our meeting, with previous presidents still in the club speaking on their experiences. Retired or semi-retired men are invited to join us at club meetings, 10am, on the third Monday of each month at Burleigh Waters Community Centre, 131 Christine Ave, Burleigh Waters. Nominally a men’s club, but wives are very welcome to share the club’s fellowship, friendship and fun at all club meetings and outings. Phone Brian on (07) 5520 6332 or John (07) 5520 6661. Hastings Point/ Tweed Coast OUR next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 19, at 10 am at Tricare

Community Village, 87 Tweed Coast Rd, Hastings Point. The speaker will be Yvonne Turner, who has many amusing stories to tell from her varied activities in the WRANS, as a businesswoman and as a prison officer. The following meeting will be on Tuesday, April 16, at the same venue. The speaker then will be Meg Reid, manager of Tweed Heads/Murwillumbah Service NSW. Inquiries to Jean Watson on (02) 6670 4072. Runaway Bay WE MEET at the Paradise Point Bowls Club on the third Monday of each month at 10am. Next meeting is on March 18. A guest speaker and morning tea are enjoyed with friends. Luncheon held on the fourth Tuesday of each month, meeting at 11.30am at the same venue. Bus trips and social events also organised. New members welcome. Contact Marilyn on 0407 758 854. Sorrento TWO large groups enjoyed the Last Day of Summer luncheon at the beautiful Marina Mirage in Main Beach. The million-dollar yachts were also enjoyed. Our growing mixed club regularly undertakes lunches, coffee mornings, trips, and enjoys excellent

SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS: President John of the Burleigh Waters Probus club watches the club’s two longest serving members, Fred and Rex, cut the 30th anniversary cake. speakers. Come along and meet us on the second Thursday of each month in the Southport Bowls Club at 10am. Phone Cate on 0468 370 659 for more information.


SENIORS’ fitness and strength class to improve cardio health, balance, coordination, strength and general wellbeing. Suitable for all fitness levels. Great music, meet people – Monday 9.30am at Aveo Community Centre, Glenside Dr, Robina; Tuesday 9am at Casey Hall, Fairways Dr, Clear Island Waters; Thursday 9am at Robina Community Centre. Cost $7. Phone Rochelle on 0438 333 308.


COME along on Saturday, March 30, from 8am-2pm at the Runaway Bay Community Centre, Lae Dr, Runaway Bay.


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Gold Coast South-Twin Towns Branch NSW GENERAL meetings are held bimonthly at 10am Qld time. Venue: RSL Sub-branch Twin-Towns, Anzac Room, Tweed Heads. Our next general meeting will be our AGM held on Friday, March 29. For veterans who served in any forces of the Commonwealth between 1951-72. Please show your support. Why not join us and rekindle the camaraderie you

experienced during your service. Phone Tom Hughes, public officer, on (07) 5513 0665.


FREE lessons for novice beginners. Learn line dancing for fun, relaxation and exercise. All ages, you don’t need a partner. Phone 0403 225 313 or go online to Monday 9.30am: Beginners. 10.30am: Early Intermediate. 11.15am: Intermediate. Wednesday 9.30am: Beginners. 10.30am: Early Intermediate 11.15am: Intermediate. Parkwood/Arundel Community Centre (entry is across the road from 174), Napper Rd, Arundel/Parkwood.


THE Southport Military Heritage Museum has a display honouring Our Forgotten ANZACS and

more. Renovations have been favourably received thus far by every visitor. Our newest display honours World War I general Sir John Monash and his allied commanders. Groups of six to 20 will be gladly accommodated. Phone Noel on 0437 732 575 and organise a time and day during any week. The Southport Military Heritage Museum is located in the Queensland Naval Brigade Drill Hall at Owen Park, Mick Vievers Way, 201 Queen St, Southport. Entry and parking is free.


WE WELCOME all over-50s to our activities, which include: line dancing, new vogue dancing, Scottish, square and tap dancing, tai chi and light exercise. For all activity times, please go to southportsenior or phone Annette (07) 5537 1377. Membership is $8 per



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There will be homewares, books, lots of craft, ladies’ clothing, children’s clothes, toys, books and bikes, silverware, crystal, jewellery, household items, material remnants, paintings, bric-a-brac … and much more! All proceeds for Soroptimist charity projects, including to help flood-ravaged farmers. Donation of goods welcome, new or gently used. Email Elwyn or phone 0407 171 887.


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WE ARE an organisation for people grieving the loss of a partner. We meet every second and fourth Wednesday at 10.30am at the Broadbeach Senior Citizens Centre, TE Peters Dr, Broadbeach. Phone Betty on (07) 5580 7034.


COMMUNITY service is organising free weekly computer and technology classes for people over 65 years of age. They started on Friday, February 22. Classes are held at our Gold Coast office, 34 Thomas Dr, Chevron Island, and run from 3-4.30pm. Bookings essential, seats limited. Phone (07) 5527 6481.


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GROUP fitness classes to improve fitness, strength and balance, suitable for men and women, over-50s and various fitness levels. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9am. Cost $5. Maher Hall, Burleigh Heads, Senior Citizens, 42 Matilda St, Burleigh Heads. Phone Caroline on 0402 812 227.


Burleigh Palm Beach MEMBERS of Burleigh Palm Beach VIEW Club held their AGM in February and elected a new committee. These members are now ready to organise events to raise funds for The Smith Family’s Learning for Life programs and to offer fun and friendship activities for their members. We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at Treetops Tavern, West Burleigh, at 10am. The next meeting

will be on March 19. New members are always welcome. Phone Ros on 0431 442 030. Oxenford/Coomera WE MEET on March 15 from 10.30am for 11am. Cost is $18 for lunch at the The Wattle Hotel, Reserve Rd, Upper Coomera. Phone Evelyn on 0418 653 642 to book or email oxencoomera Ladies are welcome to come along and join our club. Our aim is to raise money for The Smith Family and underprivileged Australian children and enjoy each other’s company. Robina OUR friendly ladies get together twice a month to have fun and support The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program for the education of children in disadvantaged situations. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month for morning tea with a guest speaker, from 9.30am for 10am start at the Robina Bowls Club, Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina, and a varied social activity later in the month. Phone Lorraine on 0417 262 627. Southport Day OUR next meeting will be at the Southport Yacht Club from 11.30am on March 20. The club meets

Resort Style Independent Living for the over 50’s • No Exit Fees • No Stam mp Duty • Rent Assistance (if you qualify) • Close to Beaches and Fishing F • Pets on Application

NEW TEAM: The Burleigh Palm Beach VIEW club committee for 2019. on the third Wednesday of each month for a delicious luncheon at the picturesque Southport Yacht Club, Macarthur Pde, Main Beach overlooking the Broadwater. Time: 11.30am for noon. Each month there are interesting guest speakers or entertainers. This is a great way to meet and make new friends. The first Friday of each month is Social Day, when various get-togethers are organised. For inquiries and bookings, phone Robin on (07) 5537 4593. Surfers Paradise WE HOLD our meetings and lunch on the second Tuesday of each month at the Southport Golf Club. Meeting at 11.30am for lunch at noon and always

with an interesting guest speaker. New members and visitors are most welcome. For an opportunity to meet new friends and join in our social activities and outings, phone Nancy Uren on 0412 639 574 or (07) 5592 6730.


SQUARE dancing classes started on Saturday, March 9, from 7-10pm, ideal for those who wish to learn, also for people who have danced in the past but now want to refresh their knowledge and are looking for a fun activity to get involved with. Evening sessions are held at Maher Hall, 42 Matilda St, Burleigh Heads. Phone Sue on 0412 776 862 or go to


FRIENDSHIP Force International is a home hosting and travel organisation with more than 360 clubs worldwide. Travel is with a group of club members who live for one week with members of a club “somewhere different and interesting”. If you love travelling and meeting new friends, come along to our first meeting for 2019, being held on Sunday, March 17, at Bavia House, 18/12 Kalimna Dr, Broadbeach Waters. Afternoon tea 3.30pm, followed by a general meeting. Go to FriendshipForce, email friendshipforcegoldcoast or phone Mary 0433 917 779 or John (07) 5562 2644.

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year with each activity costing a low $3. We celebrate Christmas twice a year and organise other social functions throughout the year. Our club motto is Finding Friends, Fun and Fitness. You can find as at 2 Whitby St, Southport. Parking is available in Owen Park right behind our air-conditioned hall.

group that meets quarterly. Meetings are held at the Robina Community Centre. Attendees must be Exit Members. Go to or phone local coordinator Elaine (07) 5580 8215 or 0421 796 713.


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Congratulations to our Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our December Cold Pursuit Screening giveaway. Bev McMahon Graham Doust Joy Morton

Lauren Symes Vanessa Bradley

Stay tuned to the paper and our website for the latest Seniors News Giveaways Visit 6953237aa





MARCH, 2019// SENIORS aprons, paints, canvas, bushes and glasses – is provided for you in the $60 cost. Go to

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STARSTRUCK: Australian Movie Portraits is for everyone who loves Aussie movies. The exhibition at HOTA’s gallery opened this month and runs until April 28 in cooperation with the National Portrait Gallery and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. As part of the event, you can also celebrate the 70th anniversary of Charles Chauvel’s Aussie classic, Sons of Matthew, starring Michael Pate, on Wednesday, March 13. The film was shot in Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland and is based on books by Bernard O’Reilly, from the locally famous family. Go to or phone (07) 5588 4000.


BRUSH and Barrel’s Paris by Night at Surfers Paradise from 7pm on Thursday, March 14, embraces the idea that art is good for us all. They say the studio is a place where you can paint, chat, laugh and sing, and leave after three hours with a feeling of accomplishment and a piece of art. They encourage people to come early to meet the other painters, BYO and relax. Everything else –

Woman. It features some of Aretha’s greatest classic hits, including I Say a Little Prayer, Think and Pink Cadillac. Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for guests. Go to or phone (07) 5588 4000.


HEAD to Broadbeach from March 15-17 to watch some of the best surf sports athletes in action for free. The pinnacle event on Surf Life Saving Queensland’s calendar, the state titles draw more than 2000 competitors. Events run from 7am-2pm daily.



LOVED by authors and would-be writers of all ages and genres, Storyfest is on again from March 20-22. In a free community event from 5pm, Thursday, March 21, at Mudgeeraba Markets Shopping Centre, you can join Walkley Award-winning columnist, author, advertising expert and social commentator Jane Caro, children’s author and illustrator Graeme Base, librarian and children’s and young adult book expert Megan Daley and young poetry slammer Solli Raphael as they discuss the future of books and what the next generation of publishing and storytelling will look like. For the full program, go to


CURRUMBIN’S Surf World Gold Coast museum is dedicating a night to the history and evolution of women’s surfing, with Women in

MOVIE CLASSICS: Shot on the Gold Coast, Sons of Matthew, starring legendary Aussie actor Michael Pate, is being shown on March 13 to mark its 70th anniversary as part of Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits (running to April 28) in conjunction with the Gold Coast Film Festival (April 3-14). the Waves from 6pm on Thursday, March 21. MC will be the legendary Rabbit Bartholomew, joined by a host of equally familiar names including Aussie pioneer and 1990 world champ Pamela Burridge, Pauline Menczer (1993) and special guest, the first women’s world surfing champion in 1964, Phyllis O’Donnell. Tickets are $10 from Eventbrite. Phone the museum on (07) 5525 6380.


Spotlight on a NRSO Musician FOR this concert we highlight the role of Richard Williams, one of the core musicians in the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra who has been performing in our percussion section for over a decade and is also a committee member and stage manager. Here, we ask Richard to tell us a little bit about himself:

How did you decide to become a timpani player? At age 13 my mother took me to an orchestral concert of The St Louis Symphony Orchestra. I was immediately fascinated with the percussion players, especially the timpani player. I got private lessons from the late great Rholand Koloff who

was the solo timpanist for the New York Philharmonic. When did you arrive in the Tweed region and how did you find the NRSO? I arrived in the Tweed Heads area in 2005 and had just finished my 23 years as solo timpanist with the Queensland Pops Orchestra under the late


RUNNING this year from April 3-14, the Gold Coast Film Festival last year had a record attendance of more than 16,000. It brings a huge variety of Australian and international films, filmmakers and film events to the Coast, including more than 150 speakers, and focuses on promoting Queensland (and Australian) independent filmmaking talent and champions gender equality. To find out what’s on this year, go to


founder of 2 Bent Rods, eases women into fishing in a relaxed all-female environment. She says it doesn’t even matter if you freak out when you touch the bait, there are alternatives. You will learn to read the beach, catch your bait with yabby pumps and a bait net, tie a fishing knot, cast a rod and land a fish, as well as how to clean your catch and get it ready for cooking. All bait and fishing equipment is provided. It’s on Saturday, March 23, from

ARETHA Franklin’s death last year made us all recognise again exactly why she was known as the Queen of Soul. With support from Gold Coast Jazz and Blues Club, Angela Fabian is bringing that music to Gold Coast HOTA on Wednesday, April 3, with her show Respect, A Natural

THESE guys have been amazing the world since my childhood, but I didn’t realise they had been going for more than 90 years – although, no, not the same players. They combine their amazing basketball skills and athleticism with theatre and comedy and have entertained more than 148 million fans in 123 countries worldwide. On Thursday, April 11, they play Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre at Carrara as part of their world tour. Tickets through from $59 for adults.

conductor, Colin Harper. I was invited to play solo timpani for the NRSO under its founder, Barry Singh. Barry was impressed with my playing and offered me the position as solo timpanist for the NRSO. Tell us about one of your favourite classical pieces? My favourite classical pieces are the symphonies of Gustav Mahler as they use a lot

of timpani and percussion. My first ever piece of music I performed as solo timpanist was Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique in San Francisco when I was just 16 years of age. The upcoming concert Pastoral Interlude by the NRSO will be on Sunday, April 7 at 2.30pm at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre conducted by Dr Warwick Potter. Go to

Richard Williams is a veteran timpanist.

8am-12pm at Murlong Cres on Tallebudgera Creek . Tickets are $100 on Eventbrite or phone 0403 713 820.


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Travelling solo, not single Tracey Johnstone TRAVELLING solo or travelling single – there is a difference. Dropping the reference to marital status and looking at yourself as a solo adventurer can help you get on the road. But where do you start? Encounter Travel’s Justine Waddington has put together a guide book, The Solo Traveller’s Compass, for anyone wanting to set off on solo travel experiences. It has over 200 practical tips. “It’s suited to someone who is a first-time solo traveller or maybe hasn’t travelled for a long time on their own and wants a bit of refresher of things to keep in mind when you are travelling solo,” Justine said. “And before you travel, what you need to prepare for.” The book is split into three sections – getting started, before you go and on your trip. Justine talks about what is stopping people from doing solo travel and how you can unblock those things that they

SINGULAR IMPORTANCE: Encounter Travel’s Norway solo traveller group celebrate Cape Nord and the Midnight Sun experiences. INSET: Justine Waddington. consider barriers to starting a new adventure. “The book is set around, you don’t have to be alone when you travel solo,” Justine said. “It talks about joining groups and how to choose the right group as a solo

traveller so you feel like you are going to be joining one that is more suited to you. “It talks about choosing the right tour and about what to look for when you are flicking through brochures and thinking

about which kind of trip you want to join.” The book also covers sharing; would you make a good room sharer and what to consider before committing to sharing. Justine’s travel agency caters for solo travellers

many of whom are aged 60 and over. Each tour is a small group with soft adventure experiences high on the agenda. The alternative type is the “flop and drop” tour to resorts which includes both group activities and

time to chill out individually. For all tours, rooms can be shared or booked for solo occupation. During the year Justine also organises traveller events in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne where tour guests reunite and where first-timer guests can meet other solo travellers and learn more about what it is like to head off alone in company. “Our travellers come from all over Australia,” Justine said. For copies of The Solo Traveller’s Compass which costs $29 including postage, go to For more details on solo bookings, take a look at




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*Special offer on sale until 15 March 2019. Advertised prices include $1200 per person discount. Deposit of $2000 per person due within 7 days of booking. Balance of payment due 100 days prior to departure. Transfers are provided on embarkation and disembarkation day or if pre or post cruise accommodation is booked with APT. Flights are not included in advertised price and must arrive in Darwin by 2pm on day of departure and cannot depart until after 11am from Broome on day of disembarkation. Travel Insurance is mandatory on this sailing- ask your consultant for a customised quote. A good level of fitness and health is required to fully participate in all included activities on the cruise so please advise your consultant of any health, fitness or mobility issues and a questionnaire will be provided for completion. You must carry a passport with minimum validity of 6 months from date of cruise conclusion.





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Cruise and Maritime Voyages is offering guests up to 75 per cent off a range of last-minute escapes departing this March and April. The offer gives travellers the chance to experience Western Australia’s epic coastlines, the world-class local produce of South Australia, the wild splendour of Tasmania and iconic landmarks of New Zealand and the East Coast of Australia. A little further afield, guests can experience the best of Asia on both short and long voyages, some departing from Sydney and Auckland. For more details, go to or phone 1300 307 934.


Victoria’s High Country has launched a website – – which showcases more than 100 walks around the spectacular region. From short village strolls to multi-day mountain hikes for the more adventurous, Walk High Country is a one-stop place for visitors looking to explore the unique beauty of Victoria’s North East the slow way. Guide yourself or choose from a suite of new guided walk experiences around the region.


The nation’s capital will be transformed in March for the annual Enlighten Festival. Over 17 days the city will host free and ticketed events celebrating culture and creativity. ❚ Enlighten Illuminations, March 1-11 The Parliamentary Triangle and city precinct come to life after dark with large-scale projections on some of the capital’s most loved and iconic buildings. Visit the food offerings at Enlighten Alley, enjoy roving entertainers, art installations, live music and enchanting performances or try new tastes at the Canberra Night Noodle Markets in

Reconciliation Place. ❚ Canberra Balloon Spectacular, March 9-17 View hot air balloons floating across the city during the Canberra Balloon Spectacular. The Canberra skyline will be full of hot air balloons from across the globe. ❚ Canberra Day, March 11 Canberra turns 106 this year. Join in the celebrations with a program bursting to the seams with live music and entertainment for all. There’s something for everyone this Canberra Day. For more festival information, to to www.


❚ Paddle powered by sun Go solar-powered on your canoe tour. Eco River Rides are harnessing the sun to help you fuel your adventure. In an Australian first, the company is using solar-powered canoes to take visitors on an unforgettable journey through the Maroochy River Wetlands. For more details, go to ❚ Pedal green EcoTekk Electric Bikes offers Sunshine Coast visitors a chance to explore the region without working up a sweat. With no shortage of tracks to choose from, it’s a great way to discover the Sunshine Coast. E-Bike comes to you, at your resort, your hotel, your house or friend’s house. For more details, go home/sunshine-coast.


It’s new and it’s on August 8-11 on the Sunshine Coast, The Curated Plate. The festival aims to feature chefs from Australia and the world. Guests will get to immerse themselves in the flavours foraged from organic and sustainable practices and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences. The Curated Plate program will burst with exclusive culinary events that will span the region,

bringing to life the unique local artisan culture. Pre-sale tickets are available from March 12. For more details, go to sunshine-coast.


Save 10 per cent on a ride across one of the world’s most remote places – Mongolia, the world’s emptiest country. Experience the vast expanse of Mongolia’s striking landscapes on the back of a classic Royal Enfield motorbike on some of the world’s most open roads with this special offer from Extreme Bike Tours. Extreme Bike Tours’ 11-day Mongolian Adventure tour starts in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, home to almost half of Mongolia’s total population. The tour gives thrillseekers the opportunity to open throttle on the open roads and rarely visited, vast countryside of Mongolia, the world’s emptiest country, on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet. The 11-day guided Mongolian tour begins in Ulaanbaatar on August 2, 2019. Extreme Bike Tours is one of the world’s leading motorcycle tour companies, offering tours in the Himalayas, Bhutan, Mongolia, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka and Cuba. For more information, visit the website package/mongolia-tour.


New week-long whale swim cruises have been launched in Tahiti by Australian eco-experience company, Majestic Whales Encounters. The unique cruises will see guests spend six nights aboard a brand new 16m catamaran as they sail the turquoise waters off the island of Moorea and swim with wild humpback whales. The cruise departs on September 16 or 22, 2019. Phone Majestic Whale Encounters on 0405 594 253 or visit the website majesticwhale

EdINBURGH MIlITARY TATTOO, SYdNEY 2019 / INclUdING THE BlUE MOUNTAINS The acclaimed spectacular, the *Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, *will return to Sydney at ANZ Stadium in October 2019. One of the greatest shows on earth at ANZ Stadium in October, will featuring more than 1200 performers from around the world. The Sydney show, which is set against the backdrop of a full-size replica of Edinburgh Castle, will blend a thrilling mix of music, ceremony, military tradition, theatre and dance from the world’s best-massed pipes and drums. Combined with a 2 night visit to the Blue Mountains including Jenolan Caves, this tour will be a highlight for 2019!!! 5 Days, Departing 14th Oct, including return flights to Sydney $2395pp T/S, Single add $450 Save $100pp when booking a September Departure.


Save $100pp when booking an October Departures


Cooktown is known for is its well documented Longreach is in the geographical heart of history after Captain Cook ran aground. Queensland. There are some fascinating Later it became a bustling port, exporting gold things to see and do in this part of the world. and had 47 licensed pubs So, step back in time and enjoy the living history paying homage to an Winton has a rich history as the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and links to the Great era of great hardship. 8 Days from $1490* Plus Pension Rail Fare when travelling by QR Rail* Shearers’ Strike of 1891. 7 Days from $1,340


This unique tour visits Cowboys at Texas Longhorn Ranch, Historical Charters Towers, Caves at the incredible Undara Lava Tubes and Castle Ruins of Paronella Park. 8 Days from $1390* Plus Pension Rail Fare when travelling by QR Rail*


Welcome to our special Uluru and Alice Springs tour. The Field of Light is a global phenomenon created by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro which comes to life under a sky brilliant with stars. 7 Days from $3690. *Free Flights

Save $100pp when booking before the end of March


The Gulflander is an Australian passenger train operated by Queensland Rail on the isolated Normanton to Croydon line in the Gulf Country of northern Queensland. 10 Days from $2,490

*To the value of $320


Come and enjoy Tasmania, “the Island of Inspiration” is an island of dramatic coastlines, quaint villages, convict-built heritage and magnificent food and wine. 11 Days, $3,490. Departure Dates: 26th October 2019


Our timing could not be more perfect for this cruise as we will experience warm days around the 28-30deg and kind spring seas. Highlights of this cruise include visiting the locations where Mutiny on the Bounty took place in 1789. You’ll travel past Nomuka Island where Blight visited the day before the Mutiny occurs. You will also cruise past Tofua Island where Bligh and his loyalists landed. Plus Norfolk Is were the mutineers ended up. 18 Days Departing 16th October from $3,450

Discover our great deals & destinations visit or phone 1300 722 661 Terms and conditions apply: See website for details.

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Fishing South Coast NSW ‘‘ Each season provides a fresh and wide range of options

Nige Webster

ONE OF the most picturesque areas I have travelled and fished is the south coast of New South Wales. The stretch of coast I fell in love with many years ago, includes that between Bateman’s Bay and Mallacoota. You’ll travel through townships such as Moruya, Broulee, Tuross, Merimbula, Narooma and more. I love the climate here and the huge range of fishing options that are available. The estuaries are great places to target bread and butter species such as bream, flathead, whiting, luderick and tailor. The deeper waters of these estuaries often produce some really big flathead and mulloway. Waters such as those found at Mallacoota on the border are renowned for having massive flathead. Light to medium weight

spin rods and reels with six to 20lb breaking strain lines should be packed when travelling here. Jigging soft plastics on the bottom, ‘walking’ small surface lures on the top, high speed spinning with small metal lures or jigging vibe style plastics and metals are all great ways of enticing the estuary species you will encounter along the way. The rock and beach fishing along this coastline is very good. Safety must always be the foremost consideration when fishing these areas. The sand and stones will provide fishing for the likes of salmon, tailor, trevally, luderick, rock blackfish and snapper. Surf rods and threadline and Alvey reels are perfect for these waters. Twenty to 40lb monofilament fishing line with suitable weights (or floats) and baits of gang-rigged pilchards, mullet, abalone, prawns, cunjevoi and weed will

Merimbula Beach at sunset, Merimbula.

The estuaries are great places to target bread and butter species

ALL SEASONS: Fishing near the Princes Highway bridge at Bateman’s Bay, South Coast.

Photo: James Pipino, Destination NSW

have you in with a good chance of a fish. Accommodation is plentiful along this route, with caravan parks,

Photo: Dee Kramer Photography

motels and B&B stays everywhere. The area is a year round fishing option, but I just love winter and spring in

these parts and the fishing options these seasons provide. ❚ Nige Webster works for AFN Fishing &

Outdoors and presents and produces The Fishing Show on channel 7Mate. Facebook: AFN The Fishing Show.

Quiet moment of early fishing at Glasshouse Rocks, Narooma.


ESTABLISHED 1982 Coastal Variety y Tours p/L






2,299 Hunter Valley Gardens - Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers - Blue Mountains - Jenolan Caves - Warrumbungle National Park (inc.GST) 10 Days - Friday 20th - Sunday 29th September 2019 $2,299 Fare Includes: Motel Accommodation, All Hot Breakfasts and Dinners. *Home pickups & Returns, All Admissions, Hunter Valley Gardens and Train Ride, Winery Tour & Tasting, Cockington Green, Tulip Top Gardens, lake Burley Griffin Cruise, Canberra Attractions, Blue Mountain Katoomba, Jenolan Caves, Lithgow, Warrumbungle National Park, Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Home Pickup & Return: Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Brisbane Suburbs, Redlands, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Tweed Heads.

Please Phone Coastal Variety Tours 3343 6722 for Free Tour Brochure



WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, PORT DOUGLAS, KURANDA, DAINTREE, MAGNETIC ISLAND 13 Days 14th - 26th July 2019 $2,350 includes: Motels - Breakfasts & Dinners. Admissions: Sky Rail or Travel Train to Kuranda, Daintree Rainforest River Cruise, Port Douglas Tour, Boat Cruise - Two Island Cruise (Hamilton and Daydream Island), Townsville Tour, Magnetic Island, Paronella Park, Mackay, Rockhampton, Airlie Beach, Gladstone. Home Pickupp & Return: Sunshine Coast,, Caboolture,, Brisbane area,, Redcliffe,, Redlands,, Ipswich, p , Gold Coast.



Good news camp bible Alison Houston CAMPS Australia Wide has become “the travellers’ bible” since it started over 20 years ago, but new owners Heatley and Michelle Gilmore have made Camps 10 more comprehensive, user-friendly and accessible than ever. The Rainbow Beach couple took over the business almost 12 months ago, having been loyal fans since their own “life-changing trip” around Australia with their kids six years ago using Camps 7. They are passionate about the country, travel being affordable for all, and respecting the land you camp on. They firmly believe the Camps books help ordinary Aussies of all ages to take the road less travelled and explore places they might never otherwise have seen, with a freedom previously impossible. “They have definitely made it easier for people to get out and feel confident to travel on their own,” Heatley said. Asked what their advice would be for Seniors considering taking up caravanning and camping, Michelle was adamant, “Go now, while you’re well; don’t hold off”. She said the family’s months travelling Australia together were

“very special”, bringing them into close quarters physically but also emotionally, learning about each other and taking them to bucket-list destinations as well as “unforgettable places we had never thought of that just knocked us out”. “It’s really something you’ve got to experience,” she said. Camps 10 includes over 950 new campsite listings, bringing the total to over 4950, including more pet-friendly sites than ever before, as well as 925 public dumping points. Listings include free or low-cost overnight stops, camping areas, outback camp sites, national parks, forest reserves, station stays, rest areas, showground and farm stays. All listings have addresses, map and GPS references, and easy-to-read graphics showing exactly what facilities are available, including water, showers, toilets, disabled access, power, shade, barbecues, picnic tables, views, boat ramps and fees, as well as weather access and any time limit on stays. Sites get the tick of approval if the authors have found them particularly good due to their position, vista or above-average facilities. The edition has been fully researched and updated for 2019/20, is

now spiral-bound and lighter weight, making it easier to travel with, has a double fold-out cover with a map of Australia inside, and uses the latest Hema maps. Every state is colour coded, but there is one index for the whole country, making it easier to plan. You can even choose from an ‘easy to read’ version, with larger maps and slightly larger text and photos of campsites, with extra space for your personal notes, or the A4 version, without camp photos, as well as an ebook available on Kindle. Fortnightly newsletters are also available, in which the couple shares favourite places, new listings and reviews as well as new products available. But perhaps most exciting of all is the companion app ($9.95 per year), with all the relevant information plus allowing instant updates, and travellers to add their own comments, photos etc of sites. “Our ultimate goal is that no matter how campers wish to access our product, we can give that to them,” Heatley said. He loves to see people’s well-thumbed and travelled books, with places circled and notes scribbled. For him, it tells the story of exploring and

HIT THE ROAD: New Camps Australia Wide owners Heatley and Michelle Gilmore are eager to share the joys of the open road with as many people as possible in the latest edition Camps 10. sharing stories across campfires of places visited. If you also like to stay in commercial caravan parks, as Michelle said as a family they sometimes do, Caravan Parks 5 is the perfect addition (and a travel pack with both editions is available). Of course the more money you save, the longer your trip can be and, particularly for over-55s whose trips are traditionally longer, Heatley said, that’s important. While the couple are eager to see as much of the country as possible, they couldn’t do all the research for the new edition themselves, with a team of people around Australia helping them out, as well as customers contacting them with tips and updates. Heatley paid

Example page from Camps 10. tribute to the original creator of Camps Australia Wide, Phil Procter, and subsequent owners Philip and Cathryn Fennell, saying “hundreds and thousands of


travellers had benefited from that initiative”. To order your copy, go to or phone them on 07 5474 2542.

Studio stopover for art lovers

PAINT STOPS: Artist Alice Linford Forte brings you into the picture. Photo: Paris Hawken

DELIGHT your senses and satisfy your artistic curiosity by joining in Margaret River Region Open Studios. From April 27 through to May 12 over 100 painters, sculptors, illustrators, jewellers, printmakers, glassblowers, ceramicists, photographers and furniture makers will participate in the sixth annual event which is free to attend and doesn’t require bookings. For the first time, 24 artists from Busselton to Augusta will also open their studio doors. Visitors will meet the artists in their home towns and off the beaten track for a unique behind the scenes creative experience. Margaret River Region Open Studios chairman

Jim Davies said the 16-day event ticked many boxes in providing art lovers with a memorable experience. “This year’s artistic line-up includes many old (and young) favourites, plus a number of artists new to the event, so it’s perfect for both first time and regular visitors,” he said. “There really is something for everyone, whether it be learning about creative intentions and techniques, sharing ideas, admiring art, exploring out-of-the-way back roads, or owning a piece of art created by an artist you have had the opportunity to meet.” Local artists are the stars of the show and talent this year includes recognisable and respected names: ❚ Leon Pericles will give

Artist Emily Jackson.

Photo: Gordon Becker

print demonstrations and sign his new 50-year retrospective book. ❚ Interactive artist Britta Sorensen invites visitors to immerse themselves in colour and watch or join in her interactive experiential recycled textiles installation. ❚ Ceramicist Dariya Gratte will demonstrate fine porcelain techniques. You can attend a learn

how to paint workshop by Heidi Mullender or other painting demonstrations with many of the Open Studios artists. ❚ Glass guru Gerry Reilly will provide glassmaking experiences and show how to ‘blow your own bauble’. ❚ At Ian Mutch’s home studio you can watch a film of his public artworks and flip through his artist sketchbooks. ❚ Ian Thwaites will give woodworking demonstrations and Nalda Hoskins will share how she makes her stunning glass beads and jewellery. Info: mrropenstudios. or on Facebook (mrropenstudios) and Instagram (@margaret riverregionopenstudios).




I have always enjoyed the company of the Irish, easily warming to their humour and yarns.

MYSTICAL: Blackrock Castle on the River Lee, Cork, Ireland.

Photo: catherine_jones

Ireland... it’s just like Peter Chapman

From the amazing views to the wonderful people, the impression you get from the flicks is even better in real life

IT MIGHT seem a little strange, but my decision to do a self-drive tour of Ireland was inspired from watching movies centred on the shamrock isle. They always revealed beautiful scenery, picturesque boutique hotels and friendly Irish pubs. As I watched I envisaged myself joining in on a song or two while downing a pint of Guinness at McMurphy’s corner pub. Adding to my views of Ireland was the fact that I have always enjoyed the company of the Irish, easily warming to their humour and yarns. The chance to make the trip finally came up via a decision to book a 14-day Baltic Sea cruise out of Southampton. The wife rightly said we can’t go all the way to England and just jump on a cruise ship, we need to combine something with it. So the decision was made that we’d spend a week touring Ireland and

we’d hire a small car for the trek. Now if you know nothing about Ireland – and to tell the absolute truth I didn’t – it’s best not to just look at a map and say to yourself it doesn’t look that far from town to town. At first the idea was to stay in Dublin for a few nights then head north taking in the likes of Glasgow, the Giant’s Causeway and then slide down the coast coming across through Kilkenny and back to where we started. All this was planned for just seven days. Fortunately sanity prevailed and instead we decided to only concentrate on the southern parts of Ireland. We didn’t want to just drive around looking out the car window. After arriving at Dublin Airport we picked up our hire car and headed towards our accommodation in the city. Mistake one was that we didn’t choose a car with a GPS instead deciding to wait a few days and get a SIM for the

phone to use as our guidance system. That decision cost us a frustrating three hours as we circled Dublin’s maze of one way streets searching for our hotel. I don’t like admitting it, but it was my decision not to go with the car GPS, a fact I was reminded of more than a few times during the trip. We stayed at the Dawson Hotel and Spa in Dawson Street which we found a convenient location from which to walk around the city. The room was small, but clean and the only issue was that we were on the second floor and there was no lift, just a strong doorman to carry your bags upstairs. A TripAdvisor tip to take the free walking tour in Dublin proved a winner the next day. A young university student with a wonderful knowledge of the city was our guide and for almost four hours he told us some fascinating stories about the history of the city. To go on the tour all you need to do is to turn up at

Dublin Town Square before noon and join a group. The guides make their money from tips and there were plenty who reached into their pockets at the end of the walk. My mother taught me the famous Irish song In Dublin’s Fair City when I was just five years old and I have been bringing it out as part of my entertainment repertoire ever since. Mind you, it’s a very small and limited repertoire. So I was delighted to see our final stop on the walking tour was in front of the Molly Malone statue. Of course as any Aussie knows you never let a chance go by, so I launched into the song and to my pleasant surprise had the entire street singing along with me. I loved it and even the wife joined in for the chorus. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in Dublin, ranging from Michelin Star credentialed to the cheap bistros at the many local

pubs. We found Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse and Grill just down the road from our hotel and enjoyed a special night out. Unfortunately the budget didn’t allow us to return, but if you spoil yourself every night it doesn’t seem so special when you do. Day one on the road took us across Ireland to the seaport of Doolin. We booked in at a recently built B&B, Egan’s Wild Atlantic View. The host, who happened to be the Ireland Fly Fishing Champion, was great, the room was first class and the breakfast made to perfection. It’s a big recommendation from us. We chose Doolin because from there it’s a short drive to one of Ireland’s premier tourist spots, the Cliffs of Moher. It was a windy day on the cliffs, but worth the climb for a spectacular view. From Doolin we wound our way through to Killarney were again we



Aerial view of the scenic Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. This popular tourist attraction is situated in County Clare along the Wild Atlantic Way. Photo: miroslav_1 The Temple bar in Dublin with people drinking and walking by during night in autumn.



Photo: Marc Dufresne

Muckross House.

the movies, but better

picked our accommodation well with a stay at Muckross Park Hotel. It sits opposite the national park and in the morning we grabbed a free bike from the hotel and went for a pleasant slow two-hour cycle. The only dampener on this stop was the pub food next to the hotel was a meal we should have missed. Stay at the hotel by all means, but find a good restaurant in town to dine out at is our advice. My wife had one wish for our Ireland tour, and that was to stay one night in a castle. That’s why we booked our next stop at the Waterford Castle. Unfortunately the castle has only a few rooms and we were shovelled off to a block of units on the estate. The unit was good, but it wasn’t a castle. As a keen punter I found a steeple chase meeting at Wexford to call in before we said goodbye to Ireland. Fortunately the luck of the Irish prevailed and a

10/1 winner helped pay for all our petrol and a few pints of Guinness. To sum it up, the few disappointments we had on our whistle stop self-drive tour were overshadowed by many highlights and if we had our time over again we’d do the same, except this time we’d find a real castle to stay in, ghosts and all.


APPROX COSTS: Self-drive car hire: $350, five days Dawson Hotel Dublin: $250 per night Rating: 7/10 Egan’s Wild Atlantic B&B, Doolin: $150 per night Rating: 9/10 Muckross Park Hotel, Killarney: $350 per night Rating: 8/10 Waterford Castle: $400 per night Rating: 7/10 BEST TIP: Take your time while driving around and go online early to book your accommodation and you will save hundreds by doing it.

STUNNING: Bunratty castle at dusk with reflection in the river in Ireland.

Photo: Mustang_79



Go wild in comfort of the Stonestreet’s fleet BRAND INSIGHTS SOME of Australia’s most spectacular destinations are often found in our most rugged and inhospitable regions. Locations like Cape York, the Kimberley, Outback South Australia and Central Australia, each unique, striking and shaped by centuries of harsh conditions have become dream travel destinations and bucket-list items for many Australians. For many would-be adventurers though, the task of tackling the unforgiving conditions that make these regions so beautiful, is daunting. Thankfully there is a way of experiencing the wonders of Australia’s most unspoiled natural wilderness in luxury and gentle adventure. Stonestreets Travel is a Queensland-based tour operator, which has been co-ordinating bucket-list worthy, escorted group

ULTIMATE COMFORT: The pride of the Stonestreets fleet of tour coaches are the mighty 4x4. tours to a host of destinations for more than 20 years. The pride of the Stonestreets fleet of tour

coaches are the mighty 4x4 coaches, which make tackling the rutted roads and creek crossings of the Australian Outback a breeze for travellers.

These purpose-built, 22 seat coaches offer all the modern luxuries Contact Stonestreets Travel’s friendly team for a

list of 2019 tours or free tour brochures, or view our range of tours online, go to stonestreetstravel. or phone (07) 4687 5566.

Solo traveller service

FIND a travelling companion who also wants to explore the world, or your backyard, with you through the new Australian-based website GoPal. The new business aims to help solve the problem for those people who would love to travel, but not on their own or don’t want to pay a single supplement. GoPal is offering to match like-minded travellers using criteria such as gender, age, interests and destination. It’s the idea of avid traveller Bruce Southerden. He says it’s not a dating site. “And it’s not just about saving money or sidestepping single supplements.” Membership is free and open to everyone, anywhere, not just singles. Members aren’t limited to finding just one companion at a time or a companion in their own city or country. The service offers travel discounts from, Expedia, Agoda, and Webjet. For more details, go to

Fly Cruise & stay Package cruising the on the Mississippi River

from New Orleans to Memphis on the American Queen Paddle steamer Departs 07th of June 2019 from New Orleans to Memphis on the American Queen Paddle steamer

Departs 7th June 2019

Join our Small group on this magical journey and learn the History of the Lower Mississippi River. Learn all about the diversity and dramas as we cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on this Grand Vessel. The bayous and woodlands along the shoreline are virtually unchanged since the days of the French traders.

Price based on twin share from


TRAVEL PLANS: Centrelink customers, including pensioners, should check what their overseas travel might mean for their payments and concession cards.

Fully escorted 18-day best of United Kingdom experience

Check before you travel

including a traditional antique market, Battle of Britain museum, Midsomer village and Jacobite steam train Departs 11 August 2019 Highlights – England (Stonehenge, Bath, London, from Dover Castle, *$ 6905 Stratford upon Avon, per person, Brighton), Scotland based on (Edinburgh, Loch Ness, twin share. Isle of Sky, Culloden) and Wales (Cardiff, Lake District).

*Conditions apply. Subject to availability. Price correct at time of publication and subject to change. Price based per person, twin share. Travel insurance not included. Price based on Brisbane departure, other cities on application. Single supplement on request. Travel insurance is strongly recommended for all overseas travel by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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1300 207 579 mobile: 0413 214 554

BEFORE you head overseas, take the time to check how your travel could affect your Centrelink payments. Centrelink payments The rules vary according to your payments or concession card. Some payments or concession cards will automatically stop as soon as you leave, and may reinstate upon your return. Other payments may allow you to travel overseas for a short period before your payment stops or adjusts. Generally, you can travel:

■ Up to 28 days in a 12 month period if you receive Disability Support Pension ■ Up to six weeks at a time if you are a Family Tax Benefit, Carer Payment or Carer Allowance customer ■ Up to 19 weeks if you are a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holder. Age Pension recipients who travel overseas for six weeks or less will not experience any change to their payment. After six weeks, the rate of Age Pension might change as

some supplement payments stop or reduce, and your concession cards will cancel. After 26 weeks outside the country, your payment rate will be based on how long you have been an Australian resident. Tell us about your travel It’s important to the appropriate authority know, either online at myGov or phone 136 240, when you plan to travel overseas so payments can be assessed. Info: humanservices.



Change of address Alison Houston DID you ever think that moving house could change your identity? It’s true for all ages, but particularly for seniors choosing to retire overseas, to seaside or rural idylls, from the farm to town or city, to be near family, downsizing or moving to a nursing home. “Our identities are created and evolve in places,” said Dr Rachael Wallis, of USQ’s Institute for Resilient Regions. When we move to a new house, particularly if it’s a big move to a new area, we become the newcomer, which influences how we are perceived by others, and how we perceive them. We lose our “comfort zone” of our local neighbourhood, roads, shops and healthcare we are familiar with, people and faces we know, perhaps even behaviours and attitudes we expect. If you no longer work or have children at school, it can be more difficult to make social connections. Rachael’s research has

shown that people who become actively involved in their new community, through social or sporting clubs and charities or volunteering, thereby getting to know people and making new friends, have much happier and more successful moves. Being open to changing your own ways and attitudes was also important, particularly if you moved to a country with a different culture. “The people who adapt most easily are those who get themselves involved and find a community of people they can talk to easily,” Rachael said. “It’s important to be satisfied and happy in yourself in order to make inroads into making a new life.” Being realistic about the things you can and cannot control is important. For instance moving solely to be near family who already have their own full life, and expecting them to change for you, could be setting yourself up for failure. “You need to clearly establish guidelines so


AT HOME: Dr Rachael Wallis said our identities are shaped by our environment, and our choices are heavily influenced by media, such as this image of herself at home in a pretty Toowoomba country setting. Photo: Bruce Woolley everyone’s expectations are clear from the start,” Rachael said. It was also very important, she said, not to underestimate how much our ideas are influenced by the media in all its forms when making our decisions, and to fact-check as much as

possible. People reported being influenced towards sea or tree changes by programs as far back as the 1970s British TV series The Good Life, through to A Country Practice, Sea Change and River Cottage, as well as by movies, books, poetry and art, painting an idyllic

small-town life, without importing into that picture the realities and demands of their own lives. Unlike other moves, which are generally seen as positive, providing new-found freedom, job options or the chance to have a family, for seniors forced to downsize or

move into a nursing home due to health concerns, moving is often associated with negative emotions, fear and loss of independence. “The important thing is that it is that person’s decision,” Rachael said. Taking a proactive approach was again the key to success, she said, looking at downsizing or accepting home care help, for instance, as means of maintaining independence, and accepting having lived long enough to reach the age of needing help as a positive. “What is most important is to have good relationships and for life to be meaningful,” Rachael said. That could mean completing a crossword, reading, helping a neighbour, keeping in touch by phone, letters or social media, or whatever your situation allows to stay interested and ward off isolation. “It all helps you feel bigger than yourself – that you are useful and you are not facing ageing on your own.”




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Facts of genetics and dementia

PEOPLE affected by dementia are often concerned about whether the condition can be passed along in families. Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and what would be considered normal emotional reactions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 50-70 per cent of all cases of dementia. It occurs relatively frequently in older people, regardless of family history. For females aged 65 to 69 years, dementia affects one in 80 compared to one in 60 for males. For both males and females aged 85 and over, the rate is approximately one in four. Understanding genes The genetic material that we each inherit from our parents is packaged into structures called chromosomes. Each chromosome contains thousands of genes like beads on a thread. Genes contain information – they are the blueprints for making a person. Genes which may influence Alzheimer’s disease Having a close relative with the Alzheimer’s disease is not evidence of a genetic link. People who are influenced by risk factor genes are only at a slightly increased risk

in developing the disease than the average population. Genetic causes of dementia One rare form of Alzheimer’s disease is passed from generation to generation. This is called Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). If a parent has a mutated gene that causes FAD, each child has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting it. If Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) is suspected Genetic testing can identify specific changes in a person’s genes. This test can tell if a person has FAD and if a child has inherited the changed gene from a parent and will develop the disease in the future. It cannot determine when the symptoms will begin. Other rare forms of inherited dementia Some other rare forms of dementia can also be inherited. These include Huntington’s disease and some forms of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, where behaviour changes before any change in memory. All these inherited conditions are very uncommon. Remember If you are concerned about the risk of inheriting Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia Australia provides professional staff for counselling and support. Phone the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 to arrange an appointment with a counsellor. Source: dementia. genetics-of-dementia

Dementia care How to cope with dignity and love Alison Houston A DEMENTIA diagnosis is something no one wants, but it does allow that person, their family and carers to know what they are dealing with and what help is available. Dementia Australia community engagement volunteer Elisabeth Shepherd is speaking from experience when she says there are more services and information available today than ever. “It’s a case of saying ‘this is part of my life now; how can we make this work?’” Elisabeth said. Her mum was diagnosed with dementia aged 73. Elisabeth described coming home from overseas to find her mum completely different from the woman she had known, and her dad having picked up most of the shopping, cooking and other household responsibilities. When her mum did go to the supermarket, she quickly became overcome and anxious due to the noise, lights and sheer number of products. Elisabeth realised it had always been her dad who had written to her overseas, with just a quick note from her mum, or a piece of art enclosed – there had been no suggestion of an issue. Despite a good family GP, her parents were reluctant to talk about her mum’s memory loss and increasing anxiety, believing as many do, “there’s nothing you can do about it, so what’s the point?” She admits her mum

MEANINGFUL: Dementia Australia community engagement volunteer Elisabeth Shepherd with a wedding photo of her mum and dad, for whom she was a carer for 15 years, and one of her mum’s last pieces of art. struggled when eventually referred to the memory clinic for testing, but when the diagnosis came and they were able to get services in to help, she said it made life easier for both her parents. “Once we got a few services involved, it made dad realise just how much he had been doing and how hard it had been,” she said. “It also gave them both a lot of help with how to make things work day-to-day, and when mum started going to a day centre each week, she really enjoyed it, and dad realised how important it was for him to have a break too.” Both have since passed

away. Elisabeth, with a social work background, said she had noticed in her volunteer work how openly people today talked about dementia, their diagnosis and the help they needed. “Every single person is affected differently, but the benefit of the Dementia Australia carers’ workshops and support groups is you get really good information put forward very clearly and concisely and you are with people who are going through the same thing as you,” she said. “People come out feeling empowered, knowing they are not Robinson Crusoe, and

having gained ideas of how other people have dealt with situations similar to their own.” Elisabeth does not underestimate how daunting it is to watch a loved one change before your eyes. Her father struggled with the loss of his life partner, who was unable to speak long before she died. “But he always said that after being married for 40 years, he knew exactly what she wanted or needed without her saying,” Elisabeth laughed. She said that inside knowledge of what their loved one likes, what makes them laugh is the secret for family and carers successfully making life happy. Her message for those dealing with dementia for themselves or loved ones is “your life can still be meaningful, you can have quality of life and still get joy from listening to music, doing and seeing art, patting a dog... and being together, as we still enjoyed being with mum, her quirkiness and sense of humour”. Topics at the free Dementia Australia Family Carer Course include: effective communication, the nature and impact of dementia, activities for living and pleasure, understanding and responding to behaviours and day-to-day strategies. Courses run regionally, 9.30am-2.30pm in Toowoomba on March 26 and May 29, in Warwick on May 8 and in Dalby on May 20. To book, or find a course near you, phone Dementia Australia on 1800 100 500, email or go to

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Cataract tips and choices before surgery Tracey Johnstone


If you have the common problem of dry eyes, the accuracy of the critical measurements being taken pre-surgery can be affected, so a specialist is likely to treat that condition firstly. “When you have cataract surgery we take a range of measurements and they are used to calculate the power of lens that is going to be put in your eye, like a pair of glasses, but it goes inside the eye permanently,” Dr Chen said.


There are two choices of surgery – manual or laser-assisted. With the commonly used manual operation the surgeon uses a scalpel to make an incision into the eye and then uses other devices to remove the cataract.

SLEEP APNOEA: Left untreated, people with this condition were found to have problems recalling specific details about their lives.

Memory could be being lost during apnoea episodes

EYE TIPS: Cataract surgery is a very common and for many seniors, it’s almost inevitable the surgery will be needed. Photo: wathanyu “Even the best surgeon in the world when they have a blade in their hand, not every operation is going to be exactly the same,” Dr Chen said. “So, there is a little element of unpredictability in surgery no matter how good the surgeon is.” In laser-assisted surgery the first few key steps are performed by computer guided laser. “It removes some element of human error,” Dr Chen said. It also increases the predictability of the surgery outcomes. The choice of this laser surgery is often limited by cost and availability. Many seniors have both cataracts and macular degeneration. “If you have macular degeneration, that will limit the improvement you get (from surgery),” Dr Chen said. “Even if you have a perfectly performed operation, you will probably see a lot better, but you may not see perfectly afterwards. It’s important to ask your surgeon what sort of outcome you are expecting.” “For a lot of people who have additional eye conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, there is increasingly a wide range of different procedures we can do at the same time as cataract surgery.”


There is no one size

when it comes to lens choices. It comes down to what is your lifestyle. The most common choice is long distance vision with glasses worn for reading. Or you can choose a reading lens and then wear glasses for long distance. The third choice is a multifocal lens so no glasses are required, but there are limitations with your sight at night when driving.


“Not any good ones,” Dr Chen said. He adds those on offer can’t reverse the cataract nor stop them getting worse. It may be possible to delay cataract surgery and choose to update your glasses and change your lifestyle such as stop driving or stop working. “Once it starts to deteriorate and it starts to have a negative impact on your quality of life, then you should consider surgery,” Dr Chen said. “The longer you leave it, the more advanced the cataract becomes and so the higher the risk of complications during surgery.” Dr Chen said cataract surgery is a very common and for many seniors, it’s almost inevitable the surgery will be needed. He believes after surgery a person’s quality of life improves, there is less likelihood of falls and the opportunity to maintain an independent lifestyle increases.

SLEEP apnoea is not just about suffering through poor sleep and breathing problems, it’s now been found to affect people’s memories. A new study led by RMIT University looked at how obstructive sleep apnoea affected autobiographical memory. It found that people with the condition, when untreated, had problems recalling specific details about their lives. Lead investigator Dr Melinda Jackson said the research built on the known links between depression and memory. “We know that overly general autobiographical memories – where people don’t remember many specific details of life events – are associated with the development of persistent depression,” Dr Jackson said. “Our study suggests sleep apnoea may impair the brain’s capacity to either encode or consolidate certain types of life memories, which makes it hard for people to

recall details from the past. “OSA is increasingly common, affecting up to 30 per cent of elderly people and around one in four Australian men aged over 30. “Sleep apnoea is also a significant risk factor for depression so if we can better understand the neurobiological mechanisms at work, we have a chance to improve the mental health of millions of people.” About five per cent of Australians suffer from sleep apnoea. The BetterHealth Channel describes it as when a person’s breathing stops for a period of time, generally between 10 seconds and up to one minute, until the brain registers the lack of breathing or a drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake-up call. The sleeper rouses slightly, opens the upper airway, typically snorts and gasps, then drifts back to sleep almost immediately. This pattern can repeat itself hundreds of

times a night, causing fragmented sleep. The recommended treatment for OSA includes weight loss and cutting back on alcohol. Active treatment of the condition includes nasal CPAP, mouthguards or surgical correction of upper airway obstruction. Dr Jackson said the use of CPAP machines to treat sleep apnoea had improved some of the cognitive impairments related to the condition. “An important next step will be to determine whether successful treatment of sleep apnoea can also help counter some of these memory issues or even restore the memories that have been lost.” The study was conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Breathing and Sleep, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, and University of Melbourne and published in Journal of the International Neuropsychology Society.

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BEFORE you make a decision on whether to have cataract surgery there are several issues you should become familiar with. Because you have cataracts doesn’t mean you have to have surgery, says cataract and retinal surgeon Dr Simon Chen from Vision Eye Institute. He suggests glasses may be a solution, to start, but once the cataracts reach a certain point where you no longer have the quality of vision that you want, then it’s probably time you have surgery to remove them. An eye specialist will talk you through the pre-surgery steps. They will look at what level of vision you have and your lifestyle to determine if you need to have cataract surgery. You will also be assessed for suitability based on your general health, whether you have other issues with your eyes and what is the cause of the cataracts. “Most cataracts are typically related to age,” Dr Chen said. But sometimes they can be related to underlying health conditions which will influence the treatment choice.


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Good health at a price Part of cure is subsidy Gail Forrer A NEW drug to combat incontinence has been labelled a “game changer”, but for some sufferers the price is too much to pay. Approximately 6.3 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems. A report released in 2011 by Deloitte Access Economics revealed that in 2010, total health system expenditure on incontinence in the Australian population was estimated at $271 million or $57 per person with incontinence. This figure was projected to rise to $450 million by 2020. But one 76-year-old Queensland woman believes she will not be included in those

statistics after being prescribed the incontinence drug Betmiga. In an email to Seniors News, she wrote: “I have been battling incontinence for the past 10 years (as do so many of my friends). I have been down the road of physio, surgery and as a last-ditch effort I saw another urologist who after tests prescribed Betmiga (25mg). “It has made an enormous difference to my life, all but preventing the symptoms, but unfortunately the cost of each prescription is quite prohibitive. It started out this year at $48 per prescription but after August the cost leapt to $64.95. (2018). Who knows what the future cost will be. “I realise that the PBS

CURES COSTS: In Australia, around 6.3 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems.

Photo: PeopleImages

(Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) is always under strain, but with our ageing population and the government spending so much money on keeping we oldies in our own home (all good), surely instead of making people use padded pants or diapers, both expensive and they

FAST FACTS Increased funding for Continence Aids Payment Scheme The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) is an Australian Government scheme that provides a payment to assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the cost of their continence products. In July 2018, the Continence Aids Payment Scheme contribution amount was increased in line with the Consumer Price Index. The current payment is $596.60 for the financial year 2018-2019. Clients can choose one full payment in July, or two half payments in July and January each year. ❚ If you would like a CAPS application form, phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066. You can also request the CAPS application form from the Australian Government’s Bladder Bowel website. ❚ If you require assistance in completing the CAPS application, phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066. ❚ If you have changed your bank or address details, notify the CAPS Team on 1800 239 309. Only the person receiving the benefit, or their nominated representative, can call the CAPS Team to change/update details.

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Servicing the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers 6 Scott Street, Coolangatta Qld 4225 Dr Meon Lamont

step in finding an appropriate treatment entailed acknowledging the condition to your GP. “Have the cause diagnosed and from there ascertain suitable treatments,” she said. Betmiga is manufactured by the Astellas company. The company said it has thoroughly investigated requesting the PBS reimbursement. However, their investigations led them to believe the drug would be ineligiable for PBS registration. In response to questions from Seniors News, Astellas replied: “After reviewing the body of clinical, epidemiological and economic data,

Astellas is uncertain that the value offered by the unique mechanism of action and different tolerability profile of the Betmiga can be accurately captured and quantified. Furthermore, one of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s key criteria for reimbursement is affordability in the absence of PBS subsidisation. While Astellas acknowledge the difficulty some patients face in affording Betmiga as a private prescription, at its current price Astellas believes it is unlikely to meet this criterion.” The company said it would continue to reassess this decision.

Comedy fest coming of age

No Gap Eye Surgery At The Eye Care Clinic, our eye surgeons and specialists care enough to see you as people, not just as someone with a problem. Dr. Svoboda and Dr. Lamont personally see you all the way through your procedure - right from the first visit till they are totally satisfied all is well. Nor does this high level of care mean that you are charged an arm and a leg. We actively work to keep the costs as low as possible, and provide services including age related macular degeneration, cataract surgery, glaucoma, lid tumours, diabetic eye disease, iritis, laser surgery, dry eyes and lid malpositions. Those who are insured also enjoy the cost saving benefit of our No Gap Policy. What’s more, there’s no need to travel out of the local area for the actual surgery as our surgeons operate in Tweed Heads. When you want someone that takes a sight better care of both you and your health, ask for The Eye Care Clinic. You’ll see we really do care.

end up in landfill, to subsidise Betmiga is in the government’s interest as it truly works and as my urologist assured me has the fewest side-effects of comparable drugs.” Spokesperson for the Urological Society of Australian and New Zealand Urologist Dr Caroline Dowling, has praised the efficacy of Betmiga (also known as Mirabegron). “It’s a game changer,” Dr Dowling said. However, she warned there were several causes behind incontinence and it would not suit everyone. “But it definitely works for some,” she said. She advised the first

BRISBANE Comedy Festival hits double digits in 2019 and – like any impatient 10-year-old – has already ripped off the wrapping paper to reveal a bumper four-week program. Audiences will be treated to a slew of top international entertainers, some of Australia’s favourite acts, a bevy of Brisbane talent and emerging superstars with 75 acts across Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City Hall and SunPAC from February 22 to March 24, 2019. The festival isn’t the only 10-year-old lining up for a laugh with the introduction of a family program celebrating class clowns, fart jokes

and a snot-load of fun across five shows sure to tickle the funny bones of children and adults alike. The merry month kicks off with the Brisbane Comedy Festival Opening Gala, hosted by Charlie Pickering in his only festival performance. A veritable United Nations of entertainers will jet into Brisbane across the four-week festival including English comedians Ross Noble, Jeff Green and Rod Kemp; Scotsmen Danny Bhoy, Daniel Sloss and Larry Dean; Canadian DeAnne Smith; New Zealander Paul Williams; and Venezuelan Ivan Aristeguieta. Aussie exports Ronny Chieng

and Felicity Ward, now based in the US and UK respectively, are flying back for Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019 with national treasures and hometown heroes including Dave Hughes, Tom Ballard, Tim Ferguson, Nazeem Hussain, Lawrence Mooney, Mel Buttle, Damien Power and Becky Lucas also sharpening their razor wit for audiences. EVENT: Brisbane Comedy Festival 2019 DATE: Friday, February 22 – Sunday, March 24. Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane City Hall and SunPAC. Phone 07 3358 8600 or go to brisbanecomedy



Woman shares how she defeated abuse Alison Houston LIFE started hard for Tracey Horton, with horrendous ongoing mental, physical and sexual abuse by the time she was 12. But in the 1960s, no one spoke about such things. Which is why at 55, Tracey embraces with such gusto the chance to help others who have faced domestic violence and trauma to “find their voice”, and her success in doing so. The self-published Gold Coaster, motivational speaker and life coach was recently recognised with the Exceptional Woman of Excellence Award at the Women’s Economic Forum in New Delhi, India – the largest global gathering of female entrepreneurs and leaders. The turnaround wasn’t easy, brought to a crossroads when her boss caught her drinking at work at just 18, and a psychologist told her the trajectory she was on.

“So I set about finding out what ‘normal’ people knew that I didn’t,” Tracey said. She discovered what she calls nine keys to “overcoming” or breaking free, and it is these that she shares in The Unhappy Smile. Her philosophy is based on recognising the things no one can change, the things you can overcome such as grief and anger, and how to let go and move on. But even she has been surprised by the reception the book has received. “I’m a really strong believer in giving back to the world, which is why I wanted to write this, but people are hungrier for answers than I first imagined,” Tracey said. As part of “giving back”, for every book she sells, Tracey gives one to a woman in crisis. The book, which she began writing at 50, is full of insights to help people understand themselves and others, with clear references to her own abusive experiences, without becoming graphic.

FIND YOUR VOICE: Tracey Horton's book The Unhappy Smile tells how she overcame mental, physical and sexual abuse in her childhood to become a strong advocate for people's rights. “I didn’t leave anywhere to hide … but it’s written very conversationally, so it’s something you can pick up and put down, and maybe make notes in and answer a few questions at the end of each chapter,” she said. And it’s a book which has already gone far, with her friend, Country music star Adam Brand’s testimonial and contacts helping it find its way into gift bags for the Emmys and Golden Globes. But it is the ordinary women’s and men’s lives it has also touched which mean the most to Tracey, including an 89-year-old New Zealand woman who finally realised she needed to forgive her husband and herself for the years of domestic violence she had suffered. The woman wrote to Tracey marvelling that her adult children had seen such a difference in her, a new light, since she had done so. Tracey, now also a happy wife, mother and grandmother, said writing her story had been

Tracey as a child and copies of her book. cathartic for her, although she had long forgiven the abusers, and felt no grief or shame. “I’ve made peace with it – I am able to be in the story but not of the story,” she said. With statistics showing one in four women have been abused, she believes it is an important story to let others know that they don’t have to be

defined by what has happened to them. Her mantra is “never write your story in someone else’s handwriting” and she believes it’s relevant to women of all ages, as well as to men. “When I think of this book, I imagine people young and old, men and women all reading it,” she said, adding she hoped it

prompted conversations and helped people set and reach goals to become “the best version of themselves”. To order The Unhappy Smile, find out more about Tracey, her upcoming book The Reason to Smile, and her mentoring and speaking roles, go to or phone 0420 447 474.

Win a double pass to Event Cinemas’ Hotel Mumbai Seniors screening Watch the astonishing movie that uncovers the major incident that took place in 2008, when the Taj Hotel in Mumbai became the target of a deadly terrorist attack. A story which fearlessly tackles the defining global issues of our time. A story about ordinary people. Real people. People of all races, all colours, all creeds, binding together in a gruelling fight for survival.

See a special Seniors Screening of ‘Hotel Mumbai’ at BCC and Event Cinemas that includes a complimentary morning tea on Wednesday 20th March. Book now at

Want to watch what happens in the movie? We have four double passes to giveaway for the Seniors screening on the 20th of March. To be in the draw, just fill in our form online at

^Visit for full competition terms and conditions. Promoter is ARM Specialist Media Pty Ltd of 2 Newspaper Place, Maroochydore Qld 4558. Promotional period 18/02/2019 - 11/03/2019. Competition drawn 2pm 11/03/2019 at Cnr Mayne Rd and Campbell St, Bowen Hills, Qld 4006. Winners announced in Seniors April Edition 2019. Total prize value $128 (including GST). Entry is open to all permanent residents of Queensland living in the regions of Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Toowoomba and New South Wales living in the regions of Northern NSW, Central Coast and Coffs and Clarence.


‘Never write your story in someone else’s handwriting’





Health & Lifestyle Expo for our baby boomers


BRAND INSIGHTS FREE health and lifestyle information will be provided to seniors on Thursday, March 21, at Palm Beach Share N Care Centre, Tenth Ave, Palm Beach. Services and advice include retirement living options, in-home care, seniors travel, seniors insurance, financial planners, investment advice, free hearing and eyesight checks. Information from CentreLink, and the City of Gold Coast, and much more. All in the one location on the same day, it is open from 9am to 1pm and the free entry also includes a free sausage sizzle. There will be plenty on offer for baby boomers and seniors with over 80 exhibitors including residential aged care

All in the one location on the same day open from 9am to 1pm and its free entry with a free sausage sizzle. SPECIALIST EVENT: There will be plenty on offer for baby boomers and seniors with more than 80 exhibitors at the Gold Coast Seniors Health and Lifestyle Expo Palm Beach. providers, travel agents, specialising in travel for seniors, vision aids, funeral services, and, in home care providers and much more. All exhibitors with

products and services relevant to seniors are invited to participate in our other 2019 Expos. ■ Palm Beach Care N Share Centre: Thursday, March 21

■ Runaway Bay Community Centre: Thursday, May 9 ■ Twin Towns Twin Towns: Thursday, July 18 ■ Broadbeach Albert Waterways Centre:

Thursday, September 12 ■ Southport Community Centre: Thursday, November 21 Because this is run by a non-for profit organisation they are able to keep a

minimal fee for exhibition space. Details can be obtained from the website, go to If you require any further information please contact the event organiser Warren Elwell via email warren.elwell or phone 0409 277 430.

Embrace the Internet! It’s time to jump on the social media bandwagon! Let Seniors ease you into the exciting world of online. Get every news story - big or small, the latest exclusive offers, plus a whole heap more when you connect with Seniors on social media.

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Early test for new boss Improved standards of aged care top of agenda

THE new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner has a big job ahead of her, keeping watch over a rapidly changing sector as it provides vital services for older Australians, writes Jennifer Hullick. After the dire challenges faced by aged care service recipients and providers in recent years – with the Oakden nursing home tragedy at the forefront – the sector is undergoing major change across Australia, says new federal Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson. Anderson took up her position on January 2, at the head of the new national commission which replaces the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. The commission’s purpose is to hold aged care service providers to account and to attend to recipients’ complaints. “Under our Act, we are required to ... enhance the safety, health, quality of life and wellbeing of aged care recipients,” Anderson said. “It’s making sure that aged care providers receiving Commonwealth subsidies are doing the job that is expected of them. “Those standards – which are about to change – set out as clearly as possible the way in which services need to be delivered, but more particularly the outcome being sought from the delivery of care.

AGED CARE ROYAL COMMISSION ❚ It’s been a baptism of fire for new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson, with The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety opening in Adelaide on January 18 just two weeks after she started in the job ❚ Senior Counsel Assisting Peter Gray told the preliminary hearing that 54 per cent of submissions raised issues about unsafe care, while 59 per cent aired concerns about staffing ratios ❚ The first formal hearings of the Royal Commission were held in mid-February

The new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, is determined to ensure that aged care providers receiving government subsidies are meeting the standards expected of them. Photo: Britta Campion “My audit teams go into nursing homes and look at the home care services and make an assessment of the extent to which those services are compliant with the standards. “That’s a core function.” Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the new commission would better target substandard care and work to ensure the safety of older Australians.

“A single commissioner overseeing compliance monitoring, complaints and customer service means no more silos,” Wyatt said. “For the first time, senior Australians and their loved ones have one place to go when they need help, want to raise a concern or access information about an aged care service. “The commission will also be empowered by the

new aged care Charter of Rights and will implement the new, stronger set of Aged Care Quality Standards, the first upgrade of standards in 20 years.” Speaking soon after taking on the new role, Anderson said she was optimistic about the future of the sector, with ongoing changes aimed at improving outcomes for older people. “We are also looking to

develop Consumer Experience Reports by home care recipients,” she said. The report system is an innovation recently introduced in nursing homes, which is revealing a raft of additional information previously unavailable to watchdog agencies or consumers. “If you go on our website, you can search by nursing home and find what the residents are

saying and their feedback on the care they are receiving,” Anderson said. “We haven’t yet introduced that for home care recipients but we are looking at the design ... so we can get the voice of the home care consumer as richly as we’ve now managed it for nursing home recipients.” Anderson said, in more than 90 per cent of cases, the commission had been able to achieve a resolution of consumer complaints to the agency. To fulfil its role, the commission has regional offices in every jurisdiction except the Northern Territory, which is serviced from Adelaide, with auditors making local visits to nursing homes and checking the standard of services from home care and home support providers.

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April Kennedy Brand Insight IN 2018, Stephanie and Ryan Stevens were delighted to receive the news they were going to become parents for the first time. Shortly after, in a shocking twist of fate, Ryan lost his life in a tragic ATV bike accident. Unfortunately, Ryan died before having the chance to prepare his will, leaving Stephanie, who was only three months pregnant, to fight a five-month-long battle with their mortgagee Bankwest. The mortgage for the couple’s four bedroom home was in Ryan’s name solely. With no valid will, Stephanie was frozen out by the bank because she did not have legal authority to deal with his

Widow single mum left homeless

affairs. The mortgage increased significantly accruing interest and administration fees. Stephanie was unable to pay the monthly repayments on her own. She had to wait for Ryan’s life insurance and superannuation to be finalised to pay the mortgage. Unfortunately, Ryan’s entitlements fell short by $30,000 to pay the loan. Stephanie’s parents offered to be guarantors and make up the shortfall but BankWest rejected the offer. The family home was repossessed and sold at a loss of $70,000. Stephanie was left homeless. In recent media reports, BankWest acknowledged that the level of support Stephanie experienced “fell short of her expectations during the distressing time”. The bank acted cruelly, but within its legal rights.

Without a will, when there is no person officially recognised as having the proper authority to make decisions on behalf of the estate, an application to the Court for ‘Letters of Administration’ is required to deal with authorities such as banks. The process of applying for Letters of Administration can take several months, or even years, if there is a blended or hostile family dynamics, or missing family members. Despite being married, it also took five months for Stephanie to be officially recognised as the beneficiary of the estate. This is because without a valid will, Ryan died “intestate”. Like more than half of all Australians, with no valid will, the task of dealing with his estate fell to the laws of intestacy. Intestacy laws in each state and territory are

comprehensive and vary significantly. These laws identify who has the proper authority to make decisions on behalf of the estate, as well as who will inherit the assets. Generally, the administrator and beneficiaries of an intestate estate will usually be the ‘next of kin’. In New South Wales, the whole of his or her estate will pass to the surviving spouse. If there is no spouse then the next in line to inherit will be children of the deceased. In Queensland, the surviving spouse is entitled to the first $150,000, the household chattels and an equal share of the residuary estate. The deceased’s children are entitled to the remaining share of the estate in equal parts. If there is no family then the estate could

ADVICE: April Kennedy. potentially be left to the Government. The most common reasons we hear for not having a will are “I don’t want to tempt fate”, “I’m too young to have a will”, “I don’t own anything, I only have debt, so what’s the point” and “I’ve heard that making a will is expensive”. But as we can see, the cost of preparing a will is next to nothing when

Photo: Murray Waite

compared to the turmoil and cost to your loved ones by not having one. April Kennedy is a Wills and Estates solicitor at Attwood Marshall Lawyers. Established 1946, the firm has offices at Robina Town Centre, Kingscliff, NSW, and The Strand Coolangatta. For a free estate planning review phone 1800 621 071 today.

What home assistance are seniors entitled to?

AGED CARE: Learn more about helping your parents apply for a home care package. Photo: real444 living, they fiercely value their independent living. Access to Home Care Packages (HCP) is initiated via My Aged Care and the Department of Human Services. The program provides services to assist individuals to remain at home for as long as possible by

providing choice and flexibility in the way support and care services are provided. To be eligible for a HCP, the mum must be assessed by the Aged Care Assessments Team (ACAT). The ACAT will then prepare a letter

confirming eligibility for a HCP and detail the level of care your mum is approved for. The level of Government subsidy available depends upon what level of support she is deemed to require. There are four levels of HCP available – Level 1 for basic needs, $22.66 government subsidy per day; Level 2 for low level care needs, $41.22 government subsidy per day; Level 3 for intermediate care needs, $90.62 government subsidy per day; and Level 4 for high level care needs, $137.77 government subsidy per day. The mum will then be placed in the national priority queue for HCP and

will be contacted when a package becomes available. Waiting times will vary and could be as long as 14 months. Once offered, she will have up to 56 days to accept the package and choose a provider. The child should meet with providers in the area to discuss services available. Services can be tailored based on the mum’s personal needs and the funding available. These may include, transport for shopping and appointments, social support by way of companionship, domestic assistance for household tasks such as cleaning and lawn mowing, personal care assistance

for bathing or dressing, food services such as assistance with preparation or delivery of meals, home modifications for example installing medical alert alarms, ramps and rails. HCP can’t be used as a general source of income for day to day living expenses rather; it is a subsidy paid to HCP providers. The mum can choose which HCP provider she would like to use for particular services she requires. This story first appeared on Any general advice in this story doesn’t take account of personal objectives, financial situation and needs. 6916459ap

WHAT form of home assistance are seniors entitled to and who should we contact for help, was a question posed to me recently. To answer this question I use the example of a woman, aged 83, a widow and living at home. Her child is worried about her mum’s welcome as the mother refuses to consider moving to an aged care facility. She receives $916 a fortnight Age Pension and has a $140,000 term deposit with the bank. Residing at home as long as possible is a key priority for most elderly people. While there is a general acceptance that they need assistance in some aspects of daily

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Plan for longterm results Paul Clitheroe

GOOD ADVICE: Today’s rooster can quickly become tomorrow’s feather duster.

Photo: dane_mark

WE LIVE in a world of change. Technology is driving big shifts in what we do and how we do it. Interest rates are at historic lows. And after many years of significant growth, home values in some of our largest cities are on the decline. Against this backdrop of upheaval, is long-term investing still relevant? I think so. History tells us just how effective a buy-and-hold approach can be. Over the past year, for example, Australian shares dished up total returns (including dividends) of 3.45 per cent. Extend that timeframe out to five years, and returns have averaged 8.12 per cent annually. But an investor with a 10-year horizon could have pocketed average annual gains of 11.79 per cent. It’s a compelling case for thinking long-term. But giving sharemarket

investments years – not just weeks or months – to grow calls for more than patience. Success with long-term investing demands a diversified portfolio. Today’s rooster can quickly become tomorrow’s feather duster. By way of example, if you’d bought the minimum parcel of 400 Commonwealth Bank shares back when it first listed in 1991, you’d have paid $2160. That same parcel of shares today would be worth $28,908, and this doesn’t include the value of annual dividends (Commbank has a dividend yield of 5.98 per cent). The challenge is that not every company is around long enough to make it as a long-term investment. Former sharemarket darlings like Pasminco and Babcock and Brown are testimony to this. It explains why investment guru Warren Buffett, who is a fan of long-term investing, looks for companies that will

still be in business in 10 or 20 years. This highlights the need for diversity, something that can be hard for direct investors to achieve. An easy and potentially low cost way to diversify is through a managed share fund, which can offer access to dozens of listed companies. That said, don’t expect your investments to do all the heavy lifting. Making regular contributions can be the thing that really sees the value of your investments skyrocket. Rather than focusing on what you can’t control, embrace what is within your reach – the fees you pay on investments, the choice of investments at your fingertips, and your ability to add to your portfolio when you have the funds to do so. Paul Clitheroe is Chairman of InvestSMART, Chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and chief commentator for Money Magazine.

Your financial specialists in life Our one purpose, the reason we exist, is to help each of our clients GET MORE out of life. We are pleased to announce that our brand new office in the Strand Shopping Centre provides exceptional financial advice and services to the local community. If you are: • Planning retirement or already retired • Wanting to make the most of your retirement income • Receiving an inheritance and looking for objective advice • Looking to optimise Centrelink/DVA pension benefit Call us today! We are offering a 1 hour complimentary meeting to discuss your plans, what is important to you and how you want to live your ideal life! Phone 1800 634 378 to book an appointment and receive a copy of our ‘How to Retire Successfully’ e-book. • • • • • • • •

Retirement Planning Wealth Accumulation SMSFs & Superannuation Lifetime Income Streams Investing in the Share Market Aged Care Estate Planning Life, Trauma & Income Protection Insurance

*Nathan Green DipFS (FP)

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Phone: 1800 634 378 | Email: | Website: | Facebook: RetireInvest Coolangatta *Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd ABN 23 001 774 125, AFSL 238429 This information, including taxation, does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only. You should not act on any recommendation without considering your personal circumstances and objectives. RI Advice Group recommends you obtain professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.



MARCH, 2019// SENIORS Advertisement

LABOR’S ATTACK ON YOUR SAVINGS Labor’s Retiree Tax will hurt retirees and low income earners by abolishing tax refunds for share dividends.

ancial Review Source: Australian Fin ber 25 Septem 2018

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The challenge is to rearrange a crossword which has been broken into 25 sections. One letter has been given to get you started. Work out which 3x3 square fits in with that letter and write in the letters. You can also shade the black squares if you find it helpful. After completing the first 3x3 area, work out which square joins on to it, and continue until you have made a complete crossword.






























QUICK CROSSWORD Across 1. On land (6) 5. Renowned (6) 9. Entangle (6) 10. Hurry (6) 11. Daring (4) 12. Drink (8) 14. State categorically (6) 16. Loud, shrill laugh (6) 19. Bullfighter (8) 21. Close (4) 22. Actually (6) 23. Honestly (6) 24. Cease (6) 25. Divisions (6)

Down 2. Curving, snake-like (7) 3. Not paid on time (7) 4. Showed (9) 6. Lessen (5) 7. Proceeding as planned (2,5) 8. Open and honest (7) 13. Indirect (9) 14. Changed (7) 15. Outdo (7) 17. Hide (7) 18. Pamphlet (7) 20. Geographical book (5)




























Can you complete these four words, using the same three-letter sequence in each?


Fill the grid so every column, every row and 3x3 box contains the digits 1 to 9.




Across: 1. Ashore 5. Famous 9. Enmesh 10. Hasten 11. Bold 12. Beverage 14. Assert 16. Cackle 19. Toreador 21. Near 22. Really 23. Openly 24. Desist 25. Splits. Down: 2. Sinuous 3. Overdue 4. Exhibited 6. Abate 7. On track 8. Sincere 13. Vicarious 14. Altered 15. Surpass 17. Conceal 18. Leaflet 20. Atlas.


QUIZ 1. The 1996 Oscar-winning film Shine was based on the life of which Australian? 2. What does a margarita cocktail consist of? 3. In which city is the headquarters of the United Nations? 4. What colour is the 10 on the door of 10 Downing Street, London? 5. Which cartoon character is the “fastest mouse in Mexico”? 6. What does an ombrophobe fear: umbrellas, vegetables or rain? 7. What is the title of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest winner for Bucks Fizz? 8. What is the medication acetylsalicylic acid known as?









1. David Helfgott, 2 Tequila and citrus fruit juice, 3. New York, 4. White, 5. Speedy Gonzales, 6. Rain, 7. “Making Your Mind Up”, 8. Aspirin.







Solution opposite




Fit the words into the grid to create a finished crossword






Good 35 Very Good 34 Excellent 54+













How many words of four letters or more can you make? Each letter must be used only once and all words must contain the centre letter. There is at least one nine-letter word. No words starting with a capital are allowed, no plurals ending in s unless the word is also a verb, e.g. he burns with anger.




Solve the anagrams. Each solution is a one-word anagram of the letters beside it, and the five solutions are sequential. For example, if the five-letter solution starts with J, the six-letter solution starts with K, and so on.

WORD GO ROUND: IMPERIOUS impious impose imposer impure mope moper mopes mops opium opus peri perm peso pier pious pismire poem poise pome pore pores pose poser poseur pour pours pries prim prime primes primo prims primus prise prism proem prom promise prose pure purism purse ripe rips romp romps rope ropes rump simper soup soupier sperm spire spore sprue spume spur sump super supremo umpire umpires uprise uprose






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Profile for seniors

Gold Coast March 2019  

Seniors News Gold Coast is a monthly newspaper for residents of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Gold Coast March 2019  

Seniors News Gold Coast is a monthly newspaper for residents of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.