Ballarat dementia advocate Anne Tudor OAM has received the 2021 Premier’s Award for Victorian Senior of the Year for her tireless work campaigning for dementia awareness and inclusive aged care services for the LGBTIQ+ community.
After Anne’s wife Edie Mayhew was diagnosed with dementia at age 59, Anne and Edie committed to sharing their story of dementia and accessing aged care services as an LGBTIQ+ couple.
Anne also initiated Australia’s first dementia-friendly bushwalk at Ballarat’s Woowookarung Regional Park, which opened earlier this year.
Edie sadly passed away from complications of younger onset dementia in 2020. Anne continues to raise awareness and educate the community about younger onset dementia.
For more than 25 years, the Victorian Senior of the Year Awards have recognised the volunteer work and community contributions of older Victorians. This year’s awardees highlight the resilience, compassion and commitment of senior Victorians, particularly during the pandemic.
Local leader John Thuy from Ashburton received the 2021 Promotion of Multiculturalism Award for his volunteer work to strengthen social connections and increase belonging among Vietnamese seniors, including through weekly online singing get-togethers during the pandemic.
First Nations Elders are also honoured with Warrnambool local and proud Gunditjmara man Uncle Locky Eccles receiving the Healthy and Active Living Award for his intergenerational leadership, sharing language, culture and his passion for sport with the community.
Aunty Frances Gallagher receives the Ageing Well Award for her highly respected work supporting and mentoring young people and advocating and caring for fellow Elders, particularly those who are isolated or dealing with health issues.
The Victorian Senior of the Year Awards are presented annually as part of the Victorian Seniors Festival. Award recipients will be celebrated in person with a ceremony at Government House in early 2022.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers James Merlino
“Despite the challenges of 2021, senior Victorians continue to step up and give back to their community – and the awards give us the chance to say thanks for all that they do.”
“Anne and Edie’s advocacy has helped raise awareness about the need for dementia-friendly communities and inclusive care, and is inspiring other communities to consider how they can best support seniors.”
“Congratulations to all 2021 Victorian Senior Award recipients and nominees.”
Reviewed 15 November 2021