Welcome to the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference.
Our conference theme, Be the Change, challenges you to be the difference in the lives of people living with all forms of dementia, their families and care partners.
We are thrilled that author and dementia advocate Christine Bryden will officially open and address the conference.
This gathering comes at a time of significant change in the aged, disability and health care sectors. The role these sectors play and the community’s support for people living with dementia and carers, whether in residential care or in the community, is central to these changes.
Alzheimer’s Australia is also changing. We are moving from a federated structure to a unified, national peak body that will enable the delivery of more consistent support services, strengthen advocacy and enhance our organisation’s capacity to raise awareness, fundraise, and facilitate research and education into the prevention, delay and cure of dementia.
As we change our purpose will remain solidly that we are here to empower and enable people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.
An impressive selection of local and international thought leaders will inspire you over the next few days. They will enable us to develop new ways of approaching the challenges we face together.
At previous conferences, delegates requested more opportunity for discussion and debate. This year, we feature 13 workshops and four panel discussions. This will provide greater opportunity to engage with our speakers as well as networking with your fellow delegates.
Our world-leading technology will also be on display. In our Feed Your Senses space you can experience the award-winning Enabling EDIE application and other technologies to support people living with dementia.
In partnership with the Deafness Forum of Australia and Audiology Australia, we are presenting the 19th Annual Libby Harricks Memorial Oration. Last year, former Prime Minister John Howard OM AC delivered this prestigious oration. This year, Dr Piers Dawes, Senior Lecturer in the Audiology and Deafness Research Group, University of Manchester, will discuss hearing loss and dementia, an issue that is receiving a growing amount of attention.
I am delighted that we are welcoming Ita Buttrose AO OBE, National Ambassador Alzheimer’s Australia, to Melbourne, to speak to you at our welcome cocktail function about her firm commitment to improving the lives of those impacted by dementia.
Finally, I would like to thank the organising committee, staff and volunteers of the 17th Alzheimer’s Australia Biennial National Dementia Conference for producing this event.
You will be touched, moved and inspired by this important event to empower and enable you to Be the Change in the lives of people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers.
I look forward to talking to and meeting many of you throughout the week.
Thank you for coming.
Extracted from Maggie's Recipe for Life by Maggie Beer with Professor Ralph Martins, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, RRP AU$39.99 or NZ$45.00.
Photography © Dragan Radocaj