Dementia project in line for another award

In May, the Kiama Dementia Friendly Project won a national Local Government award in the category of Disability Access and Inclusion.

Now the project will compete against other category winners for the 2016 National Award for Excellence in Local Government, to be announced at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly Dinner on June 21.

I would like to wish everyone associated with the project all the best as it challenges for the top award.

Established in 2014 the project is structured around two main groups, the Dementia Advisory Group, which comprises people with dementia and their carers and supporters, and the Dementia Friendly Alliance, which is a coalition of representatives from local community organisations.

A dementia friendly community is a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value. I am proud of the way the Kiama community has come together to ensure this happens.

Work on the Blue Haven Centre of Aged Care Excellence continues.

The council is in the process of finalising the appointment of a project manager and an architect for the $73 million project, which includes a 134-bed aged care facility, community services offices, a community hall and 51 independent living units.

Construction has now started on the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s $3.6 million Kiama Integrated Primary and Community Health Centre which is being built on the hospital site, and is scheduled for completion later this year.

This purpose-built facility will provide improved access to a range of outpatient services including dental, diabetes, speech pathology and aged care.

Kiama Council expects to spend more than $18 million on the first stage of the redevelopment and expansion of the Blue Haven Aged Care Facility in 2016-17, so by the end of the year the historic hospital site should be a hive of activity.

Now that the future of the Kiama Municipality has been secured it is time for people to think about standing for council.

The NSW Government has informed us the Kiama Municipality’s next council elections will be held on September 10.

The council, in conjunction with Local Government NSW, will hold information sessions for potential candidates during July.

                                                   - Brian Petschler