Positive ageing

Our positive ageing direction assists councils through capacity-building initiatives to engage and work with older people to create better communities for people to grow old in.

Current priorities

We support councils to better understand the needs and aspirations of older people. Our work in positive ageing draws from international and national directions and initiatives, providing leadership and support to Victorian councils.

Our current priorities include:

  • Planning for Positive Ageing
    Councils are encouraged to understand the implications of ageing and include older people in their health planning and community planning processes.
  • Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFC)
    Victorian councils have been part of the AFC direction since its inception. We encourage councils to create age-friendly communities.
  • Healthy and Active Ageing
    Guided by the World Health Organization’s Ageing and Health directions, we encourage councils to support older people to remain active and engaged through accessible programs throughout the life course. We support councils to address social isolation by becoming providers of Casserole Club.
  • Elder Abuse Prevention
    Raising awareness of elder abuse in communities and equipping council staff to identify and report elder abuse.
  • Building community capacity around end of life
    Creating communities which better support people to die at home and to create communities to be better able to talk about death and dying.

Current projects

The Positive Ageing portfolio supports a range of initiatives including:

  • Age-Friendly Cities and Communities
    The World Health Organization (WHO) established the Age-friendly Cities and Communities direction in 2007, publishing the Global Age-friendly Cities document which continues to influence international, national, state and local government directions.
  • Age-Friendly Victoria Declaration
    In April 2016, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing and MAV President signed the Age-Friendly Declaration, which provides a commitment for State and local government to work together to create age-friendly communities.
  • Elder Abuse Prevention
    We work with local councils to promote awareness of elder abuse and its prevention. In response to the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence and subsequent recommendations, elder abuse in Victoria now sits within the context of family violence. The state government is redeveloping resources around elder abuse and continues to support Seniors Rights Victoria.
  • Casserole Club – Changing Identity
    Casserole club encourages volunteers to share a home-cooked meal with people who could benefit from a hot meal and community interaction. Casserole Club launched in Australia in 2014 with Moreland City Council, Boroondara City Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Maribyrnong City Council engaged in the program. Casserole Club is undergoing a transformation and new information and rebranding will be happening in early 2019. For more details contact jbruce@mav.asn.au.
  • End of Life Project
    With La Trobe University Palliative Care Unit, we have been funded for the Victorian Councils: Supporting Communities Around End of Life Project.

Committees and reference groups

Positive Ageing Network

We host quarterly Positive Ageing Network meetings for local government representatives. Details can be obtained from the Positive Ageing Adviser.


We are represented on the:

  • Victoria Police Seniors Portfolio Reference Group
  • Victorian Active Ageing Partnership Project (VAAP)
  • Victorian Elder Abuse Advisory Committee
  • Strengthening Seniors Inclusion and Participation in local communities (SSIP) project
  • State Palliative Care Framework Implementation Advisory Group.


Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Information Kit for Local Government

Developed by COTAVic (Council of the Ageing) and the MAV, with funding from the RACV, this Information kit (PDF - 15.63MB) supports local government to continue the age-friendly momentum and in particular to support councillors and senior management to lead and activate a whole-of-council response.

A range of age-friendly resources for local government can be found on our project page.

Planning for Positive Ageing

Councils are encouraged to include older people in their health planning and community planning processes. Most councils in Victoria having undertaken planning for their ageing communities.

Some examples of positive ageing plans include Boroondara (PDF - 626KB), Cardinia (PDF - 1.5MB), Colac Otway (PDF - 627KB) , Darebin (PDF - 410KB), Greater Dandenong (PDF - 2.7MB), East Gippsland (PDF - 1.08MB) , Kingston (PDF - 1.6MB), Latrobe (PDF - 1.2MB) and Surf Coast (PDF - 1.7MB).

Age-friendly Innovation Projects

We supported councils with innovative ideas on how to improve their municipality and make them more age-friendly through funding from the Department of Health and Human Services in 2014-15. Reports from the projects are listed below.

Senior Citizens Centres and Clubs

We implemented the New Futures for Senior Citizens Centres and Clubs Project (Word - 9.4MB) with funding from the Victorian Government for four councils (Alpine Shire, Banyule City, Moira Shire and Mornington Peninsula Shire) to review how some councils are managing and evolving their senior citizens’ centres and clubs to better meet the needs of older people in their communities.

A learning from practice session was held in 2016 to explore and share council approaches to working with senior citizen clubs and managing senior citizen centres to ensure ongoing sustainability.

Older Persons' Ambassadors and Reference Groups

We encourage councils to be guided in the age-friendly direction by older people. Many councils now have older persons reference groups or have appointed age-friendly ambassadors. The Colac Otway Shire Positive Ageing Ambassadors Toolkit (PDF - 4.04MB) is a valuable resource for councils. A video on the ambassadors program captures the highlights of the direction.

Colac Otway Shire Positive Ageing Ambassador Program 2012-2013 from MAV on Vimeo.

Improving liveability for older people in small towns (ILOP)

During 2011-2014, the MAV received $1.7 million in State funding for 17 rural and regional councils to create more age-friendly communities. This ‘bottom up’ approach was the basis for the Improving Liveability for Older People (ILOP) in small towns project.

The legacy of ILOP is summarised in this Good Practice Guide (PDF - 5.13MB) and a video provides further detail on the projects.

Past events

  • Age-friendly Masterclass
    In February 2016, the MAV (in partnership with COTA) held an Age-friendly Masterclass for local government and agency staff. The masterclass was led by Professor Suzanne Garon from the School of Social Work of the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. It provided an opportunity for active participation on the topics raised by Professor Garon, council presenters and participants. Download a copy of Professor Garon’s presentation (PowerPoint – 11.9MB).

​You can find other presentations on ageing in our past event presentations section.

Engage with us

For more information about our positive ageing work, please email: humanservices@mav.asn.au