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:

  • Addressing ageism in the community
    A sector wide local government campaign was launched in May 2021 to gain council support to work in their communities to raise community awareness of the impacts of ageism and to change community attitudes
  • 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:

  • Supporting Older People During the COVID Pandemic
    We have supported councils to share knowledge and experience around their pandemic response. Councils provided a wide range of supports which are documented in this report (PDF - 486KB).
  • 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.
  • Decade of Healthy Ageing
    The WHO has established 2021-2030 as The Decade of Healthy Ageing. The MAV will work with local government to address issues raised in the report.
  • Ageism
    A local government sector campaign to address ageism in the community is being developed and will begin in early 2021.
  • Age-Friendly Victoria Declaration
    In April 2016, the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing and the 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 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.
  • End of Life Project
    The MAV received state government funding in 2016 for a three year project with the La Trobe University Palliative Care Unit. The Victorian Councils: Supporting Communities Around End of Life Project explored local government's role in end of life and a wide range of resources were developed to assist councils in their work.

Committees and reference groups

Positive Ageing Network

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


We are represented on the:

  • State Senior Victorian Advisory Group
  • Victoria Police Seniors Portfolio Reference Group
  • Victorian Elder Abuse and safeguarding Advisory Group
  • State Volunteer Strategy Taskforce
  • The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) ENJOY MAP for HEALTH Advisory Group
  • VicRoads Older Road User Stakeholder Reference Group
  • Department of Transport (DoT) Motorised Mobility Device Project Advisory Group.


Motorised Mobility Devices Resource for Councils

Motorised mobility devices (MMDs) including scooters and powered wheelchairs, are increasingly popular in Australia, providing a means of gaining independence and engagement with the community for younger and older people with mobility restrictions. However, these devices are not without risk and councils can play a role in promoting and encouraging safe use of MMD’s in their communities. The VicRoads Motorised Mobility Devices - A Resource Guide - April 2021 (PDF - 1.72MB) connects Victorian councils with the work being done to inform and support community members who may be using or considering using these devices or considering a device for a family member. It provides:

  • information about new resources for current and prospective device users
  • information about the activities of other stakeholders engaged in this area
  • template articles for use in community newsletters
  • other implementation opportunities to consider for your community
  • sources of further information and support for MMD users and those working in the disability or ageing sectors.

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 - 3.39MB), Cardinia (PDF - 1.5MB), Colac Otway (PDF - 627KB) , Darebin (PDF - 7.02MB), Greater Dandenong and East Gippsland .

Age-friendly Project Support

The Victorian Government has supported councils in regional areas with funding to undertake a range of age-friendly projects which include strategic planning work. Over three funding cycles from 2016 – 2019 councils have undertaken a range of planning activities and initiatives to create more age-friendly communities. The MAV has worked closely with these councils to share knowledge and learnings.

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 (Members Only website) 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.

Engage with us

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