Christine has over 30 years experience working in both the not for profit and local government sectors. She is Director Community Development at the City of Melville, Western Australia and is passionate about the difference local government can make to their local communities.
Under her leadership, Melville has been recognised for their innovative practices that include membership to the World Health Organisation Global Network of Age-Friendly Communities; leading community and neighbourhood planning practice; innovative responses to community health issues, community safety and community engagement including participatory budgeting projects.
She is committed to the promotion and implementation of age friendly communities and is a recognised leader in Australia. Christine regularly speaks at national and international events inspiring audiences with the practical difference the work makes to older people in their local communities.
She is Chairperson of the Local Government Professionals Network Western Australia Age Friendly Communities, and has represented local government on the Western Australian State Government Age Friendly Interagency Group. More recently she has represented local government on a State Government Taskforce for Vulnerable People (Older People) convened to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
In 2015, she was awarded the Meritorious Award by the Local Government Professionals Western Australia for outstanding achievements and contributions within local government and to the profession of local government management (specifically in regard age friendly communities).
Christine is a current Board Director of the International Federation of Ageing elected in 2020.
Age-friendly communities in Western Australia
Christine Young, Local Government Professionals Western Australia, Network Age Friendly Communities, Australia
Since 2007 there has been a sustained collaborative partnership between the Western Australian State and the local government sectors in supporting an age friendly communities approach based on the World Health Organisation’s framework. Over eighty local governments, both Perth metropolitan and country regions, have received support from the State to undertake initial research and engagement with their communities to inform Age Friendly Communities planning.
Underpinning this success are relationships and networks. The Local Government Network of Age Friendly Communities with participation from various State Government Departments, aged care and aged advocacy sectors host regular forums. In late 2019 Western Australia hosted the first Australian Age Friendly Communities Forum with international and Australian speakers that assisted to promote, support, and consolidate the work in Australia.
During the pandemic period the Network worked closely with the State to ensure the voices of older people were listened to and challenges and strengths acknowledged.
State and Local government sectors have also collaborated to undertake a comprehensive data analysis of the age friendly planning information from local government (municipalities) to provide a snapshot of age friendly domain priorities in Western Australia. It is envisaged this report will be a key informing document to the development of a strategic plan for seniors in Western Australia.
The presentation will highlight what has worked well in this process of a coordinated approach by both State and Local Government sectors, and the challenges this has also presented. The Western Australian model may serve as a model applicable in other locations to support the age friendly communities work in a collaborative and coordinated manner.