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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 3007

Ms VAMVAKINOU (Calwell) (09:57): Today I want to speak about the importance of providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services for our ageing migrant communities. Ageing, as we all know, will affect all Australians. As we come to terms with dealing with our growing ageing population and all the complexities that come with that, it is also very important to keep in mind that every elderly Australian has a personal story with a uniquely individual experience. With regard to the ageing migrant communities in my electorate, I can characterise them as communities where the social expectation is that families will care for their elderly parents and relatives rather than immediately placing them in nursing homes. This particular cornerstone of family values is very prevalent in my very multicultural electorate. I want to speak about a recent visit to one of our aged-care facilities that is attempting to address that very cornerstone.

My electorate is made up of a diverse range of communities. The latest census shows that some 4,000 of my residents are Italian born; there are 2,000 who are Greek born; and there are about as many, 2,000, who are originally from Vietnam. I have about 4,000 residents who were born in India, some 1,000 born in Croatia and then, of course, in the larger communities, there are the Turkish and Iraqi communities. As a representative of a culturally diverse electorate I know, and a lot of other people know, that these numbers reinforce the desperate need for aged-care facilities in this country that are specifically tailored to service the elderly migrant residents and their needs and requirements, not only as they age but also as dementia becomes a major issue and a very difficult one to understand.

I recently visited an aged-care facility in my electorate, called Springtime Sydenham, and I was struck by a service that this nursing home provides. It is a facility that is very close to a densely populated community. There are lots of Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Polish, Hindi and Croatian migrant communities. Their response to some of these culturally sensitive needs is to provide a day respite service for the elderly, particularly for those who have mild dementia. This means that children of these aged people are able to leave their parents at the nursing home for the day. They are looked after from 10 o'clock to two o'clock while the kids go off and do whatever they need to do—in this case, work—and the elderly are collected in the evening and go home. This balance of respite during the day combined with living at home with the family is an excellent way of meeting these demands. I congratulate Springtime Aged Care, because I think it is a great example of how we make those balances.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): In accordance with standing order 193 the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.