Age Friendly City

The City of Unley is proud to be recognised by the World Health Organisation as an Age Friendly City and Community. We are actively working to enhance our commitment to this to ensure our City is accessible to everyone, promotes health and wellbeing and provides opportunities for connection, inclusion and contribution.

Unley Legends

The Unley Legends video series is a celebration of ageing, thanks to a partnership between the City of Unley and Resthaven.

The series of short videos showcases inspiring legends of the Unley community who are still young at heart, including 99-year-old Millswood resident Harold Sammels who still travels overseas and 73-year-old yoga teacher Evaristo Barrera.

The project explores and shares the perspectives of older people as they age and the benefits of staying active mentally, physically and spiritually.

We hope you are inspired by these videos. Remember that age is just a number and it doesn’t have to restrict you from being active and doing the things that you love.

Unley Legends Episode 1: Elwyn Penna

Unley Legends Episode 2: June Harris & Irene Miller

Unley Legends Episode 3: Peter Moors

Unley Legends Episode 4: Noreen Bray

Unley Legends Episode 5: Harold Sammells

Unley Legends Episode 6: Evaristo Barrera

Unley Legends – Age is a Celebration


Active Ageing Strategy

To support our commitment as an Age Friendly City, a new Active Ageing Strategy has been developed in partnership with the University of SA. The Active Ageing Strategy is centred on the celebration of ageing and aims to guide Council’s approach in all of its activities to become an Age Friendly City and to ensure that we meet the changing needs of our community throughout their lives.

The Strategy provides a strong vision, aims and guiding principles, along with an overview of nine Key Focus Areas. An indicative Action Plan has also been developed that outlines specific initiatives which will enable us to achieve our objectives, along with key performance indicators to measure the success of our Active Ageing endeavours.

A key action within the Active Ageing Strategy includes the establishment of the City of Unley Active Ageing Alliance. This group will become a critical part of the finalisation and subsequent delivery of the Strategy by assisting us to further identify and priorities actions.

The goal of developing an Age Friendly City is a responsibility we share with our community: we will collaborate with government agencies, industry providers, service clubs and community groups. As such, Council’s role is broad and ranges from information and referral to advocacy and finally to partner or direct provider.

Community Input

An extensive engagement initiative was undertaken in 2014 to inform the key priorities within the Active Ageing Strategy. Over 200 people provided valuable feedback and insight. Overall those who participated were positive about growing older, with key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities noted and included in the Strategy and Indicative Action Plan.

This feedback was used to develop a draft Strategy that was presented to Council in June 2015 for in principle endorsement. Further feedback on the draft was again sought from the community during August - September 2015, and was considered in the finalisation of the Strategy. The Strategy was presented to, and subsequently endorsed, at the meeting of 14 December 2015.


  • What is an Age Friendly City and Community?

    The environment in which we live - the physical and social infrastructure, neighbourhoods, buildings, services, facilities and opportunities to be involved – impacts on all of us. The social and built environment affects our health and wellbeing and this becomes more significant as we age.

    An Age Friendly City and Community is one where people of all ages can live healthy and independent lives for as long as possible, and remain in a secure and supportive environment that enables them to participate in the community as they grow older. 

  • When did the Age Friendly City initiative commence?

    The Age Friendly City initiative was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005. It was created in response to the rapid ageing of the world’s population and the increasing numbers of people living in cities. The WHO initially partnered with 33 cities around the world which collaborated with older people, their carers and service providers to determine the features of the urban environment that help, or hinder, active ageing. There are currently over 287 cities and communities who have partnered with the WHO to become age friendly – and this number is growing.

    The City of Unley became the first South Australian council to join the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities in 2012.

  • What is Active Ageing?

    The World Health Organisation defines ‘active ageing’ as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age”. Active ageing starts when we are very young. The circumstances we encounter and the choices that we make during our lives will impact on our quality of life when we are older. The healthier we are we reach old age, the better our quality of life. An age friendly city helps people to maintain their health throughout their life course by providing the physical and social infrastructure that supports active ageing. 

  • Who benefits from an Age Friendly City?

    An Age Friendly City benefits everyone, not just older people. Neighbourhoods that are safe for older people are also safe for children. Footpaths that are free from obstructions help parents with prams, or younger people with disabilities, as well as older people, to move around freely. The entire community benefits from the participation of older people in paid or voluntary work. Housing that can be adapted to people with all levels of ability will ensure our neighbourhoods are sustainable for future generations. By viewing a community through an age friendly lens, city planners, residents, businesses, service providers and visitors can help create a city that is friendly for all ages. 

  • Why is the City of Unley so committed ensuring we are Age Friendly?

    The City of Unley has developed the new Active Ageing Strategy to replace its Ageing Strategy, which expires in 2014. The new Age Friendly Strategy will focus on creating an Age Friendly City by supporting and encouraging active ageing, ensuring the city is accessible for everyone, promoting health and wellbeing and providing opportunities for connection and inclusion for all members of the community. 

    Both globally and locally we are experiencing great social change - people are living longer and in better health.  By 2013, the number of South Australians aged 65 and over will double and, for the City of Unley, over 30% of these people are likely to live in lone person households. Currently over 2,000 Australians turn 65 each week and, over the next 40 years, the number of people in Australia aged 65-84 is estimated to double and those aged over 85 will quadruple in number.

    Additionally there is a transformational shift in the way our people wish to grow older - we are reinventing “ageing” and what it means to grow older. 

    This will have increasing impacts on our City - our people will expect improved infrastructure and urban design to increase mobility and accessibility, more reliable and comfortable transport, adaptable housing options that enable them to continue to be a part of their community, activities and programs to support social connection, enjoyment and lifelong learning, improved health care and social support services, increased choice and options and seek more opportunities to participate, contribute and be heard.  This requires a new approach to all that we do, ensuring our policies, programs, services and facilities are best positioned to meet this demand.

  • What is included within the Active Ageing Strategy?

    The Strategy is presented in 3 parts:

    • Part A – providing an Introduction and Context
    • Part B – outlining the Vision, Aim and Guiding Principles
    • Part C – detailing the 9 key focus areas for Active Ageing for the City of Unley.

    An indicative Action Plan has also been developed that outlines specific initiatives which will enable us to achieve our objectives, along with key performance indicators to measure the success of our Age Friendly endeavours.
  • The Vision

    The City of Unley is celebrated by our community as a great place to grow older.  We provide meaningful opportunities for access, inclusion, wellbeing and participation for all.

  • The Guiding Principles
    • Age is a Celebration – we celebrate the fact that our people are living longer and healthier. This Strategy aims to ensure that we keep thinking of ways to meet the needs of our citizens. 
    • A Rights Based Approach – Older persons have fundamental rights and freedoms, which include the right to be treated with dignity and respect and the right to make their own choices about how they adapt their lives to changing opportunities and needs.
    • Whole of Life – Strategies that benefit our older people benefit all of our people. We will recognise and accommodate the different needs of our people throughout their entire life.
    • Ageing in Place – we want to provide for the needs of our people so they can remain in the City as long as they wish.
    • Building on our City’s Strengths – acknowledging our existing strengths to enhance the quality of life in our City.
    • Building on our People’s Strengths – The City of Unley provides an enviable quality of life and its people have a wealth of skills and experiences to contribute to the community.  Boosting the participation of people of all ages will benefit the whole City.
    • Co-Design and Partnership – the City of Unley is committed to an ongoing partnership with our community and partners to achieve our vision and implement initiatives that have real and lasting benefits.
  • The 9 Key Focus Areas
    1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings – includes Footpaths, Buildings, Lighting, Signage, Parks & Gardens
    2. Transportation – includes Public and Community Transport, Taxis, Driving, Mobility Devices & Cycling
    3. Housing – includes Development; Affordable Housing; Residential Aged Care & Downsizing
    4. Social Participation – includes Events & Activities, Venues; Technology &  Reduce Isolation
    5. Respect and Social Inclusion - Respect for Older People & Social Inclusion
    6. Civic Participation and Employment - Engagement, Paid Employment & Volunteering
    7. Communication and Information  - Customer Service, Communications & Information for Older People
    8. Community Support & Health Services – includes Supporting Independence & Health & Wellbeing
    9. Active Ageing Leadership     
  • What is Council already doing to support Active Ageing?

    The City of Unley already undertakes a range of initiatives that supports our community to positively and actively age.

    We provide various direct community services which are important to promoting health, including: community transport, community home support services, community centre-based programs, youth development, library services and social programs for residents in Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs). Community programs are also supported through access to the use of Council facilities and the provision of community grants.

    Our Council support events, which contribute to promoting vibrant communities. Safe and accessible infrastructure is a high priority in planning physical environments for health and mobility.

    Council staff already have close working relationships with a number of aged care providers and community and government agencies. There is also an extensive range of health providers in the region.  The Plan therefore seeks to build upon existing Council achievements and the initiatives of other agencies.

  • How will the Age Friendly Strategy be implemented?

    Following the endorsement of the Strategy, we will establish the Active Ageing Alliance, comprised of representatives of older people, service providers and council staff to monitor the implementation of the Active Ageing Strategy. This will be a long-term partnership to ensure the views of local people continue to be considered as the City of Unley moves towards becoming an age friendly city. 

  • What input has the community had in the development of the Active Ageing Strategy?

    An extensive engagement initiative was undertaken in 2014 to inform the key priorities within the Active Ageing Strategy.  Over 200 people provided valuable feedback and insight that was used to develop the Strategy.  Overall those who participated were positive about growing older, with key strengths, weaknesses and opportunities noted and included in the Strategy and Indicative Action Plan.

    The second stage of engagement was undertaken in July – September 2015 to test the draft Strategy.  This engagement included consultation of both Council staff and the City of Unley community along with targeted engagement of users of our Community Support and Transport services, the Community Centres and the Unley Museum, service providers and government agencies.

    This additional feedback was used to inform the finalisation of the Active Ageing Strategy.

  • How else can I get involved?

    in early 2016 we will be looking for willing and enthusiastic residents to join our Active Ageing Alliance.  This citizens group will be critical in assisting us deliver our Active Ageing Strategy actions and work with the City of Unley team to identify Active Ageing priorities to be undertaken each year as well as provide advice and be involved in a range of initiatives being implemented, ensuring we maximise our Age Friendly outcomes in all that we do.

    If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Celine Luya on 83725440.

  • Where can I get more information?

    You can also find out more information by contacting us on 8372 5111.