Active Ageing Policy, Leisure in Later Life, and Cultural Change

Rylee Dionigi, Grant Bevan, Evonne Miller

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Purpose and Goals: The purpose of this symposium is to draw on our research to stimulate debate regarding the role active ageing policy and leisure practice can play in cultural change. It will focus on: the difference between older people’s understandings of and policy definitions of ‘active or healthy ageing’; the experiences of active leisure among older people in various contexts, such as Masters sport, a community initiative encouraging greater levels of physical activity, and residential aged care settings; and the need for cultural adaptation and policy change to address increased longevity and ageing populations. Content Summary: First, Dionigi presents findings from a project called, The meaning of sport in the lives of older people across the physical activity spectrum: Towards policy implications. Second, under the topic of, People, policy and practice: Uncomfortable bedfellows, Grant shares some of the complexities encountered by a community initiative that aims to promote greater levels of physical activity amongst the ‘older ’population. Third, Miller draws on data from the Inside aged care project (an ongoing longitudinal participatory qualitative research study) to show what restricts and facilitates leisure participation for older aged care residents, particularly as their health declines. Next, we discuss cultural and policy changes that warrant greater attention if we are to respond to the world’s changing demographics. Finally, there will be a Q&A session on the topic of Active ageing policy, leisure in later life and cultural change. Implications for Active Ageing: The research in this symposium illustrates that if cultural change is to occur, active ageing policy and related practice must be informed by older people’s experiences. It is imperative that in their later years, people have the social space and opportunity to develop meaningful life phase-specific roles and responsibilities through all forms of leisure, not just those deemed productive or cost-effective to health policy. If future initiatives are to be sustainable for the long-term, however, some rethinking is required about the types of partnerships between various government agencies at a national, state, and local authority level and how these might better interact with organisations delivering the programs and services at the community level. References: Dionigi, R.A., Gard, M., Horton, S, Weir, P. and Baker, J. 2014. Sport as leisure for older adults: Critical reflections and recommendations. Paper presented at the 14th Canadian Congress on Leisure Research: Our New Leisure Society, Halifax Nova Scotia, May 21–23, 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventWorld Congress on Active Ageing 2016: WCAA 2016 - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Jun 201601 Jul 2016 (Conference website)


ConferenceWorld Congress on Active Ageing 2016
Abbreviated titlePeople, Policy and Practice
OtherIt gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the World Congress on Active Ageing (WCAA), a global event that will be hosted by Victoria University's Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL). This will be the 9th Congress held under the auspices of the International Coalition for Ageing and Physical Activity (ICAPA). In light of significantly increasing governmental focus on keeping their ageing populations more healthy and active, this conference will prove to be the largest gathering of experts and stakeholders in the field of Active Ageing ever assembled. We are anticipating international delegates will meet from more than 30 countries in July 2016 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and to that end we invite you to be part of this exciting event. To ensure the success of the Congress we are engaging government departments, partner Universities across Australia, Active Ageing stakeholders and the Melbourne Convention Bureau. It is these partnerships that will form the cornerstone of what we anticipate will be a benchmark World Congress on Active Ageing. I very much look forward to working with you, and to make the 9th World Congress on Active Ageing a tremendously successful event – for you and for all delegates and participants. On behalf of the organising committee Stuart Biddle Professor and Research Leader, Active Living & Public Health, Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
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