Age-Friendly Melville

Design Feature
Project Type
Local Government Initiative
Western Australia

Age-friendly and walkable places play a vital role in improving the physical and mental wellbeing of an ageing community. The City of Melville is one of the largest local government areas in Perth; 24.9% of its population is aged over 60 years. Melville also has the second-largest number of people in Western Australia living with dementia and the second-highest proportion of culturally and linguistic diverse seniors (21.8% of all residents aged 55 plus).

An inclusive and age-friendly Melville

The Age-Friendly Melville Plan 2017-2021 enables the City to build on its achievements and work towards an age-friendly Melville. The plan reflects the aspirations and wellbeing of the ageing community.

Memory Café - a place for people living with dementia and their carers to come and have a coffee and a chat
Memory Café - a place for people living with dementia and their carers to come and have a coffee and a chat

The City of Melville is heading towards a time where there will be a higher number of older people than there will be children. Since 2007, Melville has had a committed and active membership in the World Health Organisation's Global Age-Friendly Communities Network. While maintaining this relationship, the City also works with the State Government and other Local Governments in Western Australia to improve the lives of their ageing communities.  

Between 2013 and 2017, the City engaged with over 2,300 older people and stakeholders via surveys, one-on-one conversations and a community reference group (CRG); the aim of this consultation was to determine key priorities and aspirations of the City's older residents.  The CRG members included individuals, carers and aged care service providers. The reference group met several times during 2017 to review survey data and engagement feedback.

South of the River Forum -  Bi–monthly events for over 55’s
South of the River Forum - Bi–monthly events for over 55’s

Through this community consultation process, the Age-Friendly Melville Plan 2017-2021 was created, reflecting the community's aspirations for the future. The plan prioritised four key opportunities around active ageing, including housing, transport, social participation, and respect and inclusion. 

Through this Plan, the City of Melville has implemented several initiatives to support older residents, and those living with dementia, including:

  • Establishing an Access Advisory Panel (consisting of community members) that meets quarterly to review the accessibility of public buildings, planning applications, reserves, signage and other inclusion matters.
  • The Melville Age-Friendly Accessible Businesses (MAFAB) network, which supports local businesses implementing accessible and age-friendly initiatives. The initiative aims to improve the customer experience for seniors and people with disabilities, including those living with dementia.
  • The Garden City Memory Café (launched in 2016) was created to offer local people living with dementia and their carers a monthly meet-up location. The café is an inviting place to meet new friends, share experiences and access support from Alzheimer's WA. 
  • A Living Well with Dementia webpage enables local people to share videos of their experiences living with dementia. 
  • A partnership with Transperth, called Mystery Tours, was created to provide public transport education for older people. 
  • Free Digital Hub technology training at Melville Libraries, delivers free support and training on using smartphones, laptops and tablets with one-on-one or small group sessions. 
  •  An online community called Melville Talks, offering web-articles, links, discussion forums and opportunities. Melville Talks was developed to allow for an engaging conversation about older people's different life stages and choices.
  • Older people were included in City planning processes, through contribution to the development of the City's Local Housing Strategy and Local Planning Strategy.
  • Older people receive discounted LeisureFit Centres memberships and free exercise classes, known as Active in the Park. These LeisureFit health and wellbeing programs are designed to suit the needs of residents over the age of 50 and people with disabilities.

These initiatives showcase the City of Melville's ongoing leadership and the commitment to becoming one of Australia's most age-friendly cities.

Memory Café - a place for people living with dementia and their carers to come and have a coffee and a chat

Project Team

  • City of Melville
  • LeisureFit Melville
  • Living Well with Dementia
  • Transperth
  • Digital Hub – Melville Libraries
  • Alzheimer's WA
  • Melville Community Reference Group

Project Cost

Part of the ongoing local government community initiatives

You might also like