2019 Positive Ageing Awards

The Positive Ageing Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding older Canberrans and the individuals and organisations that work with, or for, them.


Congratulations to our 2019 Award winners!

    ActewAGL Senior Achiever Award

The Senior Achiever Award recognises the outstanding contribution made by an older person to the Canberra community. 

Winner: Barrie Smillie

Barrie Smillie is a long-standing member of University of the Third Age (U3A) and has dedicated the last 19 years to U3A working towards our ends by sharing his extensive knowledge of French and German language, literature and history with many, many U3A members.

Barrie spends many hours in preparation for classes and generously gives of his time and effort in teaching and encouraging students. Barrie’s students speak of his enthusiasm and commitment to making their learning experiences rewarding. They also praise him for his willingness to accept and encourage new students and his delight when students prosper - not only from learning a language, but in sharing in the social interactions which accompany the experience of learning.

LDK logo  LDK Intergenerational Award

The Intergenerational Award recognises a person or group who has worked to foster and improve relationships across multiple generations.

Winner: Emma Zen

Emma (of Rocking Horse Music) has been a part of the Intergenerational playgroup at Morshead Nursing Home (Lyneham) since it started in September of 2015. This was the first intergenerational playgroup in the ACT and it is going strong with children attending weekly with their mums, dads and occasionally grandparents. And of course also with 'big friends' as Emma calls them, the Nursing Home residents who join each Tuesday morning.

At the beginning of most sessions she goes around the room addressing everyone by name and is constantly encouraging the children through her actions to really see the big friends and to treat them with respect.

Emma has presented about intergenerational playgroup music a number of times in the last few years. She had an article published in the ACT Playgroups magazine in 2015 and was featured on ABC news online as well as speaking at AGMs and Ted Talks and on the radio. Emma is currently applying for a fellowship to be able to study intergenerational music playgroups overseas and she continues to champion the concept across Canberra and further afield.

CapitalChemist  Capital Chemist Age Friendly Canberra Award

This Award recognises a person or group which has worked to enhance opportunities for seniors to lead full and satisfying lives.

Winner: Seasoned Voices Seniors Choir

Seasoned Voices is an inclusive and friendly choir for people aged 55 and over. They rehearse weekly on Tuesdays at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre and on Fridays at the Ainslie Arts Centre in Braddon throughout the year. The members of Seasoned Voices are incredibly welcoming, providing a friendly environment for both singing and socialising when the choir breaks for morning tea each rehearsal.

Conductor Sarah Louise Owens and accompanist Hanna-Mari Latham, work hard to ensure the presentation of each piece of music suits the group, adapting methods of delivery and feedback where necessary to each participant. The choir are actively involved in choosing what they sing throughout the year and are encouraged to make suggestions for repertoire.

Seasoned Voices perform regularly at nursing/retirement homes around Canberra, as well as at other community events. These performances give the participants an opportunity to showcase the choir and whilst having fun with the residents, some of whom used to attend choir!

15 CORP horizontal logo RGB  GOODWIN Seniors Advocate Award

The Seniors Advocate Award recognises an outsanding commitment by a person or group in advocating for seniors. 

Winner: Marlene Keltie

In her 50s, Marlene helped establish the Tuggeranong Women’s Neighbourhood Group to support social inclusion for women in the Tuggeranong region. Marlene is now 81 and still facilitates the Tuggeranong Women’s Neighbourhood Group.

The group gives attendees a reason to leave the house, an opportunity to meet new people, to share stories and to know that they are making a contribution to young and old community members with the items they produce, as well as showing the contribution older people can make to the community.  Most importantly the group offers unconditional support and inclusion of all the women attending and addresses loneliness and social isolation that is becoming all too common.

Over many years, Marlene has made contacts in the areas of health, welfare, out of home care and emergency services as well as arranged community and health groups to speak to the group. The group encourages the women to maintain their existing skills in knitting, sewing, crocheting and patchwork – and to learn new skills they may not have otherwise have the opportunity to learn.

TC FBS    Transport Services Award

The Transport Servces Award recognises a person or group who, in their professional capacity, has provided outstanding service to older people. 

Winner: Ankin (George) Ahmat

Ankin Ahmat (known as George) who turns a young 70 years of age this year, has been working with the Communities@Work Community Transport Program since 2005.

George’s main goal with new clients is to welcome and put them at ease. George’s gentle nature and humour shine through in how he achieves this goal, he loves to share a joke. Instead of disregarding information from clients about their neighbourhood roads, George learns new short cuts from clients and values their input when driving in new neighbourhoods, something that he enjoys as our city expands. He says that you never know the story of people who sit in the car next to you unless you take the time to get to know them.

Comments like, “I am glad you came today,” when picking up clients contribute to George’s job satisfaction and dedication to providing a good service

Award Criteria

- How has the nominees work contributed to the ACT community?
- How has the nominees work advanced the health, wellbeing, education or social situation of older person/s?
- The nature and length of activity or service.


All nominators must have permission by the person or team you are nominating to disclose their personal information as part of their entry in the 2019 Positive Ageing Awards. The nominee is required to understand that by this nomination form being submitted, their image and story may be used publicly by COTA ACT to promote the awards program.

No previous winners of a Positive Ageing Award are eligible to be nominated. Unsuccessful past nominees/finalists may be nominated.
Nominations are open to residents of the ACT and surrounds, as long as the service is provided to ACT residents.
The definition of a senior is as follows:

  • Any person aged 60 year or over at the time of nomination
  • Any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who is 50 years or over at the time of nomination.

A panel of judges will select finalists and winner(s) for each award. The judges reserve the right to accept or reject nominations or to refrain from presenting an award in one or more categories if the standard of submissions is considered to be insufficient.
Judges reserve the right to have an entry considered in an alternative award category if deemed appropriate.

Want To Nominate?

Nominations for the 2019 Awards have now closed. 

Want To Attend The Awards?

The Positive Ageing Awards ceremony will be held on Friday 22 March 2019.

Award finalists will be invited to attend (free of charge) but friends and family may wish to purchase a ticket. Download our ticket booking form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange your ticket. 


For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Positive Ageing Awards Would Not Be Possible Without The Support Of Our Wonderful Sponsors

    CapitalChemist    15 CORP horizontal logo RGB   LDK logo  TC FBS


Seniors Week is brought to you by

ACTGov inline 293          COTA ACT logo 1 2017

with our media partner The Senior
The Senior





  • ACT Seniors Cards
  • ACT Seniors Card Discount Directory
  • The Seniors Information Service
  • Housing Options Advisory Service
  • Information on services for older people and their carers
  • Community education, information sessions and events
  • Community centre hire


Council on the Ageing (ACT)
Hughes Community Centre
2 Wisdom Street Hughes ACT 2605
Telephone: 02 6282 3777
Fax: 02 6285 3422
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