In early November, Kate Swaffer was announced as South Australia’s Australian of the Year. On Australia Day she will find out if she will be awarded the national winner for Australian of the Year, in a prestigious event held at Parliament House in Canberra.
Kate told SkyNews that though she was surprised, that “it’s been an incredible honour to be recognised”
Just before her 50th birthday, Kate was diagnosed with dementia. Since then, she has refused to be defeated by the disease and have been an advocate and activist for people with dementia.
Since her diagnosis, she has completed three degree and is is currently undertaking her PhD.
During the 70s, long before her diagnosis, Kate had worked with people with dementia, as she was a nurse in Adelaide’s first dementia unit.
Kate is the Chair, CEO and Co-founder of the Dementia Alliance International – where she represents millions of people worldwide living with dementia.
Another of Kate’s achievements was being the first person with dementia to be a keynote speaker at a World Health Organisation (WHO) conference.
Kate is an ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia and here at Aged Care Report Card for our own Responsible Care Initiative – a social impact initiative for aged care services and providers to strive above the minimum standards. This initiative looks to bring transparency to the aged care sector and open up communication channels within and between services and consumers.
Kate is also an accomplished author and poet, having has a number of works published including her book “What the hell happened to my brain: Living beyond dementia”.
Kate’s goal for the future, regardless if she is awarded Australian of the Year 2017, is to help people with dementia, “I would really like to see that we can support people to live with dementia, not just get told to go home and die from it.”
“For me, I hope this award will help me with that work in particular,” she said.
We, at ACRC, want to convey our congratulations to Kate Swaffer as South Australia’s Australian of the Year, and commend her for all the work she has done over her career. We wish you all the best on Australia Day.