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The Wicking Trust, the largest trust in Australia dedicated to improving the experience of ageing for Australians. 

Longer lives are a remarkable collective achievement. They reflect advances in social and economic development as well as in health. A longer life provides the opportunity for rethinking not just what older age is but also how our whole lives might be lived.

To foster healthy ageing and improve the lives of older people and their communities, fundamental shifts will be required not only in the actions we take but in how we think about age and ageing.

The shift requires a whole of government and whole of society response and philanthropy plays a vital role. However, in Australia, we estimate that less than 1% of philanthropic support is going to ‘age-related’ issues.

A key to more effective fundraising and giving is looking beyond an ageing focus and seeing how programs that benefit older adults positively impact the whole community

‘Ageing Well’ is a key focus area for Equity Trustees and is dedicated to deepening community impact by investing in innovative and effective projects and people that support older people to age well and die well.  

Equity Trustees is privileged to manage the Wicking Trust – the largest trust in Australia dedicated to improving the experience of ageing for Australians. 

The Wicking Trust has invested more than $12 million since 2015. Our new ‘Ageing Well’ strategy is focused on tackling ageism, building connected and compassionate communities, and optimising health (Alzheimer’s research). We are prioritising initiatives that support women over 65, First Nations Elders, regional and remote communities and living and dying in the place called home.

A key future focus for the Trust is mobilising philanthropic interest and investment in programs - ‘Getting other funders on board’. 

A snapshot of the current Wicking Partnership

The EveryAge Counts Campaign has received funding to tackle ageism. The National coalition and grassroots campaign, spearheaded by The Benevolent Society, recently ran the Ageism Awareness Day and continues to work towards a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

Another key focus is supporting older Australians to feel less lonely and socially isolated, as well as receive end of life care according to their wishes. 

Current funding has been directed to LaTrobe University’s Healthy End of Life Project (HELP); The Violet Initiative, which provides support through the last stage of life; TACSI, which is building an impact network for systemic end of life support; Housing for the Aged Action Group’s (HAAG) older persons homelessness project; and Wintringham’s housing and care support for elderly and frail people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The final priority is promoting health and independence, with Alzheimer’s research being the main focus. 

The Wicking Dementia Centre  received funding to improve dementia literacy through online global education and interdisciplinary research, while the National Ageing Research Institute NARI-MARC is building a collaboration of health, research, aged care, and advocacy organisations to improve the lives of older people through rapid translation of research into policy and practice. The Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) is creating a powerful network for dementia prevention, treatment and care. 

Ageing is a dynamic process that leads to new aspirations, abilities, and knowledge that older people can share. We will know we are making a difference when every person is valued, connected, and respected regardless of age and health, and when we grow the number of philanthropists in Australia championing ageing. 

We know that a community that is better for older adults is better for people of all ages.

To find out more about the Equity Trustees ‘Ageing Well’ focus area, please reach out to your Active Philanthropy Relationship Manager or contact us here.

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