I am back in South Africa having been privileged to attend the ACSA/IAHSA 2015 conference in Perth, Australia, “Global Communities Coming Together”, last week. Yet again, I reflect on the wonder of global collaboration.
Having connected by a group skype call, it was great meeting up with all the CommonAge scholarship delegates, face to face, at the conference. The Australian aged care providers showed great generosity of spirit in raising the funding to bring 16 delegates from Commonwealth developing countries to experience IAHSA Perth. So we had leaders there from the Cameroon, Mauritius, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gyana, India and South Africa.
I was especially proud of Femada Shemam from TAFTA, Sr Lucia from St Antonine’s and Rayne Stroebel from GERATEC who made presentations.
It is hoped that an African Hub on Ageing will develop, focusing both on applied research and the work of service providers across Africa. As Femada is based in KZN, she will be sharing her experience from the IAHSA Leadership Retreat and the conference at a South African Care Forum Conversation Hub on the 5th October in Durban. Invites will be circulated to all in KZN – please go along to support her, learn from her and join the global conversation.
To experience the buzz of an international conference is energising. A great opportunity for shared learning, re-connecting, making new connections, strengthening relationships, and facilitating partnerships. It was an opportunity to share on the global stage, stories of amazing work being done across the globe. IAHSA has been moving more and more to embrace the developing countries and provide opportunities for their work to be shared.
South African Applied Research was acknowledged in the awarding of the IAHSA Applied Research Award to Dr Sanet Du Toit from the University of the Free State, currently teaching at the University of Sydney, for her work on Dementia Mapping. Special congratulations to you Sanet for flying our SA flag so high!