Volunteer and police veteran recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Media release

Monday 12 June 2017

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic volunteer Ray Morgan OAM has been recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List.

The Queen’s Birthday 2017 Honours List recognises a diverse range of contributions and service across all fields, including professional endeavours, community work, Australia’s Defence Force and Emergency Services.

Mr Morgan, a former Victoria Police Superintendent, was diagnosed with younger onset dementia four years ago. He lives at Hastings on the Mornington Peninsula.

Since his diagnosis, he has willingly shared his experience of living with dementia in the hope that he can help others and increase community awareness about the condition more generally.

As a volunteer consumer advocate with Dementia Australia Vic, Mr Morgan has spoken about his disease in a variety of forums, assisted with making documentaries and makes a regular contribution to Victoria Police's Community Encounters Program for new recruits.

The Community Encounters Program, run at the Victoria Police Academy, brings together the recruits with community volunteers from diverse backgrounds. The volunteers discuss their safety and security needs directly with the recruits.

Mr Morgan paid tribute to the people who had supported him since he was diagnosed four years ago.

‘It’s the Australian way,’ he said. ‘Australia is very much a country of mates. We look after each other. Since I was diagnosed, I have found the support that I have received has been amazing.

‘In this country, we are smart enough to realise that if we keep people in the community, and keep them engaging with the world, then that will keep them going.

Mr Morgan said that when he was diagnosed he immediately thought he would be put into a nursing home.

‘That would have happened 20 years ago, but things are different now.’

He said he was grateful for the continuing assistance of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s Younger Onset Dementia Key Worker program. His local key worker had set up a weekly support group in Frankston for people living with dementia.

“If not for her, we would all be sitting at home brooding over the fact that we have dementia.’

Leanne Wenig, Acting CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, congratulated Mr Morgan.

‘Ray has made a significant contribution to increasing community awareness of younger onset dementia and how to live well with the condition.

“His story illustrates that people living with dementia want to remain at home for as long as possible. And with the support of their family, friends and local communities, they can lead active and full lives,’ Ms Wenig said.

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In Victoria 104,000 people are living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the peak body and charity representing people of all ages with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic

Notes to media

When writing or talking about dementia, please include our free National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - a telephone information and support service available across Australia.

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

Media contact: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 / christine.bolt@dementia.org.au, Phillip Money 0427 757 434 / phillip.money@dementia.org.au