Dementia-friendly Kiama wins National Disability Award

Media Release

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Dementia-friendly Kiama wins National Disability Award

The efforts of the tight-knit Kiama community, on the NSW South Coast, to make their town more dementia-friendly have been recognised with an Excellence in Community Partnerships Award at the 2016 National Disability Awards in Canberra overnight.

Driven by people living with dementia in Kiama, the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project supports people with dementia to live in a more understanding, friendly and inclusive community.

This project has led to an increase in awareness and understanding of dementia with more than 300 people trained in dementia awareness and more than 150 people trained to be a dementia friend.

Dementia Australia National CEO Maree McCabe said Alzheimer’s Australia was delighted to be involved in the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project, a collaboration between Kiama Municipal Council, The University of Wollongong, Dementia Australia and the many dedicated members of the Kiama community. 

“Alzheimer’s Australia acknowledges the significant contribution people living with dementia in Kiama have made to the Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project and their efforts in making Kiama more dementia-friendly,” Ms McCabe said.

“There are more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia, without a significant medical breakthrough that figure is expected to rise to almost 900,000 by 2050. About 70 per cent of people with dementia are living in the community. 

"All communities have the potential to support people living with dementia to maintain independence, dignity, a sense of purpose and to live in an environment of their choosing for as long as possible.

“It’s exciting for the Kiama community to be recognised in this way and we congratulate all our partners who have been involved for their support and dedication to the project.”  

The Dementia-Friendly Kiama Project:

  • Tracks the progress of businesses and organisations looking to make changes to design and staff training to work towards becoming more dementia-friendly
  • Increases community awareness of dementia through education 
  • Suggests improvements to town-scape and amenities to improve access for people living with dementia

Alzheimer’s Australia has recently been awarded $3.9 million by the Australian Government to continue to build on the work done in communities like Kiama, to create more Dementia-Friendly Communities across Australia. 

The Dementia Friendly Communities Program includes the creation of a National Dementia Friends program to offer dementia education, build understanding and awareness and a National Dementia Friendly Community Resource Hub, offering information and support for creating local dementia-friendly communities. Congratulations Kiama on a well-deserved award in recognition of your inspiring work.

Media enquiries:
Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | bianca.armytage@dementia.org.au


Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 353,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.


National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area


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