What does an Active & Healthy Ageing Adviser (AHAA) do?

Fostering resilient and liveable communities

The Department of Health and Human Services is taking a broad healthy ageing approach, funding 10 AHAAs across the state to promote, build and support the health and wellbeing of people as they age (50 years and over, 40 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people), particularly those experiencing disadvantage and social isolation. This is achieved through system change, population health and place-based approaches to:

  • Enhance and foster networks to improve organisational capacity and workforce to promote health and wellbeing of older people
  • Review, build on and disseminate evidence, research, data, best practice and information relevant to active and healthy ageing
  • Build on the success of and support existing local healthy ageing initiatives (eg. Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing planning, positive ageing planning, age/dementia friendly communities work)
  • Identify and promote effective active and healthy ageing programs and strategies operating across the local area and any gaps and opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of older people
  • Enhance the recognition of the importance of active and healthy ageing and contribute to a state-wide approach.

The need to focus on healthy ageing

The proportion of the Victorian population aged 65 years and over is projected to increase from 15% in 2016 to 18.7% per cent in 2031. The oldest age group (85 years and over) is projected to have the greatest proportional change: currently 2% of Victorians are aged 85 years and over, with the percentage expected to increase to 4.6 per cent in 2051 (State Government of Victoria 2016; NARI 2016). Data at a state level for populations aged 55 years and over indicates:

  • 50% meet recommended fruit intake guidelines (Victorian Department of Health, VPHS 2014)
  • 8% meet recommended vegetable intake guidelines (Victorian Department of Health, VPHS 2014)
  • 45% meet physical activity recommendations (Victorian Department of Health, VPHS 2014)
  • Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for older Australians (Victorian Department of Health 2018).
  • There are more than 425,000 Australians living with dementia and dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia (Dementia Australia 2018)
  • An estimated 25 – 40% of Australian adults aged 65 years and older are assessed as at risk of malnutrition or as being malnourished (NARI 2016)
  • It is estimated that 10% of older people are socially isolated (Commissioner for Senior Victorians 2016).

AHAA priorities

The State wide priorities for the AHAAs reflect the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-19. Core priorities of the initiative include:

  • Healthy eating & active living
  • Resilient and liveable communities

The AHAAs may also focus on the following areas according to local need:

  • Preventing violence and injury (falls prevention & elder abuse prevention)
  • Social connection
  • Improving mental health
  • Reducing harmful alcohol and drug use
  • Tobacco free living
  • Improving sexual health.

The AHAAs have established healthy ageing communities of practice; supported local projects in dementia, caring, falls prevention, elder abuse, active living and healthy eating; advocated for a healthy ageing lens in planning and delivery of programs; promoted the benefits of an age friendly cities approach; and increased awareness of the changing health and wellbeing needs of older adults


An important part of promoting and planning for active and healthy ageing is linking with current and established networks, alliances and partnerships as well as developing new opportunities and partners. AHAAs have connected with many diverse stakeholders including:

  • Regional Sport Assemblies
  • Primary Care Partnerships
  • Hospitals & health services
  • Community health - health promotion teams
  • Commonwealth Home Support Program – Diversity Advisors, Wellness and Reablement Consultants
  • Local governments
  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Neighbourhood houses
  • Aboriginal community-controlled organisations
  • University of the Third Age (U3A)
  • Men’s sheds
  • Parks Victoria
  • Victorian Active Ageing Partnership
  • Sport & recreation organisations
  • Universities & research organisations
  • RecLink
  • Peak bodies – eg. Heart Foundation, Jean Hailes
  • Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise
  • Primary Health Networks

Contacts us

The AHAAs would love to hear from you. To make contact with your local AHAA please email the Statewide Coordinator at AACServdev@dhhs.vic.gov.au or refer to the DHHS Healthy Ageing Program website.


Commissioner for Senior Victorians (2016). Ageing is Everyone’s Business. Victorian Government. Melbourne. Retrieved online: https://www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/~/media/Seniors/Files/Commissioner%20for%20Senior%20Victorians/Ageing%20is%20everyones%20businessweb

Dementia Australia (2018). Key Facts and Statistics. Retrieved online: https://www.dementia.org.au/statistics

NARI (2016). Healthy Ageing Literature Review. Victorian Government. Melbourne. Retrieved from: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/wellbeing-and-participation/healthy-ageing

State Government of Victoria (2016). Victoria in Future 2016. Melbourne. Retrieved from: https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/land-use-and-population-research/victoria-in-future-2016

Victorian Department of Health (2014). Victorian Population Health Survey. Retrieved from: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/population-health-systems/health-status-of-victorians/survey-data-and-reports/victorian-population-health-survey/victorian-population-health-survey-2014

Victorian Department of Health (2018). Definition of a Fall. Melbourne. Retrieved from: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care/wellbeing-and-participation/healthy-ageing/falls-prevention/definition-of-a-fall

[Source: Sharon Porteous, Inner East Primary Care Partnership and Megan Clifford, Department of Health and Human Services]