A City of Fremantle initiative to encourage senior citizens to remain connected and active in their community has been recognised with a local government award.
The City’s Dance Hall Days program took out the Partnerships and Collaboration Award at the Local Government Professionals WA 2019 Honour Awards last night.
Dance Hall Days is a monthly facilitated dance for over 55s which includes a one-hour dance lesson, a variety of live bands and a range of dances to encourage everyone to have a go.
The program is supported through a $10,000 grant from the Department of Communities, and a passionate and enthusiastic collaboration between the City of Fremantle, the Fremantle Workers Club, Notre Dame University, Town of East Fremantle, Fremantle Italian Club and Swan Yacht Club.
City of Fremantle Community Development Manager Beverley Bone said Dance Hall Days provided an enormous range of benefits for the city’s seniors.
“First and foremost it’s a great, fun social event where people can get together with old friends, make new friends and have a good time,” Ms Bone said.
“In addition to helping overcome social isolation, there’s also the physical exercise you get from dancing, plus the mental stimulation from learning new steps.
“The idea started with requests the City received from some of our elderly residents who wanted a dance, but the support we’ve received from other organisations around Fremantle to make it happen has been tremendous.
“The Fremantle Workers Club has been fantastic in organising the venues and booking the bands, the venues and suppliers have been very generous with their discounts and the University of Notre Dame and the Town of East Fremantle have given great support.
“The whole program has been a wonderful example of community building and team work, led by local governments and their passionate and caring staff.”
The City of Fremantle also came runner-up in the Connecting Communities Award for its community engagement in the preparation of the Walyalup Reconciliation Action Plan.
The WRAP was adopted in July this year after more than 18 months of consultation with Fremantle’s Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, local Elders and Aboriginal people and other stakeholders through a series of workshops and meetings.