Press Release – Age Concern
A Christchurch woman has been officially recognised for her efforts to enhance the lives of older people throughout the country.Outstanding Service Award For Liz Baxendine
A Christchurch woman has been officially recognised for her efforts to enhance the lives of older people throughout the country.
Liz Baxendine QSO is the recipient of Age Concern New Zealand’s outstanding service award, presented at the organisation’s annual conference in Wellington.
President Evelyn Weir said Mrs Baxendine has always been a strong advocate for older people, their wellbeing, quality of life and the importance of dignity and respect.
“Liz has followed her dream that all older people enjoy the benefits of Age Concern’s services and advocacy. She has also worked to change perceptions and attitudes by fostering understanding of the many contributions older people make,” Mrs Weir said.
A life member of Age Concern Canterbury, Mrs Baxendine was elected to the national board in 2004 and served two terms as president from 2008 to 2012.
Mrs Baxendine said that early on she knew Age Concern had real potential to help the older population, including accredited visiting and support, elder abuse and neglect prevention work, as well as health promotion.
“Let’s face it, we all grow older,” she said.
“And, quality living in old age is about being out and about in society and simply staying connected. The Age Concern conference theme of connections is certainly one I endorse,” she said.
“I value being a volunteer as it keeps me mentally active and in touch with our society. I’m very fortunate I have been able to contribute.”
Mrs Baxendine believes everyone deserves to be treated equally.
“I’ve always wanted things to be fair. It may be an impossible dream but it doesn’t stop you working towards it. We come in the same way and go out the same way. It’s what we do in the middle that matters,” she said.
“We’ve got to change perceptions and encourage the community to realise older people are a resource, not a burden. Their wisdom and guidance should always be taken into account,” she said.
“But I’ll also tell older people, ‘for goodness sake, learn to use your computer and access the internet, as there’s a whole world of information out there for you’.”
Mrs Baxendine said with New Zealand’s increasing population of older people, Age Concern will become an even stronger organisation to address and voice their needs.
In addition to Age Concern, Mrs Baxendine participates in a variety of community and voluntary work.
This includes her as a member of the Elder Care advisory group to the Canterbury District Health Board, a member of an advisory committee for Partnership Health – one of New Zealand’s largest Primary Health Organisations – and also the chairperson of ACC’s Older Persons Advisory Group.