Project to explore rural older people's views on social participation

Researchers from La Trobe University are preparing to undertake a project looking at what rural older people value in terms of social participation.

elderly-couple-bikes-stdIt is expected that the project will identify a series of recommendations that will help guide the establishment and maintenance of local services and supports that enable positive ageing within rural communities. The project will focus on the communities of Heathcote and Numurkah.

The project is being conducted in partnership with the City of Greater Bendigo, Moira Shire Council, Moira Healthcare Alliance and the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development.

Project manager, Dr Rachel Winterton, said that there are a growing number of people growing older in rural communities, with approximately a quarter of the population in Numurkah and Heathcote aged 65 years and over.

‘Social participation plays an important role in making sure that people can experience positive mental health and wellbeing,’ stated Dr Winterton.

‘This project will explore the characteristics of services and activities that allow older people to remain socially involved. It will also examine what doesn’t work in these communities and why this is the case,’ she added.

In both communities, the research team will conduct a series of focus groups with older residents and local community groups, and also conduct interviews with local service providers.

Members of the community interested in participating in the research can call Dr Winterton on 02 6025 9778 or email




Media enquiries

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Rachel Winterton (La Trobe University) on (02) 6024 9778 or email

Issued  by
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E