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Meet Val Fell, OAM

Friday, December 16th, 2022

StepUp for Ageing Research is connecting the brightest minds in research with people who want to power a breakthrough in ageing research. Behind the scenes, the service is powered by dedicated and inspired supporters who serve on the StepUp Public Involvement Panel. One such supporter is Val Fell, who at 93 continues to balance a wide range of valuable contributions across the Australian community, particularly the ageing community.

In 2022 Val’s contributions to services for people living with dementia were recognised with one of Australia’s highest honours – the Medal of the Order of Australia. Val balances her advocacy work with Dementia Australia (DA) with ambassadorship for the Older Peoples Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the Council on the Ageing (COTA).

Val’s advocacy work currently extends into membership on the Aged Care Council of Elders. The council plays a critical role in making sure that older Australians – who are most central to the aged care system – have input into shaping the aged care reforms. Val emphasises the importance of the Charter of Human Rights, for Senior Australians “to live meaningful lives, making their own decisions on how to live those lives”.

With such an impactful suite of advocacy, ambassadorship, and service in the field of ageing, Val is a formidable example of ‘walking the walk’ to create a better Australia in which we may maintain our agency in age, whether we are in aged care, or in the community. “You don’t want to be some appendage to somebody else, who is going to always tell you what you are going to do, and what time of the day you’re going to it. Being independent is extremely important”.