Theresa’s story – Positive ageing (3 minute video)

2023 WA Senior Australian of the Year Theresa Kwok explains the importance of culture, connection and community for older people in Australia.


- My name is Theresa Kwok. I'm 69 years old and currently, I'm the CEO of Chung Wah Community Care. I'm very lucky to be able to do what I like. I still can continue to pursue my dream. Hello! Morning. I came to Australia in 1986. After I arrived, I was terribly, in the first year or two, very terribly homesick. The kind of loneliness, I felt it very strongly. Around 98% of our clientele speak no English. And they all come from later part of their life. And the daily life which they have to adapt to, it is not easy. It is really important for the seniors to feel that they're part of the community. They feel that they belong. And also importantly it is that they need to see that here in Australia, we are multicultural community. They have somebody, if they are having problem or whatever, there are people there. They will be able to give them a hand, to show them that this is okay. You have so much to offer. You cannot just one blanketly cover all. We need to adopt a holistic approach. They may really enjoy holding your hand, wanting to know that you care. If you have a bowl of noodles with them, they enjoy talking to you, telling you their story. We should not overlook that. We should not leave them behind. So how's your day? 

- Yeah, good. But we are looking for someone to relieve- 

- Ah, you're looking for... Okay, alright. When I became WA Senior of the Year, I didn't expect that. I'm very glad because this is the recognition for migrant workers. As soon as I got the award, the following morning I came back to the office and I shared that with my staff because actually it is not only one person. It is the effort of everyone. I'm just taking the award on their behalf. Ageing, I think, should be celebrated because when you were young you are seldom thinking about yourself. But now when you start to have the time, that's why you celebrate, because this is your time. That's what we share with all our seniors, is that this is your golden era. Just continue to seek what you think is important to you. And that is just my message. You may like to travel, you may like to do more gardening, or you may, like myself, continue to do what I'm doing. Still coming back to the office every day. Yeah, like my husband always say, this is your dream and you are not working. Actually, Theresa, every day you are just fulfilling your dream. 

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