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History of RWA

history_image1-for_lightboxRetirees WA Inc is a not-for-profit organisation that traces its origins to the Invalid and Old Age Pensioners’ Association, founded in Perth in 1933.

For most of its 20th century existence, it was known as the Australian Pensioners’ League (Western Australian Division), building a long and proud tradition of working for ‘the greater good’ of society by articulating the interests of the elderly, while also facilitating the delivery of much needed services.

Throughout the organisation’s history, it has celebrated the contribution and value of Australian seniors and stood in opposition to their marginalisation and pauperisation. In the 21st century, Retirees WA represents a diverse membership with. multifarious needs, pursuits and problems. Retirees WA has faced challenges, embraced change and cultivated new interests. While respecting its history, it has positioned itself for service, viability, and relevance in the future.

It is thanks in no small part to our estimated 340,000 seniors that Western Australia today is such a vibrant and community-oriented place. One of my greatest pleasures since becoming Minister for Seniors and Volunteering has been meeting so many older people who make a vast contribution to the fabric of our society socially, politically and culturally.

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I wonder whether this contribution would have such an impact, or indeed even be possible, without the proud and tireless work of Retirees WA, formerly known as the Australian Pensioners’ League (WA Division). I very much doubt it. Indeed, the often colourful characters that have taken on leadership roles throughout the organisation’s history epitomise the selflessness and dedication that is the hallmark of seniors in communities throughout Western Australia.

Since its inception, Retirees WA has been at the forefront of the seniors’ community. It has become an invaluable partner for Government as we aim to ensure that older people have a strong voice, access to vital services, and the capacity to be active, healthy and involved in community life.

With the percentage of seniors in WA expected to increase from 16 percent to 26 percent within 20 years, it is important as a society that we all consider the challenges posed by the aging population and respond accordingly. As you enjoy this meticulously researched, marvelously-written history, I’m sure you will feel as I do that Retirees WA is well-placed to continue meeting those challenges for another 75 years and beyond.

David Templeman
MLA Minister for Seniors and Volunteering 
January 2007