Broadband for SeniorsAs Ambassador for Ageing I encourage all older Australians to learn how to use a computer. The internet opens up the whole world to you and you can even use it to play games as well as communicate with your friends and family if they don't live close by.
Seniors can gain the confidence and skills needed to use new technology with a great Australian Government initiative called Broadband for Seniors.
Free access to computers, the Internet and training is available to seniors at approximately 2,000 kiosks across Australia. Training is provided by volunteer tutors and tailored to the needs of seniors on topics like basic computing skills, email, Skype, Flickr and how to stay safe online.
To learn more about how to access this training, or if you would like to know how to become a volunteer tutor at one of the kiosks, please call the Broadband for Seniors Helpline on 1300 795 897 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In these tough timesAustralia can be a very unpredictable country as far as climate is concerned. We experience catastrophic fires, droughts and terrible floods. During recent times of hardship our hearts go out to the people who have lost everything and we give thanks to the emergency service workers who risk their lives attempting to save people and property.
Quite recently fires broke out not far from where we live and we received several warning of potential danger in our rural area.
It made us conscious of the need for a survival plan. We spent hours fire-proofing our house – mowing the lawns, removing leaves from the gutters, getting the hoses ready and checking the generator in case of power failure.
We left shallow dishes of water out for the birds and animals that visit our garden. We listened to ABC radio and checked the Fire Services website on a regular basis.
The following day the temperature had fallen by nearly 20 degrees, so the nearby bush fires were under control and we were able to have lunch with friends. Over our meal we discussed the possessions we would take if we did choose to leave our homes. Most people said they would take photographs. Another friend said you should have your driver’s licence and your passport. Another one suggested bank statements, household insurance policies and clothing.
The important thing is to have a plan. Every Australian should think about what to do in case of an emergency.
We should also take time to consider the people around us and to check on any elderly neighbours, so we can make sure that everyone in the community is safe.
Ambassador for Ageing ProgramOver the next few decades Australia’s population will change dramatically. There will be a greater number of older Australians than at any other time in our history, and people will live longer than ever before.
The Australian Government understands the importance of having a growing ageing population that is healthy and active, and they have been planning for the increased numbers of older people by developing a range of initiatives aimed at creating an active and socially engaged older population.
In April 2008, well known and much loved Australian, Noeline Brown was appointed as Australia’s first Ambassador for Ageing. Ms Brown, who is a media personality, active community member and an Australia Day Ambassador, was reappointed as Ambassador for Ageing in 2011 for a second three year term.
The Australian Government established the Ambassador for Ageing Program to encourage respect for older Australians and to promote healthy active ageing.
As the Ambassador for Ageing, Ms Brown is involved in a range of activities and events within the community that meet the objectives of the program.
The range of functions and responsibilities of the Ambassador role include:
- promoting recognised principles of positive and active ageing;
- promoting healthy and active ageing messages within the community;
- leading promotional activities to ensure our communities value and respect older people;
- spokesperson for respecting and recognising the continuing contribution made by older people to our nation;
- increasing awareness about Government programs and initiatives to the public including assisting older people to be aware of programs and how to access them;
- encouraging older people to plan for the future;
- representing the Australian Government at conferences, meetings and media engagements; and
- attend meetings with key Commonwealth, State and local government stakeholders on positive ageing issues.
Toni McLennan, Public Affairs, Department of Health and Ageing, phone: 0402 674 457.