Date published: 
1 October 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Older Australians are today recognised for the vital contributions they make to communities around the country as part of the United Nation’s International Day of Older Persons.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said the global day of awareness marked an important opportunity to show our gratitude to seniors Australians – from our parents to neighbours and friends.

“The value older Australians bring to communities across our nation is immeasurable,” Minister Hunt said.

“From passing on family traditions and recipes, sharing words of wisdom to younger generations, or seeing the successes of the past come to life in the present, senior Australians across the country have made our nation what it is today.”

Minister Colbeck said it was particularly important to continue strengthening our connections with senior Australians as we continue to navigate the impacts of the global pandemic.

“We know the impact COVID-19 has had across our nation – but it has been felt particularly by older and more vulnerable Australians,” Minister Colbeck said.

“As lockdowns continue across so many regions, it is more important than ever that we check in on those people we love most to ensure their physical and emotional needs are being met.

“Whether it’s a face-to-face visit, text message, a video chat or a phone call, I encourage everyone to check in regularly with all the senior Australians in our lives.”

Minister Colbeck also paid tribute to workers across the aged care sector who have helped ensure residents in facilities across Australia stay connected with family and friends. 

The Government provides funding for a number of measures to help senior Australians remain connected and supported in their communities. These include:

  • The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line (1800 171 866)
  • The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (1800 22 22 00)
  • Translation and interpreter services (131 450)
  • Community Visitors Scheme, supporting community-based organisations to recruit volunteers to visit older people to provide friendship and companionship

Ageism Awareness Day

Peak industry organisations like the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) and the Council of the Ageing (COTA) are also marking today as Australia's inaugural Ageism Awareness Day.

A live social media video by OPAN will touch on conversations about ageism, its impact, and how we can each play a part in combatting harmful stereotypes. To find out more, visit OPAN’s Facebook page. To register for a webinar held by COTA today, visit the Every Age Counts website.

Be Connected
For more details about thriving in the digital world, including e-safety training and learning resources, visit the Be Connected website, designed to empower all Australians to develop digital skills and confidence.