EveryAGE Counts takes on ageism in Australia
Every Australian, at every age, deserves to live their best life. We’ve joined forces with 20 high profile organisations and individuals to form a powerful coalition and launch a national advocacy campaign to tackle ageism.
The EveryAGE Counts campaign was launched in Sydney on 11 October, by Robert Tickner AO (former federal Minister and Red Cross CEO) and Dr Kay Patterson AO (Commonwealth Age Discrimination Commissioner).
The campaign aims to build a people’s movement to equip people and groups everywhere to recognise and address ageism.
Ageism in Australia
Ageism is often described as ‘discriminating against your future self’ – we’re all ageing every moment. Ageism against older people can come in a range of forms – stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely upon age.
Our CEO, Jo Toohey, said ageism in Australia is more common than most people realise.
“Attitudes that a person is ‘too old’ or ‘past their use by date’ are outdated. Our thinking and approach to ageing and older people needs to be grounded in the realities of today, not the reality of decades ago,” she said.
“New generations of older people are refusing to accept those attitudes and stereotypes about our own experience of growing older. This campaign is about adapting to a changing world.”
Ageism is becoming even more important to address as the Australian population ages. Commonwealth Age Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson AO told the launch audience that Australians are living longer than ever.
“The number of Australians over the age of 65 is expected to more than double by 2055, while the average life expectancy of Australians continues to rise,” Dr Patterson said.
“It’s an enormous opportunity, but outdated negative attitudes and beliefs about ageing and older people are preventing older people from contributing – socially and economically – and therefore our communities and our economy are missing out on the many benefits of its citizens living longer, healthier lives.”
Working together for change
The campaign encourages all Australians to tell their own stories of ageism, and to pledge to stand up against age discrimination.
Jo Toohey said the organisations and individuals part of the campaign coalition are committed for the long haul.
“Our vision for EveryAGE Counts is to build a society where every person is valued, connected and respected regardless of age and health. We know change takes time; it won’t happen overnight, regardless of how powerful and effective this campaign is. So we’re committed to this campaign for the long term.”
Will you stand against ageism?
Sign the pledge and support the EveryAGE Counts campaign to tackle ageism at www.everyagecounts.org.au #everyagecounts