In April 2011 the federal government established an Advisory Panel on the Economic Potential of Senior Australians to ensure the potential of the older members of our community is considered in a range of policy debates. The panel's three reports and the government's response are now available here.
The Panel consists of three members, each working in a part-time capacity:
- Mr Everald Compton AM (chairperson), recently retired Chair of National Seniors Australia; and Chair of the Consultative Forum on Mature Age Participation
- Professor Gill Lewin, President of the Australian Association of Gerontology; Professor at the Centre for Research on Ageing at Curtin University of Technology; and Research Director at Silver Chain, a provider of community and health services in WA
- Professor Brian Howe AO, former Deputy Prime Minister with Ministerial experience in the fields of Social Security, Health, Housing and Community Services; and Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne
The Government has asked the Panel to consider a number of specific policy areas during its deliberations:
- Opportunities created by the National Broadband Network (NBN) for senior Australians to stay connected to their communities.
- Opportunities for senior Australians to get involved in activities to preserve our environment and help tackle climate change.
- Priority areas for consideration by the new Commissioner for Age Discrimination – helping cultivate positive attitudes towards senior Australians across all facets of the community.
- Improving workforce participation and investing in the skills and experience of senior Australians – allowing businesses and community groups to tap into an active and engaged talent pool of senior Australians.
- Opportunities for businesses and community groups to provide a wider range of recreational and preventative health services that meet senior Australians' interests and support healthy and active lifestyles.
- Creating new avenues for senior Australians to volunteer – supporting the networks and systems that can match the skills and abilities of a growing pool of senior Australians with community needs.
- Supporting seniors-friendly housing – influencing planning, design and construction decisions to take advantage of the opportunities presented by demographic change.
- Helping senior Australians plan for their future – helping senior Australians keep an eye to the future, make well-informed decisions and plan ahead for life's transitions.
Image: s_falkow / flickr