The Federal Government must lead the charge on addressing the endemic of ageism by implementing policy changes that improve the lives of all Australians, including older people, COTA Australia says.
The call marks Ageism Awareness Day (7 October 2022) – a day designed to draw attention to the widespread existence and impacts of ageism in Australia and across the world.
Patricia Sparrow, COTA Australia CEO said the Federal Government needs to take immediate steps to address ageism, including developing a whole of government strategy on ageing that includes strategies and policies to tackle ageism and age discrimination.
“There are some really positive, practical steps that our Federal Government could take today to push things in the right direction when it comes to addressing ageism,” Ms Sparrow said.
“Reducing ageism in public policy, workplaces and in the community will unlock the experience and talent of older people to the benefit of everyone.”
Ms Sparrow said addressing ageism within the workforce is an obvious area for action.
“The Federal Government’s recent employment whitepaper recognised the impact of ageism on the workforce and the economy broadly. There’s a real opportunity off the back of that to implement some practical programs to reduce ageism in the workplace.
“COTA’s State of the Older Nation survey found that 35% of older Australians have experienced some form of age-related discrimination since turning 50 and around a quarter say they’ve experienced employment-related discrimination.
“We know that one in three recruiters are open about their hesitancy in hiring an older person. The problem is clear, the action we need to take is clear, and the benefits for every generation of taking action are also clear.
“We need to improve our employment system for older people to create an age diverse workforce with all the benefits that come from that. ”
“Older Australians are a valuable resource – and by continuing to ignore ageism, we’re robbing future Australians of all the benefits that come from the intergenerational exchange and understanding in our broader communities.
“We need action and Ageism Awareness Day is the perfect time to kick start that.”
Media Contact: Alana Mew, 0419 929 722