Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing; Small Business

    International Day of Older Persons focuses on inclusion of older people within increasingly digital world

    1/10/2021 8:00 AM
    • Today marks 31st anniversary of International Day of Older Persons
    • 'Digital Equity for All Ages' theme acknowledges growing use of technology across all age groups, and the need for digital inclusion and safety

    Today marks International Day of Older Persons, a day to acknowledge how much older people have positively contributed to society across the world.


    The theme for the 31st International Day of Older Persons today is 'Digital Equity for All Ages', acknowledging that the use of technology across all age groups is rapidly growing. 


    While older people are benefiting from the opportunities technology offers, they also need to be protected from the risks technology can present and given the skills required for inclusion in our increasingly digital world.


    The McGowan Government's recently released Digital Strategy for the Western Australian Government 2021-2025 has a major focus on digital accessibility and inclusion. Successful delivery of the Strategy will see all Western Australians able to enjoy the benefits of digital services and technologies, while ensuring Government services are digital first, not digital only - preserving the ability to choose how services are accessed.


    The State Government also acknowledges more needs to be done to combat age discrimination, or ageism. Today is a timely reminder that the perpetuation of stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination towards people based on their age is never acceptable.


    People over 65 years make up 14 percent of Western Australia's population, but age discrimination is a growing issue. Australian Human Rights Commission research has found 35 per cent of Australians aged 55-64 years old and 43 per cent of people aged 65 years and over have experienced age discrimination in some way.


    The World Health Organisation earlier this year released its Global Report on Ageism, which outlined the nature, scale and impact of ageism world-wide.


    The report emphasises that education, relationships between generations and understanding can all reduce ageism, and the McGowan Government will today begin to share social media material aimed at raising awareness of and combatting ageism.


    Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch:


    "Today is an opportunity for all of us to recognise the ways in which older people enhance our own lives, our local communities and wider society.


    "Many families, local community services and groups are supported by older people as volunteers, grandparents and friends. The contribution of our older people is unquantifiable but it is an important part of the Western Australian culture, as is  their knowledge and leadership.


    "The theme for International Day of Older Persons in 2021 is 'Digital Equity for All Ages' - reinforcing the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by our older persons.


    "The McGowan Government's Digital Strategy was launched earlier this year and one of its key priorities is making sure that all Western Australians - including our seniors - can easily access and use digital technologies.


    "The State Government is also committed to combatting ageism in all its forms. Age discrimination can have serious impacts on a person's health - and I call on everyone to take time today to think about the role they can have in calling out and combatting ageism.


    Minister's office - 6552 6900