Australia’s first Ageism Awareness Day held on October 1 is an initiative of the EveryAGE Counts advocacy campaign. Spearheaded by The Benevolent Society, EveryAGE Counts is Australia’s national coalition and grassroots movement to end ageism.
Coinciding with the UN’s International Day of Older Persons, we marked this milestone day with an online launch event featuring television personality and singer, Monica Trápaga, who was our first Ageism Awareness Day Ambassador. Over 800 people registered to attend the launch. The eminent panel outlined the many faces of ageism and its impacts, and what we can do about it.
Across Australia, 160 groups participated in their own morning teas to work with their community to ensure everyone is valued, connected and respected, regardless of age. The wide-reaching news coverage and marketing behind Ageism Awareness Day helped raise awareness of ageism and the need to treat it as a national priority.
“We know that ageism damages people’s confidence and wellbeing,” said Co-Chair of EveryAGE Counts, Dr Marlene Krasovitsky. “Our first Ageism Awareness Day has helped us take huge strides towards increasing people’s understanding of this problem and what they can do to help stop it. There is however much more to be done.”
Ageism. Know it. Name it.
Years of research and experience have shown that the term ‘ageism’ is not as well known or understood as other forms of prejudice and discrimination. This is part of the reason that ageism is widely accepted even though it has negative impacts on people’s lives and our community. By recognising it and naming it we are in a stronger position to act.
In an interview with The Australian, Marlene said: “Often older Australians feel powerless when we encounter ageism. However, if we know what it looks like and name it, we can take constructive actions in response.”
The EveryAGE Counts team has launched practical resources to help people better understand and identify ageism in everyday life and the steps they can take to respond to it.
“We need to positively change the way we think, act and feel about growing older and older people in order to shift deeply entrenched ageism,” says Marlene. “This can only be achieved if we make it a priority and work together to achieve change.”
To find out more about a world without ageism and what you can do to support, visit the EveryAGE Counts page here.