The ageing workforce – OPSO’s contribution

This year’s OPSO Media Awards aim to draw attention to one of the major issues facing Australia: the need to keep our
older workers in the workforce.

As the population ages we face the need for great changes in community and business attitude if we are to meet the
challenge.

The Federal Government’s Consultative Forum has been working on the answers to senior’s workplace participation. As
a member I have been pleased with the thoroughness of the consultation and breadth of consultation.

The answers so far include a resource package for employers on which all Forum members have been consulted.

The Forum looks for innovation in policies that are based on understanding the needs, motivation, experience and value of older workers, and the most productive ways of developing and using this expanding workforce.

Two relevant election promises were also welcome.

One was the changes to the amount seniors on the pension can earn before their pension is affected, and the other, the appointment of a dedicated Discrimination Commissioner.

One of OPSO’s own contributions has been to offer two $2000 cash prizes: one for journalism that features the contribution of older workers between the ages of 50 and 67, and the other that features the contribution of those over 67.

Thanks to the support of the young Charity’s Angels we have been able to give another award, and a very important
one: for the older journalist working with excellence in the workforce.

The OPSO Awards for the last 17 years have been helping to change the public’s attitude to older people. With these special awards we believe we can draw attention to the great contribution seniors can make to the workforce.

Breaking down the stereotypes associated with older workers is no easy task, but with the support of all of you in the media we can make it happen: not just for now, but for the security of our society in the future.