Val French AM M.Lit.Stud BA
Val is a member of the Order of Australia has a Centenary Medal and Commonwealth Senior Achiever Medal.
She is a journalist by profession and inclination. She worked in print, radio and television and in this respect is still active.
She taught at the University of Queensland and was Senior Lecturer in Journalism at QIT (now QUT).
Her voluntary career whilst working included teaching women debating and debating for girls in the schools, women’s issues, mental health and carers issues.
She established the first school for prisoners in the old Boggo Road prison and an innovative self-help program for prisoners.
She sought for equal rights for women journalists and was a director and co-founder of women’s radio as well as an instructor.
She represented Queensland on the Australian National Association of Mental Health, where she developed the one in five mental health week campaign. She was vice-president of the Queensland Mental Health Association and the Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill.
After a time she was co-founder and foundation President of the Queensland Council of Carers (Carers Qld) and one of the founders of the first national carers association.
She established Older People Speak Out at the media’s request at a forum between older people’s organisations and the media in 1993 and has been President ever since.
She travels with OPSO around the state seeking the issues and needs of older people. With OPSO she takes these to government or helps find local solutions.
She initiated the Queensland and National Media Awards to help address negative ageing and its consequences of depression, loneliness, elder abuse, suicide and mature-age unemployment. To this she added training courses on working with the media for volunteer organisations.
The concept was accepted by the State and Commonwealth governments and OPSO has conducted these since 1993.
She was Queensland Chairperson of: the Commonwealth Consumer Forum for the Aged; The Older Australians Advisory Council; and The Nursing Homes Appeals Committee.
She was a member of the Retirement Village Accreditation Committee and a surveyor for nine years, and the Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Council of Older Persons on which she served under various Ministers for five years.
She has been and is a member of numerous government and non-government advisory committees, including for the last 10 years, the Ministerial Road Safety Advisory Committee and for the last three years, the Police Seniors Task Force and committees on housing, intergenerational projects, aged care, elder abuse, grandparenting and social isolation.
She also represents OPSO on the seniors’ Round Table, is on the Board of Volunteering Queensland and is the Patron of Brisbane Seniors online.
Val attended the 2020 Summit and was appointed to the Harmer Pension Review.
A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF VAL
7.30 am – 8.30 am
Phone calls re meeting today
OPSO FORUM …. On State Election. (Courier Mail covered)
Calls from ABC up north re Grandfriends Project.
Follow up on mature aged worker denied access to her Superannuation, with a call to Wayne Swann’s Office.
Call from N.F. still with problem of denied access to grandchild.
Phoned Bill re mature age worker project.
Call from Sydney TV Station that needs a list of potential interviewees for new seniors program.
Lunch with the Elements Retirement Village re launch of Seniors Club.
Journalist rang re election comment.
Follow-up on Margaret P ‘s trouble with constant chainsaw noise from neighbour – referred to elder abuse unit.
Spoke at conference at Southbank
Follow-up on mature age worker’s problem on denied access to her Superannuation.
Radio Interview from Rockhampton.
Series of calls re schools’ leadership project.
Call re nursing home problems – caller needed to know how to expose situation – referred them on.
Working lunch re mature age workers – preparation for Sydney’s meeting.
Wrote Media Release re State Elections.
Arranged for possible trailing of mature age workers awards in the Redlands – and set up sub-committee.
Lunch with my son.
Afternoon meeting with Starr.
Phoned Dave Norris re Sydney Meeting on mature age workers.
Hey I’m a Senior!!!
I never really looked forward to acquiring the term “Senior”, but this makes me feel better about it.
And if you ain’t one, I bet ya you know one!
I got this from a “Senior” friend of mine!
I’m passing this on as I did not want to be the only senior receiving it. Actually, it’s not a bad thing to be called a “Senior”, as you will see.
Seniors are easy to spot at sporting events; during the playing of the National Anthem. Removing their caps, standing at attention and singing without embarrassment, they know the words and believe in them.
Old “Australian Seniors” remember World War II, Normandy, and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, The Cold War, and the Jet Age. They remember the
Peacekeeping Missions from 1945 to 2011, not to mention Timor, the Gulf War, and
If you bump into a Senior on the pavement he will apologize. If you pass an Senior on the
street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Seniors trust strangers and are courtly to women.
Seniors hold the door for the next person (female or male) and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.
Seniors get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like any filth or dirty language on TV or in movies.
Seniors say “Heads UP” when approaching inconsiderate “texters” and “twitterers” in the shopping mall to avoid Head-on collisions!
Old Farts have moral courage and personal integrity. They seldom brag unless it’s about their children or grandchildren.
It’s the Seniors who know our great country, Australia is protected, not by the Federal
Government but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.
This country needs Seniors with their work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their
country and decent values.
We need them now more than ever.
Thank God for Seniors!